Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Has the Two-Party System Failed?
the-classic-liberal.com ^ | 2009-10-29 | theCL

Posted on 04/30/2012 9:01:32 AM PDT by Mozilla

The truth in American politics today, is that we have a one-party system, with Democrats representing one-side of the Big Government Party and Republicans representing another side of the Big Government Party.

Are "we the people" truly represented anymore?

We've grown so accustomed to the 2-party system, that we take it for granted that in America, the land of unlimited possibilities, choosing either a Democrat or Republican amounts to our only available option. And in a sense this is true, because over the years, our Overlords have written laws that game the system in their favor.

So, does our current 2-party system of Democrats and Republicans provide an accurate representation for "we the people"? Or in reality, does it act more to divide us, thus causing our country harm?

Our Founders were not necessarily advocates of political parties. Ben Franklin believed that "confusion engendered" with political parties. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay warned that a political party system would only create a "spirit of faction."

George Washington, our first president, refused allegiance to any political party during his 8 years in office, and thought that alternating between 2 parties would be a "frightful despotism."

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Republican Party came to represent farmers, the gold standard, fiscal responsibility, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. The Democratic Party represented the Southern landowners, Northern laborers, a fiat money system, a more powerful federal government, and an interventionist foreign policy.

Fast-forward to the modern parties ... The end of the Ronald Reagan administration and Cold War brought significant changes to the parties. The first being the ascendancy of "neoconservatism" with the Bush Sr. administration, and the second being Bill Clinton's "New Democrats."

The "New Democrats" began championing unrestricted globalization, social engineering and more government authority, while paying lip-service to free markets. The "neoconservatives" championed unrestricted globalization as well (while paying lip-service to the free markets), but also demanded an aggressive and interventionist foreign policy.

It's obvious our 2-party system hasn't solved the "issues" of the day. Instead, the system has become increasingly corrupt. Both parties continuously make promises they never intend to keep, and neither represents the people they claim to represent.

Why? Because both parties are committed to only one purpose - expanding the size and scope of government, and thus, their power. They both want control of our multi-trillion dollar federal budget, and nothing more.

As Ben Franklin warned too, the 2-party system has engendered confusion. The partisan name-calling of "wingnut" and "moonbat" offer nothing of substance to the debate, but merely divides. If you're anti-war, you're automatically a "radical leftist," while supporting the right to life makes you a "right-wing religionist." Even the words "conservative" and "liberal" don't have clear meaning anymore.

I believe the 2-party system has greatly divided our nation, pitting "we the people" against each other, whereas we once were united against the State.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2partysystem; dnc; gop; rino
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-84 last
To: Mozilla
"I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume."

-- President George Washington, Farewell Address


51 posted on 04/30/2012 1:06:05 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (You can be a Romney Republican or you can be a conservative. You can't be both. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

I see a whole lotta bitchin’ but not much solvin’!


52 posted on 04/30/2012 1:06:29 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla
Both parties continuously make promises they never intend to keep, and neither represents the people they claim to represent.

"The people they claim to represent"? There's the problem.

The two parties more or less do represent the people who vote for them, and now, more than in the past, they do represent one of two opposing ideological positions.

But representing "the people" and promoting an ideology conflict: getting to 50%+1 means being less ideologically purist and standing for one set of starkly opposing ideological positions all up and down the line means forfeiting those centrist votes that mean the difference between winning and losing.

There is a hardcore that represents strongly defined views, but that doesn't get you to 50%. To win, parties need to rely on people in the middle who only want a little bit more of one alternative and less of the other.

When people vote for a party they usually recognize this and vote for the party anyway. There's only so much that a party, a politician, a Congress can do anyway, and if you just frustrate the other side's plans you've done more than one can reasonably expect of any particular party or politician or Congress. But then the purists or militants or activists complain that the party didn't do what it couldn't do and wasn't ever going to do.

53 posted on 04/30/2012 1:07:04 PM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

Unicorns and two-party systems seem to go together.


