Elections, anger, and rhetoric / by Simmon Li

Why is it that stoking irrational anger moves opinions way more than reasoned discussion? That's not to say it was never this way, I have a feeling that it has always been a bit of a mud slinging contest, but at least Adam Smith and David Ricardo wrote books to support the repeal of the Corn Laws (pretty good books too, from what I understand). I don't feel like there's the same level of depth and substance in elections these days. The reason this is so important, I feel, is that it is THE thing driving voter apathy. Talking points, irrational anger, and mud slinging aren't inspiring. They don't say to me, the voter, "Hey, I have a vision for our country, and I'd like you to join me in making it happen. It'll be hard to get there, but in the end, we'll be better for it." Where is the trust? By taking such a low view of the electorate, we get crap campaigns full of talking points and excessive vote buying. Why do the parties value political expedience over substance?