...is largely the process of millionaires spending inordinate amounts of money in an attempt to convince people that -other- millionaires are spending inordinate amounts of money convincing them of things.
It's not even grounded to anything anymore; this is the postmodernist era of the political art, full of abstract pieces that don't mean anything but that's okay because the whole "meaning" concept is conceptually oppressive, man.
I've seen Democrats -literally argue to me- that Hobby Lobby only protested in the first place because they hate Obama because they're racists. There are Republicans who -legitimately believe- this is all an attack on religion. And six months from now the arguments will be completely different, based on completely different principles, and everybody will behave as if this is the way it's always been.
Which means, in a curious roundabout way, that politics is fundamentally about -fashion-. Which shouldn't surprise me, but does anyways, and explains so very much about how society got to where it is.