The moment is complicated by the upcoming election, so some people are distracted by the circus of McCain vs. Obama and all the characters associated with that silly little battle. What they are looking at is really the veneer. It is a covering designed to prevent you from seeing what the state is and why it matters.
The U.S. has never hosted a personal state. The president was always to be the manager and overseer of a tiny state that ruled with the permission of the people and the lower orders of government: the people and government are one, and this would serve as a check on power. Of course this was a mistake, a reflection of the naïveté of the classical liberal position.
In time, the U.S. took on all the features of an impersonal nation state. It developed a permanent bureaucracy, especially after the tragic end of the "spoils system." It developed a money machine and monopolized and created its own currency. It began to host its own unelected military that was a "professional" fighting force and not a citizen militia. It became home to a million hangers-on who made the state their careers and their source of economic security. Full story...