The reach of the federal government has become so broad that voters can no longer analyze the ramifications of various actions and ideas, and so cannot figure out which candidate is best.
How may people understand the effect of Obamacare on Medicare? The effect of ethanol legislation on energy independence, pollution, and food prices? The effect of Sarbox on international competitiveness? The pros and cons of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The effect of Quantitiave Easing on inflation? The net effect of immigration laws and their enforcement? Whether or not unfunded entitlement obligations are a problem?
We have a government with no guiding principles because our leaders long ago found it easier to become politicians than statesmen.