We've heard that the root problem with our Democracy is "voter apathy".
I have yet to find anyone who doesn't care about what's happening in the world, who doesn't care what might be happening to our economy, to our Social Security, to our environment, or to the troops abroad. People DO care. They're just wise enough to know they're being played.
The argument of Left vs. Right, of Washington vs. Wall Street, of Conservatism vs. Socialism, is simply an argument over power. Politics is the art of cattle herding, and most people don't volunteer so easily for their little studio audiences.
Half of the people in America eligible to vote are not registered to vote. And half of those who are registered don't bother to vote. 13% of the adult population is all that's needed to retain control by one gang or another. Voter apathy is an ally to this process.
Sure, it's voting that makes democracy work. But what point is there to a Pepsi Challenge? When the choice is made for us, to choose between two representatives of special interest selected and controlled by a handful of financial backers, this is not democracy. It's an illusion. Most people aren't that stupid.
Each year, the Republicans and Democrats lose a small percentage of registered voters, and the Independents and third parties gain in registrations. This rising percentage--- millions of people-- isn't represented by the two-party system, and they aren't controlled by the money that represents that system.
Don't confuse voter apathy with a strong sense of caveat emptor. When media outlets refuse to accept political money, when campaign finances are restricted to donations from residents of the district, when political action groups and national corporations are banned from influencing the public discourse, maybe more people will regain trust in the democratic process and participate.