I will indulge this much American exceptionalism: truly, we have built a system to make all the kings and tyrants, party bosses and generalissississimi and primates inter pares and dukes and princess and chiefs and big men over all the ages of mankind weep with jealousy; no hereditary pageantry nor coronation nor victory parade nor one-party election can compete with the multi-billion dollar spectacle of an American presidential election season, its endless lefthand turn toward an identical indycar conclusion, one selfsame auto beating another, a few weird diehards talking pit strategy, the restuvus enjoying the occasional fiery pileup along the way. A vast spectacle of competition ripping ever-faster toward a foregone conclusion, a breadbowl circus lathered in Applebees Smokey Barbeque Honey Bacon Strudel Pepper Spice Chipotle Doritos Rub by Bobby Flay. So what if only forty percent of viewers actually tune into the show? Not even Navy Seal Advocate Investigation Factor: Special Idol Brigade gets those sorts of ratings. Even those who don't participate get vaguely caught up in the proceedings; a self-consuming nuclear fireball of utter inanity through which one of several psycho clowns becomes warden for a few swiftly-expiring years before the whole thing is recharged, refueled, and rerun. Ours is not so much a political economy as a syndicated series.