54 posted on 04/30/2012 1:14:30 PM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Da Bilge Troll
I see a whole lotta bitchin’ but not much solvin’!

America's Party - SelfGovernment.US

55 posted on 04/30/2012 1:28:22 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (You can be a Romney Republican or you can be a conservative. You can't be both. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: ImJustAnotherOkie
There will be no reform until some form of runoff occurs.

Agreed.

If I knew no one could win with less than a majority, I would vote for a third-party conservative without hesitation.

But, everyone knows a runoff would be "too expensive."

We can throw billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars down bottomless entitlement rat holes every day for decades on end. But, suggest taking 1% of that money to fund a runoff election? That would be RACIST, right? /s

56 posted on 04/30/2012 1:37:13 PM PDT by newgeezer (It is [the people's] right and duty to be at all times armed. --Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

The US has dozens of political parties. It wasn’t meant to be a 2-party system. It’s just that human nature tries to reduce things to either-or, even if it means a false dichotomy.

You can see this tendancy in almost every debate, no matter what the subject. Just say “I don’t like X” and the other person will most often respond by accusing you of being the most extreme sort of supporter of Y. There’s no logic to it.


57 posted on 04/30/2012 1:45:26 PM PDT by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

Rather, a people get a Government they deserve, reflective of their national character.


58 posted on 04/30/2012 1:45:54 PM PDT by PGR88
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance
America's Party - SelfGovernment.US

BTDT. Open borders. Disarmament. No can do. Sorry.

59 posted on 04/30/2012 2:41:55 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: Zeddicus
Any self-labeled “conservative” who votes for Romney ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Principles are a little easier to maintain for those of us that live in Redder than Red states. Having said that, there has to be some way to stop this, or it won't matter anyway.

When it was apparent that McinSane was in the bag, I said then that tis man never intended to leave office, I really don't want to be right on that, but fear I may be. I also said when we had the original nine candidates that nine of them would ever be president. Again I suppose I would rather be wrong.

60 posted on 04/30/2012 3:15:29 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RC2
It was set back over 60 years by McCarthy,

One might argue that it was set forward 60 years, we now have 80 Black Caucus members that communists or at least recognized Socialists. We have more Communists in Hollywood than we ever did. If we had gained anything then the Venona papers would have been big news, they weren't. Those declassified KGB papers by the way, proved McCarthy was absolutely correct.

61 posted on 04/30/2012 3:22:31 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

The Two-party system has failed because at this stage of the game both parties stand for the same thing: “Goodness”! Neither party has principles or an ideology other than to be everything to everyone. And we are all at fault mocking the minor parties for having distinct programs and ideologies. In Italy, why, in Russia, the Communists have their own parties, here a Communist can join either major party and be elected, no one will kick him out of the party (what an ideer!) as would happen in multi-party systems if a member stepped out of line. You toe the line in such systems, and coalitions are built in the legislature and not within the party which stands for this and that and not for other things. We’ll be bitching about RINOs until the cows come home, but that is how the political system is constructed.


62 posted on 04/30/2012 3:33:57 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ItsForTheChildren
I agree, we need a run-off system. No one should become president with less than 50% of the vote.

Votes don't elect our president, Delegates do, so it is a ed herring to say that we elect someone with less than 50% of the vote, when in fact they may get less than 50% and still get elected, that is the way it is supposed to work. The RINO primary however is controlled by an Oligarchy.

63 posted on 04/30/2012 3:35:50 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

“Instead, the system has become increasingly corrupt. Both parties continuously make promises they never intend to keep, and neither represents the people they claim to represent. “

It’s time to say “Enough!”

I won’t do it anymore. I will not pull the lever for this garbage again. Ridicule me all you want. Tell me I’m not thinking strategically. Whatever. It’s time to get down to business.

Every traitorous, self-serving @sshole out there is pushing their luck. I honestly hope that they are enjoying their last few moments of largesse. It will make it that much sweeter when they realize they’ve gone too far.


