The Detriments of a Two Party Political System

Adam Steiner, Editor-in-Chief

The United States political system operates based on two primary parties, which vie back and forth for power; however, having only two of these parties instead of a vast multitude of them is detrimental to the political health of the United States.

A number of democracies, including almost all of them in Europe, have created a party system that allows for individuals to identify with much smaller parties. These smaller parties then work in what is called a coalition to achieve things that they, together, would like to see implemented.

Having to work in these coalitions forces these parties to work together, helping to ease the divisiveness between them, because depending on the issue, parties have to work with coalitions assembled of different parties.

For example, for individuals who say that they find themselves to be “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” (and there are a growing number of these), in Europe there are a number of sub-parties that they could become members of in order to fit a party that more aligns with their ideals.

Having only two parties also creates a dangerous division among the people, as well as those who we select to represent us.

We can see this growing rift in our current culture as individuals now interlock their personal identity with their political identity, and often become upset when individuals disagree with them. Instead of having thoughtful political discussions across party lines anymore, we tend to shut out, or try to shut down the opposition, creating a culture where we no longer learn from or listen to those that we disagree with.

As a result, we’ve created political gridlock that makes it overly-difficult for anything to be achieved.

What this means is that, individuals as referenced above, are required to pick their party based on whether they find their social values or their economic beliefs are more important to them, and then they must pick a corresponding party.

Unfortunately, in the United States, we have also created a political culture that does not allow for these smaller parties to really take root or have a chance for success.

As a people we have generally accepted the fact that we have two options when it comes to mainstream political parties because, in all honesty, all other parties (otherwise known as third-parties) are a joke.

The Libertarian and Green party, in actuality, have no political power, not because their ideas are bad or because they are poorly managed, but because they lack money.

Politics in the United States is so heavily tied in with money, it’s like stink on…well, you probably know the saying. Lobbyists and large corporations are going to continue to back the Republicans and Democrats simply because everyone else is; it’s a waste of money to support a third party who, even with cash support, is so outgunned they will have no political power.

What this all boils down to is the fact that if money keeps being such an influential power in American politics, than we will continue to have only two parties.

In America, we need to see a splitting of political parties. The Republican and Democratic party entrenching themselves along their party lines, and generally not working with each other, even if they share a majority of the same view points.

These parties are decrepit and need to be recycled, so that newer, modern parties (parties plural, meaning at least four to five of them) can rise and hopefully fix our system of division before it reaches a boiling point.