Political parties maintain their stranglehold on our nation's political activity with a very simple mechanism: They monitor those who seek a career in politics. They watch them and groom them as they climb the ladder to political power. They choose politicians who have no problem sacrificing their honor for the benefit of the party and lift them through the ranks to the highest public offices.
Those who refuse to compromise their own integrity are simply passed over. The people of the community, who know they are honest, will keep them in the town council, but if they don't "play ball" with the party, the party never gives them the support they need to reach higher elective office.
There's no mystery about it. It's common sense. The party demands that the politician put party interest above all else. Those who want a career in politics are taught that it's the "Party Way or the Highway". They learn, very quickly, that there's no reward for pride and principle. Once they accept that, those who advance promptly learn the tricks of their trade; they learn how to lie convincingly, how to evade questions, how to obfuscate issues and how to deceive the public.
The amazing thing is that, even though we all know "that's the way it works", we continue to let the political parties victimize us. Since we know these people are cheats and liars, why do we let those who control our political parties "sell" candidates to us? Why do we not make the candidates prove their right to represent us?
Employers filling critical jobs don't rely on the recommendations of their competitors. Why, then, do we continue to elect public officials based on nothing more than the hogwash spewed by the very people who benefit most from hoodwinking us?
If we want a better government, we must do what the parties do. We must subject applicants for public office (the candidates) to a rigorous screening process. In my opinion, that is best done by making the candidates compete among themselves for selection. They are the most motivated to expose the hypocrites and charlatans. If this does not appeal to you, propose a better idea.
Don't just sit there ... THINK!!