64 posted on 04/30/2012 3:45:18 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Da Bilge Troll
BTDT. Open borders. Disarmament. No can do. Sorry.

Care to translate that into English?

America's Party is rock solid on secure borders and a strong defense.

65 posted on 04/30/2012 3:48:59 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (You can be a Romney Republican or you can be a conservative. You can't be both. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: itsahoot
The RINO primary however is controlled by an Oligarchy.

Campaign financing and the high cost of television advertising could be said to encourage oligarchy, but the problem is more open primaries in the early states, which give us candidates that party loyalists don't always want.

But I'm not so sure about the "Oligarchy" thing in general. The question is whether you want the party to be more representative of a particular philosophy or of opinion in the country as a whole.

Change the rules to get candidates who are more consistent ideologically but further from where most of the public is right now and somebody would still say an oligarchy controls the system, but it would be an oligarchy that you support.

66 posted on 04/30/2012 3:50:55 PM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: bmwcyle
Morality went out the window with government.

Or said another way; Good government went out the window with Morality. Even America's exclusive site for God, Family, Country, Life & Liberty conservatives, we find great resistance to the idea that we didn't just arrive in this situation because we elected a couple bad presidents.

We arrived here because we have rejected God and the unabridged teachings of out founders.

67 posted on 04/30/2012 3:53:58 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: ItsForTheChildren
To start with, Perry and your boy Romney, aren't even real Republicans. Perry converted after a long career of campaigning against Republicans, and Romney was actually making serious campaign donations to Democrats even while he was Governor of massachusetts ~ and had supposedly been voted in as a Republican.

So, let me say this about that, of the four you named TWO ARE RINOS and you didn't even realize it, so why should I discuss the matter further.

68 posted on 04/30/2012 5:48:32 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: itsahoot
Yep, you're right. My bad for not thinking before posting.

But I'm done with the GOP Democrat Lite.

69 posted on 04/30/2012 5:53:02 PM PDT by ItsForTheChildren
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: x
Because it takes 50%+1 to win an election there is NO MIDDLE. There are only two great modes in a bi-modal saddle that describes our belief and relationship systems.
70 posted on 04/30/2012 5:53:52 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

Several of the other candidates were running just to make Romney look good.


71 posted on 04/30/2012 6:00:08 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: discostu
Your proposal is to move the coalition making process from the public at large to the floor of Congress or the legislatures.

That's how they do it in Europe.

Most Americans have no idea what goes on in European parliamentary politics and you'd have a hard sell.

72 posted on 04/30/2012 6:03:49 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah

Most Americans have no idea what goes in in American party politics. My proposal would make “parties” not a part of the structure of the system. You can’t outlaw alliances, it would be a waste of time, but you can remove them from the structure. Which would remove a lot of their power, if only by opening it up to other “parties”. That’s part of the big problem right now, the structure of the federal government is built around there being 1 party that has the majority in a given chamber and a second party that has the rest of the seats. When was the last time when somebody without an R or D after their name got legislation even on the floor much less passed? Can’t do it, they’re outside the structure. Removing that structure opens things up to independents, new alliances, dissolution of alliances, and getting away from out headcount oriented politics.


73 posted on 05/01/2012 8:39:14 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 72 | View Replies]

To: discostu
It still takes 50%+1 vote to win an election in a single member district.

What that means is you MUST ally with other groups to get your candidate into office.

To eliminate "that problem" you need to abolish single member districts and set up the US as a single electoral district where all the Congresscritters are elected in a big ol' lump.

Then you'd get your third parties and everybody would have to campaign nationwide to get enough votes ~~~~~~~~~~~ and you'd have to be REALLY REALLY RICH to even think of running for office.

You think campaign ads are bad now, wait until you have 600 politicians running those ads in every city in the country ~ ~

74 posted on 05/01/2012 9:04:57 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah

But of course that district has been constructed to give 1 party a distinct advantage. It’s one of the reasons congressional approval is in the single digits on a general poll but 95% of them are going to be re-elected in November. If there aren’t parties constructing districts that problem goes away, you can still have districts without gerrymandering, and the districts become actually useful because the people in them are no longer pre-selected to keep one party in power.

