Courtesy Reuters

Decades from now, when historians are tempted to examine American opinion at the time of the United States' 2008 presidential election -- which has been hyped by some as the most important in over a century -- old Foreign Affairs articles are likely to prove instructive. They will confirm that the United States appeared to suffer from what may best be described as a "democratic deficit." It will seem that political sages were an endangered species, with imagination and boldness scarcely evident in an excessively timid and puerile political oratory, but the more serious condition may have been the poverty of

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.