We've all felt the shame and confusion of supporting a candidate that turns into a nightmare. At first we love them and they love us and the energy is contagious. We matter and they're going to take our ideas to the halls of power.
Popularity is like a drug and it's easy to get addicted; especially when we're young and new to the world of politics. The concentrated attention and peer support is overwhelming. Soon we're believing and saying the most ridiculous things...but we belong to a movement.
Everyone owes it to themselves and to their family ...to help to get good people in office. - Col. Wm. C. Hunter, Dollars and Sense, 1906
The movement is short lived and the dreams disappear. The same old problems continue and while we become poorer and older; the politicians you supported only seem to grow stronger, richer...and ineffectual. Why? Why don't they do what they said they would do when they finally reach the position required to do it? They promised...and they lied.
Rule 1: Politicians NEVER express the full truth as they know it; not even to themselves. Sometimes they are as naive as we are. Often young candidates are idealists hoping to really change things, but they lose elections. The donor class supports those they can control and it's easier to control liars with all the skills they like. Many elections are a reliable employment service for upper class kids. If a politician finds themselves among "honest men and women" then they are lying, too.
Exception: Things have gotten so bad that a reluctant hero rises from the masses to take over (which is only possible when the system is so corrupt and broken it can no longer resist). Caesar, Arthur w/ Excalibur, Lincoln...Trump?
Rule 2: Everything is about getting a vote. Playing minorities against each other, race baiting, special interest pandering. It's all for the vote. Why do Democrats support open borders? Votes. Why do Republicans favour corporate welfare? Votes. Why do NDP manipulate labour laws and Conservatives fight long gun registration? Votes.
Why do Liberals support cannabis legalization? Despite the Canadian Supreme Court ruling against years of abusive prohibition laws our Liberal party is acting like it was all its idea all along. Gotta get those votes. If the votes were to be on the other side of the issue then the Liberals would be railing against the "over-reaching" judicial branch.
Exception: Lack of competitive candidates. Sometimes, there isn't much interest in running for office of any kind. It becomes a burden like jury duty because there isn't enough incentive. Doesn't pay well; people hate you for shit other people do. Supervising an autocracy dominated by a bureaucratic class isn't much fun for anybody.
A bureaucrat sleeps on the floor of his office every afternoon at 2pm; enjoying the fruits of the promotion he's been waiting in line for all his adult life.
Rule 3: When Rule 2 comes into conflict with Rule 1, Rule 1 always wins. Donors represent the focused power of many interests. Corporations, unions, buyers groups, old money families, professional cause-heads of all stripes. Generally, more powerful than any individual.
Exception: The individual is so beyond the modern economy that they literally work in a parallel world of production. New money. Their return is essentially untouchable by the contemporary power structure because it's so strange and mysterious. Washington, Tesla, Jobs...true revolutionaries.
Think different. - Apple ( slogan for Apple, Inc. in 1997 created by the Los Angeles office of advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day.)
"Successful" politicians don't care about you. They don't care about themselves. They don't care about their colleagues. They only care about winning and their donors care about power. Power to trade with other powers so they can build and benefit from a global machine of which we are but one minor diminishing component.
If you ever feel cynical just pick a politician at random and study their public life. I guarantee you'll feel much better about your own. Now you know. What are you gonna do about it? Vote.