In theory, American politicians choose policies which will find favor in the eyes of the electorate. In practice, American politicians choose phrases which will find favors in the eyes of the electorate as mediated by television. Then the politicians do whatever the heck they want. Joan Didion spells out what's wrong with our politicians, politics, media, and voters. When our military finally rises up for a great coup, I hope they make Joan Didion Generalissima-for-Life. They probably won't do that, though.