Without a basic understanding of a) how the current tax system works, b) how legislation is passed and enacted, and c) what the limit of power is for each respective branch of government, American voters are at a severe disadvantage. Both parties are guilty of preying upon the less knowledgeable voters, but the GOP seems to have no problem with going the extra mile. By utilizing polarizing rhetoric, unfounded fears (most of which are a throwback to the McCarthy/Cold War era), and blatant deception, the GOP has successfully garnered the support of those they have no interest in benefiting.
By painting their candidates as beacons of Christian morality, and demonizing Liberals, the GOP has created a base that follows blindly. It's not about bettering the nation. It's not about finding sustainable solutions for the future. It's about defeating the Democrats. It's about a "Culture War". The Dems don't just have different viewpoint. They are godless, they are the enemy, and they must be defeated at all cost. Otherwise "Our guns will be taken away", "Our right to practice our faith will disappear", and "Our freedom to be successful will be taken from us."
While this destructively ignorant and outrageously inaccurate rhetoric is tossed about publicly, backroom deals are made at the expense of their constituents, corporations are allowed to continue their parasitic profiteering, and bankers bleed the nation dry, free from the fear of indictment and retribution. Anyone who talks about regulation is a socialist (which we all know is a four letter word). Anyone who supports equal rights across the board is a heathen. They've capitalized, commercialized, and politicized morality to the point where it is so distorted, it's utterly unrecognizable. Unfortunately, those who fall for this ruse are typically the ones who are living on the cusp of financial ruin.
Libel, slander, vilification, and defamation of character are all prosecutable offenses (at the state level). It's true that first amendment rights create shaky legal ground for bringing perpetrators to justice, but the embarrassment of a public indictment could very well be the thing we need to clean up the landscape of our elections. Using the judicial system to force honesty in campaigns would not only make it more difficult for candidates to rely on inflammatory attack ads, but would bring our elections back to policy rather than politics. This would create a more informed electorate, and be beneficial to American growth and prosperity.
If you can't scream "fire" in a crowded theatre, why would you be able to lie your way into office? The ramifications of the latter are not only more numerable, but are more serious. Due to foreign and economic policy, billions of people our forced to deal with the outcome of our corrupt system. Something needs to change, and it begins with holding our elected officials and media accountable.
(Also, if you don't understand the current political environment, this guy puts it in laymen's term. Beware, what follows is filled with explicit language, but it certainly gets the point across. For those of you who are a little behind the sardonic curve, it's satire.)