Fred, I agree that it will make little real difference which party is elected, which is why I'm not particularly interested in party politics (which is what I call 'promises' made to attract votes, which can't not realistically be kept).
However, I think the whole idea of a true democracy is also a pipe-dream. Whenever you allow politics to be largely influenced by wealthy private influences, if is not a true democracy IMHO. The wealthiest few have a much greater say in how the country is run, and that is unfair and inequitable, and clearly not democratic. America has been in this state of un-democracy since its inception.
Although many Republicans and Libertarians will disagree, the UN sets out many things guidelines for what it considers basic human rights. Most notably:
"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."
There is also the right to work:
"The State Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. (2) The steps to be taken by a State party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual."
Providing this level of what is considered basic human living standards requires governments to intervene. It is considered fair and equitable to most (the majority, which is what democracy should be all about). It requires those that are better off to be humane and help those that are less fortunate. I don't see American politics and society to be anywhere close to this yet, but I don't see how it can get there either due to the entrenched power of the haves, versus the have-nots. What I see in America is a gross inequity between the wealthy few and the multitude of many who are truly struggling. This is not sustainable from a social perspective.
Do any of you REALLY believe what politicians promise? Whether it be for less government, or more efficient government, or whatever? Do any of you really believe that one person can make those promises on behalf of an entire nation the size of America? Do you really think that Romney can do a better job than Obama (or vice-versa)?