James Robertson is right of course, and in fact it's been MUCH worse at some points in the past.
To also address your point about "lacking in vision, creativity, or thoughtfulness", that's certainly nothing new either although it might be much worse in modern times because TV tends to emphasize "events" rather than rational thought. My hope is the Internet will allow more rational discourse and creativity as it gains wider use and acceptance. I guess it'll either be that or a non-stop X Files type conspiracy mill :/
This won't help settle down the firebrands (because they serve a useful function for the party as motivation to the base), but at least we finally have an arena for real discourse that we haven't had with TV and modern newpapers.