Want to Know What's Wrong With Our Politics?
This. But then, you already knew that television ruins everything it touches. Until Congress somehow summons the gumption to insist that the networks and individual station owners must make ad time available to candidates for free or at greatly reduced cost--over airwaves owned by the American people--our political system will continue in its present feeble state. And candidates will continue to pay far more attention to perpetual fundraising duties than to the country's problems or their constituents' concerns. A decade ago, when the problem was far less acute than now, former Washington Post political reporter Paul Taylor led a campaign to force this issue. Unfortunately, it never succeeded.
UPDATE: Given all these dynamics, this spoof of a headline in the online paper The Onion (like many Onion headlines) is uncomfortably close to the literal truth: "For a majority of likely voters, meaningless bullshit will be the most important factor in deciding who they will vote for in 2008."