There are those who argue that the candidates are as trapped as the general public by the extreme positions of the most rabid politizens (I wonder if this is a new word and, if so, I want the credit for it!). In order for the candidates to win their respective parties nomination for the general election, they must cater to the extreme positions. Even the candidates with the most reasoned and nuanced positions must swerve to the sides of heated rhetoric in order hope to get to the general election within the party framework that has come to command the political system in the US. And as soon as they swerve to one side, all hope of moderation is lost and the debate has moved from one of being in the interest of all to the interest of the few. And, as the nation continues down this path, it is only a matter of time before the many move from their continued blind devotion to the ideals of the republic to the recognition that their public servants are no longer acting in the best interest of the nation as a whole but in the interest of those who wish to maintain power simply for the sake of power. And, upon that time, the issue becomes what will that majority do?
This is not to sound negative nor to imply that this is a fait accompli - merely a scenario that seems to be a likely occurrence given the way things progress today. I hope not.