since we have a thread for all of the failures of all the various political parties (at least the relevant ones) and some of the more relevant politicians, I think it is high time we as the American populace become a little introspective and ask ourselves why is it that our politicians suck so much. why is it that our politicians treat us and talk to us like children. remember the words of Alexis de Tocqueville: "In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve." I made mention of this in another thread, but it got me thinking that it probably deserved its own thread. the way both candidates are talking to the American people in platitudes and sound bites, like they're children, reminds me of the way Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, so that "seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand." sadly, easily manipulable children who care more about football and reality television, is exactly what the American people have proven themselves to be. let me be clear, this is not meant to be a comparison of either candidate to Jesus, but rather the crowds in Jesus' time to the American people. people say we have shit for candidates. I'm not voting for anybody! friends, the reason we have shit for candidates is because we have shit for citizens! the reason candidates speak to you in platitudes, sound bites, talking points, and indeed, outright lies, is because we let them get away with it! the candidates would not speak that way to us if they knew they couldn't get away with it. perhaps they wouldn't speak that way to us if they knew they could keep your attention longer than 30 seconds! the problems (economic, social, political, environmental, military, geopolitical, etc.) are much too complex to address in a 30-second campaign ad, or in a sound bite. they require careful study, research, debate, and thought. how many Americans have actually researched in a serious way any of the issues being discussed? how many Americans have researched any of the candidates' voting records? their previous utterances on various issues? or read lengthy scholarly articles or (gasp!), maybe even a book on any of the complex issues (the economy, social issues, climate change, etc.) facing America today? or do most of us simply rely on what you heard from the candidates during a few debates, where we knew they were going to by lying and telling us anything to get our vote? or worse, do we just listed/watch Maddow, Hanaty, Limbaugh, or Jon Stewart for your "news" and "analysis" and simply parrot back the sound bites we hear? I exempt most people on P&CE from this criticism because simply by virtue of being regular posters on P&CE means that we are more aware of what is going on in the world today in terms of current events and politics and care enough about them to discuss and debate those issues, but the vast majority of the American people are not like this. most Americans don't seem to realize that there is more to civic responsibility than checking some boxes on a ballot every 4 years, or listening to 30 minutes of a presidential debate. civic responsibility is hard, and can be boring at time. that's why it's a responsibility. they don't call it civic joy or civic fun for a reason. so de Tocqueville was spot on - if you want to look at why we have a crappy government, look at the people who elected them. which is to say, look in the mirror.