In the past, Singapore's economic prowess was attributed to a highly disciplined workforce, aided by a populace that (purportedly) preferred growth over democratic rights, and enabled by a no-nonsense, autocratic style of governance. Ironically, such a regimented approach is undoing much of what has been accomplished.
This past Sunday, WaPo ran an op-ed, asking whether "a little corruption should matter to voters." The most logical explanation for this reaction is the low expectations that most Americans already have for their public (and especially, elected) officials -- a streak that is as American as apple pie.
Rather than being devoted to finding the best policy alternative, the divisions of party leave us to pursue only the second or third best alternative, usually the one that gives the least amount of credit to the other side. It is a downward spiral toward ever more narrow and inflexible partisanly limited options.