America's voters are a highly divided and contentious bunch these days (these decades?), but it's debatable whether we're really more divided than at other points in America's history. In fact, I think that overwhelmingly, most Americans have an unspoken agreement with most Presidential candidates. The agreement is this: Presidential candidates will pretend that they are running for the office of supreme monarch and American voters will also pretend that they are running for this office, and frequently, we also pretend that this is in fact the office they occupy once 50-60% of us elect one of them. For the most part, we all want to play this game (apparently).
I discovered this by reading the Constitution once a year for the past 4 years with my American History class. If you take a look, you will notice that the President has very limited ("separate and enumerated") powers. For instance, the President has no essential responsibility for the U.S. economy. The President is also not a legislator. And yet, we acclaim or blame the President for the state of the economy. We also name legislation after them, despite the fact that said legislation (theoretically) originates in Congress and pass both houses of Congress to actually become a law).
Candidates famously make all sorts of promises about what they will do with regard to both the economy and legislation and "we the people" seem committed to appraising them on the basis of these proposed policies. For instance, Presidential candidates proclaim their "tax-plan" even though taxes are the jurisdiction of Congress, not the President. Ironically and unfortunately, the "bombing and wall-building" campaigns of GOP candidates, might actually be among the few items proposed by these candidates that fit the Constitutional responsibilities of Presidents, since the latter item relates to enforcing legislation and the former plays upon the now-fuzzy distinction between "making" and "declaring" war (apparently it is now totally acceptable for a President to make war without Congress ever declaring it).
Some people would say that this just goes to show how far we have drifted from the actual Constitution, and they would be right. By my reckoning, very few Presidents have not increased the power of the Presidency by their precedent. Americans may claim to oppose this, but I think the general approach to Presidential campaigns and elections indicates that we want it this way. We want it this way because even as things get more and more bureaucratically complicated (with some proposed bills running over 1000 pages - see here or here), we want things to be simpler than they were ever intended to be. And because we feel lazy, overwhelmed with our own responsibilities (and entertainment choices), and somewhat disenfranchised. 535 Congress-people? $5.8 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions? Tracking voting (and not-voting) records? That's complicated.
Our nation-wide game of pretend allows us to focus our praise and our blame on the President.
Nice and tidy.