At the level of presidential politics, the Republican and Democratic parties dominate and frame policy debate as well as determine what topics are suitable for public discourse and which ones are to be avoided (e.g., subsidies to oil giants and the US financial gifs to Israel). At the level of presidential politics, both parties manipulate and govern on behalf of the 1%. These two parties, and their talking heads, constitute the Duopoly. When we look at the most significant issues facing the 99% and the nation--the economy and our warfare on behalf of the military industrial complex--it doesn't matter whether a Democrat or a Republican wins at the presidential level. They are the Duopoly's Tweedle-de-dee and Tweedle-de-dum. The Duopoly is smart enough to divide the 99% over less less central issues that are hot-button red herring issues over which we the 99% can fight among ourselves. However important some of these issues may seem to be--and they are the volitle hot button isues-- they do weaken and keep the 99% fighting among ourselves. "Divide and conquer" or the variant "divide and rule" is a successful strategy and it's been around since Julius Caesar.
In American politics, the Duopoly, to maintain control, blocks Third Parties from getting onto ballots and from bringing the people's perspective into public debates and discussions. The two parties basically run our elections and hence our "democracy." That's the way the 1% likes it: no surprises. The 1% did not like the 1960s and had their global mouthpiece, the Trilateral Commission, publish a book "The Crisis of Democracy," which criticized the United States--hold onto your keyboard--for having TOO MUCH democracy in the 1960s! The author about American democracy, the neocon Samuel Huntington, complained that we had so much democracy in the 1960s that the executive had a difficult time ruling. Check it out for yourself: http://www.trilateral.org/download/doc/crisis_of_democracy.pdf