The game of American Politics is played by skilled politicians (called players), but controlled by an elite ruling class of oligarchs (called owners). The game is comparable in many ways to pro baseball, except there are only two competing teams (called Republicans and Democrats). Like pro baseball, 1) the players work for the owners, not for the people who finance the game, 2) the players are well paid (especially highly skilled players), but the big profits go to the owners, and, 3) like baseball, the big profits in American Politics come from the pockets of the masses of people observing the game (called fans).
Like pro baseball, the owners (not the fans) get to choose the players. But in the game of American Politics, the fans occasionally get to pretend they choose the players through a process called voting. In fact, they only get to vote for an extremely narrow field of players pre-approved by the owners.
Many fans enjoy this voting phase of the game as much as the day-to-day game because voting is always great entertainment and fanfare (sponsored by mainstream media). During the voting phase, television "news" overflows with hilarious, pompous pundits, flashy productions of candidate "debates", and slick, deceptive, endlessly-repeating, 30-second political ads—all completely substance free for our entertainment pleasure.
After voting, the fans go back to simply watching the game being played. But unlike the voting phase, where the fans only pretend to participate, in the day-to-day playing of the game, the fans are true participants. In fact, the fans are the main participants since they are ultimately the source of the owners' big profits.
There shall be (only) two competing teams designated Republicans and Democrats. The two teams shall work together to prevent the organization of any independent teams that might work for the benefit of the fans instead of the owners.
2.0 Ostensible Object of the Game
Using honest debate, the two teams shall compete to see which team can pass the most laws that benefit the most fans (the source of the game's big profits).
2.0.1 Actual Object of the Game
Using coercion, cunning deception, and blatant lies, the two teams shall compete to see which team can pass the most laws that benefit the most owners (by fooling the most fans).
Players must emphatically claim they work for the fans. Players can accuse other players of working for the owners, but must never admit that all players work for their owners. Any player actually attempting to work for the fans shall face a rigged primary challenge next election, and/or be severely penalized using various tactics outlined in Appendix III.
4.0 General Play
Players compete as team members and as individuals to see who can transfer the most dollars from the fans' pockets to the owners' pockets. Obviously some of the fans' dollars must be spent for their benefit (otherwise they'd revolt), but points are scored by the team that can regularly minimize this wasteful loss of owner profits.
5.0 Mischief Mechanisms
To prevent either team from passing laws that might benefit the fans, the well-established policies and procedures described in Appendix IV shall be used. These "mischief mechanisms" include such things as the filibuster, rigged standing committees (that can easily kill any "unfavorable" legislation without a floor vote), and other such mechanisms specifically designed to neutralize any rogue players who attempt legislation that might actually benefit the fans.
10.0 Game Strategies
Since all players must claim they work for the fans while actually working for the owners, all game strategies must involve some form of deception. The game is essentially a contest to determine which of the two teams is best at lying to the fans.
Thus the basic game strategy underlying all other strategies is to recruit people highly skilled at lying as team members, and then to judiciously appoint the best-of-the-best liars to fill key team positions. For example, the Speaker of the House should probably be the very best liar on the team since (as head of the "people's chamber") that player must adamantly claim to represent the best interests of the fans (while blatantly doing just the opposite).
10.1 Never answer the actual question
If asked if you take money from big oil, drone on about how you support (or don't support) wind energy subsidies.
10.2 Always point out your shady actions are legal
Don't be tricked into discussing the morality of your actions, simply point out it's legal ("Yes, I hid millions in the Cayman Islands, but it's perfectly legal"). Of course, don't mention your team passed the law that made it legal.
10.4 Always be vague when expressing opinions
It behooves you to keep as many fans as possible so never alienate fans by taking a clear position on anything. Use your vast lying skills to walk the fine line exactly midway between all opposing views.
10.5 Appeal to emotion, not intellect
Make fans feel, not think. Facts aren't important. Tell them you're working with the big coal companies to develop a process where coal combustion releases only water vapor and the smell of lilacs. Fans love the smell of lilacs.
10.6 Always practice your lying skills
Remember, you're a player only because you're a good liar. Practice whenever you get the chance. If someone asks you what you had for dinner last night, lie--just for the practice. If you want to remain a player in American Politics, you must keep your lying skills in tip top shape.