Guys run for primaries now nationally without having to be really really rich. That’s what campaign donations are for. The only real difference in my system is that primaries reduce the field (probably to 5 for president, fewer for lower offices) instead of creating party nominees.

Campaign ads wouldn’t change at all. Primaries would be wide open like they are now, general elections a reduced field. Except of course you no longer have deep pocketed parties buying ads, because their alliances are now informal they’d have to donate to the campaign just like everybody else.


75 posted on 05/01/2012 9:14:14 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 74 | View Replies]

To: itsahoot

I was waiting for someone to say the truth. We are controlled by an Oligarchy the two parties are a joke and both are controlled by the ruling elite. In short an Oligarchy, not a Republic. In the GOP primary there were really only two candidates Ron Paul and everyone else, since everyone else was to a large degree a Bush like neocon GOPEer too, of that lot Newt was the best, Romney the worst.


76 posted on 05/01/2012 9:43:58 AM PDT by jpsb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

Yes.

(But it is basically because there is no party with significant government positions/seats/power that truly espouses small government, individual rights, and free markets.)


77 posted on 05/01/2012 9:49:49 AM PDT by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: discostu

If you had 600 politicians doing full nationwide advertising to get votes to represent the biggest district on Earth, you wouldn’t have time left for other broadcast communication. It’d eat all the bandwith!


78 posted on 05/01/2012 12:15:08 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah

It’s not going to be 600 politicians doing full nationwide advertising for the biggest district on earth, I already showed you why every piece of that is false. Read it and use your brain. Not having parties does not get rid of congressional districts, in only gets rid of having parties gerrymander districts to maintain their power.


79 posted on 05/01/2012 12:21:20 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance
America's Party is rock solid on secure borders and a strong defense.

Really? That's great. Let me know when they elect their first dog catcher.

80 posted on 05/01/2012 1:37:02 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
Because it takes 50%+1 to win an election there is NO MIDDLE. There are only two great modes in a bi-modal saddle that describes our belief and relationship systems.

I guess that's two big bumps on either side of the 50-50 mark. Let's be generous and say each bump has 40% of the population. To win you have to cut into that 20% in the middle. So those 20% or so of votes in the middle become very important.

Could you have a 60% or a 45% bump on one side and a 40% or 30% bump on the other? Not for very long. Things tend to even out. Either you push too far too fast and some of your majority drifts back to the center, or the other side outmaneuvers you for some key voting blocks, or voters drift away on their own. So you're back to needing to take a bite out of that 20% or so in the middle.

Could you bring out more of your 40% than the other side does and win that way? I don't know, the hard ideological core usually does turn out to vote. If you're getting your people out and the other side isn't getting their's out at all, you're probably also pulling in a lot of moderate swing voters and electing a lot of moderate representatives who will want to influence policy.

There's a tendency to assume that a winning candidate "owns" everybody who votes for him. Maybe Reagan did "own" the Reagan Democrats, but subsequent Republicans didn't (or if they did "own" those Reagan Democrats, they lost enough other votes from other groups to still be in trouble at the polls). People who are with us in one election won't always be with us in the next.

Say 40% of the population belongs to one philosophical camp and 40% to the other sharply distinguished philosophical camp. The election still comes down to the 20% or so in the middle.

81 posted on 05/01/2012 1:49:17 PM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]

To: Da Bilge Troll

Well, sure. Let me know when the GOP stops nominating socialist pro-choice democrats.


82 posted on 05/01/2012 1:50:08 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (Obama v. Romney: Zero plus Zero still equals Zero.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 80 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance

LOL! Will do!


83 posted on 05/01/2012 2:49:46 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: Mozilla

On the other hand, Libertarians support gays, drugs and open borders!!! And they dress like Lithuanian porn actors.


84 posted on 05/01/2012 2:55:19 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-84 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson