To see the limitations… we just need to go back to mid-20th century American politics… Turnout in presidential elections generally exceeded 60%. More stringent campaign finance reforms were in place, and campaigns were a lot cheaper, reducing the role of money in politics. So this was when American politics was actually functional and representative, right?
Hardly. Between 1938 and 1963, Congress was dominated by a coalition of conservative Democrats and Republicans that consistently thwarted progressive reforms and civil rights legislation. Probably the most important legislation of the period was the Taft-Hartley Act, in which veto-proof bipartisan coalitions reached across the aisle to eviscerate American labor. The statute remains a major source of American inequality today.