Below refers to the writing of Lincoln Steffens in 1904, and very apt questions at the end of 2022. Emphasis added

“After Steffens laid out the corruption of seven cities, his conclusion pointed straight at readers in their easy chairs. The simple truth, Steffens wrote, was that politicians were expert readers of public demands, and the public had not demanded good government. Instead, for decades they had been driven by outrage, alternately between political parties, throwing out one set of bums, then the other. Steffens asked: “Do we Americans really want good government? Do we know it when we see it? Are we capable of that sustained good citizenship which alone can make democracy a success?””

The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915 by Jon Grinspan