Sadly, I think that the power in this country has been led by legacies for too long, with no real end in sight in the current political structure. By this I mean that the children of former politicians are granted an education at a noteworthy university because of their lineage and raised to follow in the family tradition. Read between the lines people. Don't think that the Kennedy's and Bush's and other families of long-standing political tradition are a bunch of political geniuses. They simply continue to breed following generations of politicians with their name as political clout.
So many decisions in this country are made behind closed doors and without the knowledge of the people, let alone the consent or consensus, that our voting system is all but a joke. Reading the political philosphers of the past from Socrates to Rousseau, Kant, and even Thoreau, as well as the writings of our founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin brings insights into our republic that we as a nation are struggling with, but many don't even know it, and the first of these is that our government was established by a much smaller society and never planned for the millions of people that inhabit and are citizens of our nation. The democratic process we enjoy was designed for a people where everyone knew everyone, where town square meetings could actually address the whole town, and where those in government knew the needs and wishes of the people because they were still part of the people. But I am on a tangent that has no immediate and not even an easy solution.
Also, our government spoon-feeds the populus to care about what they want us to concern ourselves with. Currently it's Iraq, the border issue and illegal immigrants, and the ever popular topic of social programs. More than likely the bi-partisan system we have now is largely a means of constituent control. With Republicans "big-government, big-business" by reputation, and more capitalist than the stereotypical "bleeding heart, pro-social programs" Democrats, it could be stated that those labels are more for keeping track of "what the people want" than they are real political biases on Capital Hill. Think of the two parties playing an evolved form of "good cop, bad cop" to gain information. It's easy to decide how to run a government if the numbers state that a district is 70% Democratic, for example. The representative for that district doesn't even have to return to it to know how to govern it, simply by using the numbers and acting accordingly.
On the bright side, (yes, you may read that sarcastically), in '08 you and I -- John Q. Public -- get to vote for one of two people pre-selected for us by the Democratic party and the Republican party in conventions I, for one, will not be invited to, nor have a voice in. We won't personally know these two candidates, we will only know what their respective PR staff tell us or dig up about the other candidate, and we will be choosing who we think might be the better liar or lesser liar. We'll have 6 to 10 months to form an opinion about them, and within the first 100 days after they take office we'll be disillusioned with them and wish we'd voted differently. Then we'll hear the media praise or punish them for the next four years, helping form or re-form our own opinions of the job they're doing, and the only real amusement will come in how much they age while they're in office. Unless we get another good sex scandal to concern ourselves with.
This is not an end to my ideas and opinions. It is only a beginning, actually. But I was raised not to discuss politics, sex, or religion (like that's ever stopped me before), and I'm gonna get off my soapbox before someone throws a rotten cabbage at me.