Wall Street Journal of Sept. 10, 2011, titled Who's the Real Illusionist?... I hope this is not too cynical. Politicians are essentially full time magicians on the public stage. they have to make a majority of "subjects" believe in, like, and vote for them. That task is fairly easy in a small tribal group, but a polyglot mix of hundreds of millions of people is harder to crack, even with mass media. And, note the "politicians" includes high level bureaucrats, union leaders, college presidents, non profit leaders, upper military officers, and any number of minor, over-credentialed, ambitious wannabee organizers. The game appears to be 3 card monty, and the trick to master is the "lift shuffle", where the result seems random but is actually controlled. The incentive for the politician to work hard to create the illusion is personal power (and resultant wealth). The incentive for the public to believe the politician's illusion is stability, or the suppression of uncertainty.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. -from the Declaration of Independence