If we find that the news is often confusing–sometimes even incomprehensible–it is because we maintain a worldview that is largely a simplistic fantasy. The news can be greatly clarified by adjusting or reconstructing our worldview. Guidelines for doing this are as follows.
First, recognize that the United States government is not a democracy; it is a representative plutocracy–government of the people, by the politicians, for the wealthy. In a fantasy worldview it seems that politicians are not responding to the needs and wishes of their constituencies, but they are–it’s just not us.
Next, recognize that all the major indicators of social welfare–income distribution, the condition of the infrastructure, quality of education, social safety net, crime rates, and so on–are just the way the powerful want them; these indicators are the results of policies.
In particular, the disparity between rich and poor is not an inevitable result of hard work, talent, education, or innovation. The disparity is the result of purposeful economic policies that channel more of the nation’s wealth to the plutocracy.
Then recognize that no truly Liberal (let alone Progressive) person can ever be elected as president. Seemingly Liberal candidates are merely using the pretense to extract votes from the large proportion of citizens who still hold Liberal views.
It is important also to note that the power elite, the plutocracy, is most capable of hiding its role and its policies in governance. This is possible because they own and operate the largest and most effective propaganda machine in the world.
Finally, the right wing has won. What appears to be contention between active Liberals and Conservatives is actually a mopping-up of the last vestiges of Liberalism by the right wing. Political debates are shallow or trivial because no politician wants to reveal the actual policies that all of them support.
Now the news makes sense:
Why is debate focused on birth control, abortion, gay marriage, and stem-cell research instead of the core concepts and policies of social welfare? See above.
Why do the people most negatively affected by actual policies so often vote against their own best interests? And why is voting so often for the “lesser of two evils”? See above.
Why do right-wing radio and TV shows dominate these media? See above.
Why has the tax burden been shifted away from the wealthy, unto the middle class and the working poor? See above.
Why has genuine education reform been stalled for decades? See above.
Why is Obama called a Liberal while all his policies are conservative? See above.
Why is it futile to expect to change anything by “working within the system”? See above.