Writing in The Australian, Paul Kelly views the state of American politics from Down Under. He gets some things wrong, I think, but he also nails some of the cultural and political toxins of which the 2016 Presidential debate is symptomatic.

He lays much of the blame on American leaders. The Presidential campaign exposes “the abandonment by the US ruling class, in particular the political class, of its responsibility to exemplify and uphold standards of character, integrity, competence and civility for the nation. The American ruling class seems hollow at its core and its public policy atrocities of the past 20 years now loom as a staircase to catastrophe.”

He sees 2016 as an enormous blow to America’s global prestige: “For years its politicians, Left and Right, have been extolling the superiority of the American model while that model was unravelling in front of them. . . . What nation will want to duplicate the American rule book after this event? What nation would want to follow American democracy? What nation would believe in American judgment? Russia and China will take heart, not just as geo-strategic rivals but as enemies of the American democratic model for nations.”

And that could have very huge consequences for the future.