The problem is that this system has been thoroughly polarised and distorted due to the amount of money that has been thrown at this process.
No, not really. I know that's the prevalent leftists meme, but it really doesn't wash, and a Constitutional amendment to change free speech, and license journalists, and all the other statist ideas are just a way to protect incumbents and provide them more power to shut people up. Already the rules are quite onerous - I know, I tried doing the accounting for a VERY small disconnected political committee. It's a full-time job just to keep up with the reporting requirements, and it's often used as a tool to crush [real] grassroots opposition, because almost nobody can follow the rules to the letter, and the organization treasurer is personally and criminally liable for failing to deliver reports on time.
The 2-party duopoly is certainly an issue, as Washington warned about. It breaks the balance of power of the executive / legislative / judiciary, because they end up with more loyalty to party than to their branch. But the real issue is the break-down of the Republic, which is designed to vest the greatest authority in the people, then the local government, then state, then Federal which is supposed to have supremacy, but only in very limited, specific powers. State governments are much more responsive to their constituents, and local governments even more so. Unfortunately, the Feds are now exerting police powers (which they were never supposed to have at all), the bureaucracies are heavily armed (from the FBI to the USDA even down to the Department of Education), and the centralization of power is out of control.
Rule of law? Who at the Federal level does anything but laugh at such an idea - it's gone.