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'Ours is a republic that has long since taken on the trappings of a monarchy, with the president inhabiting rarified space as our king-emperor. Influential American institutions — investment banks and multinational corporations, churches and universities, big city newspapers and TV networks, the bloated national security apparatus and both major political parties — have endorsed a system that elevates the president to the status of demigod. It’s been good for business, whatever that business happens to be. The Constitution assigns responsibilities and allocates prerogatives to three co-equal branches of government. In practice, the executive branch enjoys primacy. Prompted by a seemingly endless series of crises since the Great Depression and World War II, presidents have accumulated ever-greater authority, partly through usurpation, but more often than not through forfeiture.'