Any inclination to believe that change and improvement must still lie in the coming presidential election is sorely mistaken. No doubt, key campaign issues do need to be addressed, but so too does our willing absorption in the shapeless and unremarkable American mass. Only the few can ever redeem our deeply troubled nation, and this excruciatingly tiny cadre of seeing individuals will never be found among presidential hopefuls.
To be sure, the coming elections are not inherently damaging, or fundamentally misconceived. Rightly, we still believe in democratic ideas, even when they represent a convenient masquerade for plutocracy. What is harmful and wrong for us to believe is that elections somehow represent an independently promising path to citizen growth, prosperity, and fulfillment.
Even in our most enthusiastically advertised civic culture, presidential elections are always a consequence of the prevailing distributions of political power. They are never a true cause for needed change.