"During the intervals between elections the political existence of the citizenry is relegated to a shadow citizenship of virtual participation. Instead of participating in power, the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them." -- Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

The Circus that Wouldn't Leave Town

From time to time, the circus once arrived,
Quadrennial in its appointed rounds.
Yet somehow it has artfully contrived

To never leave -- bombarding us with sounds
And sights so lurid and insistent that
Whatever tripe The Candidate expounds

Begins to clog the arteries with fat,
Inducing aneurisms in the soul
Through endless touting of a puerile spat.

Consultants endlessly conduct a poll
Which tells us what they wish for us to hear:
That folks like us will play our scripted role.

Commercial ads have made that crystal clear.
If only fright were all we had to fear

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2012