The Decentralization of Politics: Discarding The Two-Party System
Politics has become a centralized system in which one of “two wings of the same bird” are presented to be elected, providing an illusion of choice
The philosophy in American politics of voting for the lesser of two evils has gotten us to where we are now. When you vote for the lesser of two evils, aren’t you still voting for one of the evils? Why has this mindset become so pervasive amongst American voters? George Washington once warned against the rise of political parties, particularly referring to a two-party state. Nearly 240 years later, the United States has become the very subject of his distaste. There is absolutely no sensible reason for only two political parties controlling virtually every public office in a nation of 330 million people. The solution to this is either the abolition of political parties or the removal of the duopolistic stranglehold of the Rs and the Ds.
Since the presidential election of 1976, not one candidate that didn’t have an R or a D by their name has been able to get even a single electoral vote. In 1972, John Hospers was able to get one electoral vote running as a Libertarian in the party’s inaugural year. Prior to that, in 1968, George C. Wallace got 46 electoral votes running as an American Independent. No candidate from a third party has even gotten enough votes to threaten the two-party cartel since the election of 1860, when John C. Breckenridge of the Southern Democratic party was able to get 72 electoral votes and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party got 39 electoral votes.
Since the dawn of this great nation and the creation of our constitution and bill of rights, one of the unique features of the United States of America is the fact that we allow freedom of speech and religion, and have been the immigration melting pot of the world for much of recent world history. With all of the people here who have different life experiences, perspectives, and cultural norms, you would think that that would spawn a diversity of opinion in politics. Sadly, that is not reality. Similar to how corporate chains have homogenized towns around the country, the two-party system has given the illusion that everyone has one of two opinions on virtually every issue in the political landscape. It has bred a corrosive “us vs. them” mentality that amplifies the division which is actually not very large.
The modern Democratic party claims to be protecting voting rights for all while many modern Republicans claim to support election integrity. (The funny thing is, I wrote the previous sentence before I had the sources, and when doing more research, I found nearly the exact words that I wrote on the Democrat/GOP websites). These vague political talking points are simultaneously both hypocritical and very revealing to the true intentions of the party establishments. The Democrats want more uninformed voters to vote in elections because their voters skew much younger than Republican voters, and thus have less life experience and typically know much less about the political system. The Republicans want election integrity but they usually only want this after they lose an election, sometimes fair and square, but sometimes there are some fraudulent activities going on such as ballot harvesting.
It is almost as if the entire political structure and election seasons have just become yet another game to distract the American people. In what sane society would people unironically vote for John Fetterman to be a senator? I feel awful for the guy that he suffered a stroke and sincerely hope that he gets better, but how are people voting for him after watching him speak? He needs a voice-to-text machine because the stroke that he had affects his auditory abilities and he cannot comprehend words that are spoken to him. Dr. Oz is almost as bad as Fetterman from a Republican perspective. Oz supported sex change surgeries for children up until 2018 and promoted the Jussie Smollet “MAGA attack” hoax, yet simply because he has an R by his name, conservatives are going to vote for the guy. This shows that Republicans are not serious and will not hold their party accountable and force them to run legitimate candidates for office.
Decentralization is an important aspect of the political system in the United States because it helps to ensure that power is distributed among different levels of government, rather than being concentrated in the hands of a single authority. This helps to prevent abuses of power, promote fairness and equality, and provide a check against the concentration of too much power in the hands of a single individual or group. Additionally, decentralization allows for local governments to be more responsive to the specific needs and concerns of their constituents, which can help to foster a stronger sense of community and improve the quality of life for citizens.
The two party system in the United States is bad for a number of reasons. Some of the main drawbacks include:
Lack of representation: The two party system often leads to a lack of representation for political views that fall outside of the mainstream. For example, the Democrat and Republican political machines are both avidly pro-war, but the majority of Americans are not so willing to fund a war using their money.
Polarization: The two party system often leads to extreme polarization and gridlock in government. This makes it difficult for politicians to work together and find common ground on important issues. However, this polarization seems to dissipate whenever a bill is proposed where the IRS demands that you include every single transaction greater than $600 on your taxes.
Limited choice: The two party system often means that voters only have two options to choose from in elections. This can lead to a lack of competition and a lack of accountability for politicians.
Lack of accountability: Because there are only two parties, This can make it difficult for voters to hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions because there are not many, if any, other viable options for representation.
