The United States of America has been following a set standard for mainstream politics for upwards of 250 years. Since Abraham Lincoln set the stage as the first president to represent the Republican Party, the Democrats and Republicans have been butting heads.
But is a two-party system really the best answer?
Currently, the Democrats, or “Left-Wing,” tend to hold more liberal views (open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values), while the Republicans, or “Right Wing” tend to be more conservative (holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation). These parties each claim to have the best interest of the country, with very different views on issues such as abortion, health care, and gun rights. However, the two usually are caught up in their own personal battles, and that sometimes clouds the best decision because neither side will make compromises and put aside their party ideals. This can have huge effects on society. For example, we have been cheated out of a better economy because of a small fraction of politicians’ inability to cooperate together.
Recently during Bernie Sanders’ first bid for president in 2016, he ran as a Democrat, something he had never done before. Even after his eventual defeat in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, Sanders is currently seeking election to the Senate as an Independent. The point of this bizarre switch of affiliations for Sanders could quite possibly be that it is next to impossible to gain traction or even have a legitimate chance for the Presidency, being anything other than a GOP (Republican) or DNC (Democratic) member. It’s a reason we don’t hear Fox News, MSNBC, CNN etc. cover the Green Party or Libertarian Party when November comes around, because they don’t stand a chance.
Senior Mya Williams believes that in this society, third-party candidates do not have a real shot at a position in higher office.
“The two-party system has taken over, and those are who people associate themselves with,” said Williams. “If the two parties weren’t so well known, then perhaps. However, those who run with the Democratic and Republican parties are well known candidates and often win over the public. Those not associated with a party have less of a chance, especially with those less progressive.”
The DNC and GOP have won every US Presidential Election since 1852 and the streak doesn’t seem to be ending soon. Political discussions are rarely based on a thorough look through policies and plans, but which party someone aligns themselves with. In a perfect society, the two parties would group people who have overall similar viewpoints and give and take ideas from each party to construct an overall better plan for the country. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
A huge factor why some say politics will never transfer from a two-party system is because it’s easier for uninformed voters to make decisions. People who align with their usual parties share a lot of the same ideas. To that let me say this: the two primary parties have major discrepancies among moral and economic issues. The Republican party believes in small government, gun ownership, and is pro-life, while the Democratic party favors big government, stricter gun laws, and is pro-choice. With so many stances sided into one party, Americans are forced to side with a candidate who they disagree heavily on huge topics, but will still support that nominee because they don’t want to abstain from voting or virtually waste their vote on an unlikely third-party candidate.
The system also pressures youth into aligning a certain way politically just based on the candidate’s party rather than indulging in their policies. Teens are influenced into aligning into parties their parents favor just because they were raised hearing things favoring that party. If you grow up in a household favoring a particular belief or party, you are more likely to go along with that belief.
The fact of the matter is that having a government dominated on two political parties is a disservice to society. We should look into exploring alternative systems of organizing government for the wellbeing of this country and the future of a great and prosperous nation.