In the October issue of Harper's Magazine, there is a deeply cynical and very powerful article called "Why Vote?" subtitled "When your vote counts for nothing" by Kevin Baker. (It's not yet online, so I can't link to it.) It describes how modern candidates of both the left and the right don't seem to have any sense of obligation, once in office, to implement the policies or take the actions they promised when running for office. It's as if "candidate" and "elected person" don't have any memory or obligation connections between them.
The article is not partisan, nor does it focus only on America. It covers the democracies of Western Europe, the collapsing Euro zone, state governments here in the US, the politics of the left and the right.
At the end of the article, the author offers this advice:
So yes, go out and vote. Go vote for Barack Obama, and whatever other Democrats or progressives are running for office wherever you live. To vote for a Mitt Romney—to vote for the modern right anywhere in the West today—is an act of national suicide. The right is hollow to its core; it has no dreams, no vision, no plans to deal with any of the problems that confront us, only infantile fantasies of violence and consumption. But it is, at the moment, well funded, well organized, and feeling especially threatened. It is capable of anything.