about “In what sense do we live in a democracy when we so consistently wind up with frontrunners nobody wants?”:
I’m inclined to think that this and this has rather a lot to do with explaining the phenomenon. I don’t believe in “smoke-filled rooms” or people jiggering voting machines. I do believe (and think it rather obvious) that monied interests have become extremely skilled at what has aptly been described as “manufacturing consent”: giving people the illusion that they are freely choosing something when they are, in fact, being skillfully and persistently herded toward something our Masters of Persuasion in corporate media and in the political classes (and the powers and principalities Paul speaks of) want. It’s not an exact science and sometimes a significant enough percentage of people refuse to be herded that other plans must be made to adapt (an example of this is the intransigent prolife movement, which has been a problem for many years). But, as the nomination of Romney demonstrates, the prolife movement can be minimized and (as many will be) co-opted by the old “IF YOU DON’T VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN THINGS TOO TERRIBLE TO DESCRIBE WILL HAPPEN!!!!” strategy that has worked for decades–as though Romney cares in the slightest. And so, consent will again be manufactured.
Since it is the case that it is our Ruling Class against the rest of us, the trick is to have two candidates who will both be faithful guardians of the interests of the Ruling Class. We now have that locked in. Partisans of each will now man the barricades, vigilant again the Awful Consquences of the Other Guy Getting Elected. But the folks in that chart above will cast the real deciding votes because American elections are, in the end, about the best politicians money can buy.
Put not your trust in princes, but in the Lord Jesus Christ.
HT: Caelum et Terra