Inability to adapt to changing circumstances: The two party system can be inflexible and slow to adapt to changing circumstances. This leads to a lack of innovation and progress in government.
Lack of competition: With only two parties that are guaranteed to receive nearly every vote, they have no incentive to better themselves and put the interests of the people first. There is effectively a 0% chance that they will face a challenge by a 3rd party candidate in nearly every district.
One major factor contributing to this polarization is the increasing ideological divide between the two parties. The Democrats have traditionally been seen as the more liberal party, supporting progressive policies such as higher taxes on the wealthy and universal healthcare. Meanwhile, the Republicans have been known for their conservative stances on issues such as gun control and taxation. This divide has only grown wider in recent years, with both parties becoming more extreme in their positions and less willing to work with the other side.
However, this apparent divide is only a mirage projected by the political establishment to stoke hatred and contempt among the American people. If you truly look at what congressmen and women vote on, you will see that while they will appear to vote along party lines on bills such as immigration and abortion, they will vote near unanimously on bills to send another $13 billion to Ukraine or to authorize the Fed to print another couple trillion dollars and devalue our currency. The ideological divide is reinforced by the media, with the corporate press often framing issues in a way that reinforces the ideological divide between the two parties. This can create a feedback loop, where people become more entrenched in their beliefs because they are only exposed to information that supports their views.
Another factor is the rise of special interest groups and the influence they have on political campaigns and policy making. These groups, which often align with one party or the other, have become increasingly powerful and have pushed the parties further apart by funding candidates and promoting their own agendas. This has led to a situation where politicians are more beholden to these groups than they are to their constituents, further exacerbating the polarization within the system. The consequences of this polarization are far-reaching and damaging to the democratic process. It makes it difficult for politicians to work together and find common ground on important issues, leading to gridlock and inaction. It also alienates many voters, who may feel like their voices are not being heard and that their elected officials are not representing their interests.
Furthermore, the two-party system has faced criticism for its exclusivity and lack of representation. Many argue that it restricts the political views and voices of those outside of the Democratic and Republican parties, limiting the range of perspectives and ideas in our government. Additionally, the rise of social media and the internet has allowed for the spread of alternative viewpoints and political ideologies, making it easier for people to find and connect with like-minded individuals. This has led to the rise of movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, which challenge the dominance of the two major parties. A little known story is that the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street actually had nearly identical goals back in the early 2010s. They may have desired different means, but they wanted to achieve the same ends. Then, big banks and corporations co-opted Occupy Wall Street because they did not want the left and the right united against the monetary establishment. The corporations decided to stoke racial tensions and make people fight each other again, which is an unknown catalyst of the current “woke supremacist” movement that is now so popular.
Another factor is the rise of third parties and independent candidates. In recent elections, candidates like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader have gained significant support, despite not being affiliated with either of the major parties. This shows that there is a growing discontent with the two-party system and a desire for more choices and alternatives. While these candidates did not win any states, and thus no electoral votes, they made a lot more people aware that there are parties that don’t want to extort their voter base. Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders had the greatest impacts on the country for candidates who didn’t even win their party primaries. Bernie eventually bent the knee to the Democratic establishment and endorsed Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but Ron Paul inspired a generation of people in the late 2000s who are older now, and leading the revamped version of the Libertarian Party. As I detailed in an earlier piece, the Mises Caucus has taken over the Libertarian Party leadership and has infused the party with a young, more vibrant energy, a sharp contrast to the boring beltway libertarians elevated by the party in the past. Andrew Yang also started a new party recently, called the Forward Party. While I disagree with many of his parties platforms, I wish him all the best in taking votes from the Democratic Party.
No matter who is elected, whether they have an R or a D after their name, the government is going to grow, the national debt is going to grow, taxes are going to increase, and your civil rights and liberties are going to be infringed. Ukraine is still going to receive billions of taxpayer dollars, the Federal Reserve will continue to print billions of dollars, and congress will consistently vote to increase their own salaries. Until both Republicans and Democrats face accountability from their voting base and competition outside of their political influence, those parties will continue to perpetuate themselves until the fall of the empire. I would never wish for the fall of the empire that I live under, but everyday it seems that a national divorce would probably benefit more people than it would harm.
Good article...definitely makes you think. Good graphics & you can tell it’s well researched!