The answer, sadly, is that some Americans are profoundly stupid when it comes to voting. In 2008, one set of “we” voted for McCain even after his team chose Palin. A larger set of “we” (including me) voted for Obama.
This year, a surprising number of “we” came out for Santorum, one of the most stunningly out-of-touch presidential candidates in recent memory. Many more still support Romney, despite not having done anything for the people since helping to set up state-wide health care in Massachusetts when he was governor there. I think at that point in time, he was trying to out-Kennedy Ted Kennedy, a rich man with at least a few clues about government supporting people in need. Now, like most other Republicans, Romney wants to reduce the debt on the backs of the workers (especially government workers) while giving the rich a pass on tax increases.
Some of “we” seem completely incapable of figuring out that an America constantly at war, with an ever-widening gulf between poor and rich, consistently vote against their own self-interest by voting for Republicans who are only interested in helping the rich and not the whole country.
Politicians, religious leaders and business leaders have been flim-flamming Americans for generations. Sometimes, they’re just after our money or our support, but the politicians are also after our vote. We have to carefully evaluate where the politicians come from, and how they’ve evolved over time. While Obama has made mistakes, I have more trust in him, particularly after getting an initial health care bill passed through an incredibly hostile Congress, than I do for any Republican candidate.