Having watched american politics from the sidelines, and through the highly polarized lens of dysfunctional media, one has to wonder what the CIA World Factbook means when it says that the US has a "strong democratic tradition". I don't see it.
I don't see a press that is capable of objectively reporting the facts. And I don't understand how you can have a democracy when politicians get elected mainly on the basis of how successful their heavily funded PR campaigns were.
The only obvious way to start fixing the severely dysfunctional political process would be to outright ban campaigns as they exist today. No more political commercials or advertising. No more donations from corporations and private parties. No more special interests keeping politicians as pets. Strict anti-corruption laws and strict enforcement of same laws.
The only campaigning that should be allowed is unscripted debate on public television. With a tight regimen of fact-checking and public exposure of politicians who lie or distort.
If politicians are allowed to lie and misinform the voters and to leverage billions of dollars in elaborate propaganda efforts to gather votes you do not have an election as much as you have an auction -- where the power goes to the highest bidder.