Eh, that seems a pessimistic view.
More cynical than pessimistic, but yes. Live in Belgium long enough and you quickly learn that most politicians are out for their wallets and will say and do anything to get there. Real figures of state are hard to come by and because they would bring actual change, they are also warded from the public eye as much as possible.
I don't agree with this. Knowing--for certain--that someone is going to do batsh*t stuff in the White House does not make me want to vote for them.
Didn't say I'd vote for him. Well, I would between him and Hillary because I honestly think she'd do more damage, but that's a choice between the lesser of two idiotic evils and I'd sooner abstain.
Well, what's the point of voting then? If a change in a politician's attitude should only come from internal reflection, not from the polls, why not just find the smartest guy in the country, make them president and stop having polls? I understand what you mean and sympathise with it to some extent, but that's not a democracy. If you want government of/for/by the people then a necessary part of that is politicians listening to the people and occasionally doing what they, the people, want even if the politician in question doesn't agree with it.
Actually, if you were able to find the objectively smartest person in the country that would do the objective best for the entire country and beyond, then yes, why bother having polls when that person exists and you know their address. Sadly, this is impossible, so what we have instead is the next best thing: democracy. And politicians are experts are wading through it all to their own benefit, with a minority actually having a passion for it and a desire to do good - whatever their opinion may be.
And the whole reason we have elections is to elect politician that AT THAT TIME represent that government of/for/by the people. They can change their opinions, but if that's all you see them do, there's a red flag. As for doing what the people want, that depends. The politician was elected because they were trusted to do what was right, the reason we have elections regularly is because this may have changed. Should they listen to the people if they have a significant grievance? Yes, but again, they should not just flipflop and fold every ten seconds because the majority has changed. To put it bluntly, a lot of people are idiots (myself included when it comes to governing a nation) and sometimes the slightest thing can cause an opinion shift to a very wrong place and it's a politician's duty to try and resist going along with it. Just look at Europe's ever-continuing shift to radical right, you're going to have some politicians turning coat before long because they want to jump on a different bandwagon. Something like that can be prevented with someone that was elected in a calmer period and that has a backbone.
I think I may need to clarify. Polls are a useful barometer of the public's opinion. However, many things can affect public opinion, so it's important that they are not the sole reason for a politician to change positions. Seeing a change in public opinion should produce the response of 'I should look into this more', not 'Fred, get my speech-writer on the line. Press conference in 10 minutes on whatever this thing is.'
Precisely what I mean and much more succinct.