I think there has been a lot of informal and distant collusion between the D’s and the R’s. The tacit agreement has been “We get to govern 50% of the time and you get to govern 50% of time. Let’s not upset this arrangement by allowing voters with more options. In fact, let’s enhance our aristocracy while calling it a democracy”.
The result is that the real decision of who governs in the USA and who doesn’t is made in the primaries. And there is a lot more back room influence in the primaries than in the general election. The Russian and Facebook influence pale in comparison to the back room deals.
Even in the primaries, 90% of the party voters are almost as blind as the general public; they are not inside the power circles. The main purpose of these members is to be a focus group to help determine who is more electable in the general election.
The political parties (of all western nations) have inculcated a feeling of powerlessness in much of the citizenry. We can vote once every four years; we can protest to change; we can try to educate our fellow citizens. But in the end, we burn out. The power brokers still win! Trying to fight the system won’t work.
If we want to really change things, we need to get rid of all political parties. Impractical, you say? The TDG needs only 1% (or less) to get things started. It need not get approval from 50%+1 of the population or any political party or group of powerful back room people.
Google my name and go past the links of the hockey player.