right. in fact, parties are the death of democracy, just as cartels attempt to control 'free' markets.
america is not a democracy, and representative democracy is newspeak. a better label would be elective oligarchy.
america needs citizen initiative at the federal level, similar to that used in california and a few other states. with this tool, the electorate can bring the politicians under control. getting citizen initiative is the first necessary step, and it will be difficult. mike gravel, with his 'initiative for democracy' site seems to be on the right track. he also seems to be largely ignored, not only by the cow-people, but also by the dis-satisfied would-be activists. the constitution can be changed, has been changed, needs to change, but almost no one else talks about changing it.
so i conclude that one of the pre-conditions of productive action is missing: american culture has become 'traditional', anti-intellectual, and simply can not change itself.
change will happen, in response to the stresses in society, but it will be passive, even if violent. fascism is a better bet than democracy.