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The Constitution in 2020: the Caesars or the Tudors?

By Adrian Vermeule

A trope of tyrannophobic political discourse compares the American presidency with the government of the Caesars. T.B. Macaulay addressed a comparison between the Caesars and the Tudor monarchs (Henry VII, his son, and his grandchildren) in terms both withering and illuminating:
It has been said … that the Tudors were as absolute as the Caesars. Never was a parallel so unfortunate. The Caesars ruled despotically, by means of a great standing army, under the decent

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