@robbie21 - You make an interesting analogy. I've always noticed parallels, myself, between the fall of the Roman Republic and the fall of the Galactic Republic in the Star Wars series! Both were bloated republics that couldn't seem to get anything done. They lacked a strong leader and went too far in the other direction.
Americans, on the other hand, have perhaps an unusually strong leader for a republic/democracy. We have one president (not two) and he (so far) is elected for four-year terms, not one. Obviously, there are pretty serious limits on his power, as we do not have an elected monarchy, though these seem to vary from one administration to the next. But I wonder if already having a strong single leader in place would help prevent a slide from republic to dictatorship.