America’s broken two-party system and the political future of the country

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WASHINGTON, February 28, 2014 — America’s two party system is broken, has been for some time, and continues without interruption to show ever more clearly that this is so.

There was a time period when this system was legitimate and important for the US, but this is no longer the case.  The two main parties have folded in on each other in sick and perverse ways to the detriment of the country. These important, vying ideological impulses once made the existence of Republicans and Democrats and the energy of their law-governed battles, a plus for America.

A main place where these ideological impulses play out is the political arena. Politics thus is inevitable and necessary, even though it always has been ugly. Journalists and commentators love to trot out the history of political ugliness every time someone decries partisanship.  But ugly political behavior should be recognized as a distraction, not as the focus when examining America’s dominant parties.

In our time, the core ideological roots of both parties have been compromised by computer aided campaigning run by true believers turned cynics. This is why the two-party system in America is irreparably broken, and no longer rooted in genuine difference.


The US now needs a newly structured political playing field that will allow the country to recover the conversation that once was embodied in its two party system. It is crucial to recover vital conversation between vying ideologies for government and citizenship. This is what has been lost.  Now all that remains is the ugliness of the politics. It is not the ugliness itself that necessarily bothers the citizen, but rather the reduction of political life to ONLY ugly politics, in an ideologically vacuous atmosphere.  The “parties” have become nothing but primitive gangs squandering national resources to secure for their tribe the spoils of power and money.

The “Republican Party” should be the collection of political impulses, interpretations, and pursuits arising from easy to identify core assumptions.  As should “Democratic Party.”  Republicans should represent and fight for realities that support their core convictions about how human beings are best served and supported.  As should Democrats.

Republicans believe that mediating structures (usually natural – such as family, and voluntary – such as church, synagogue, temple, club) can be relied upon to temper the bad human impulses (greed, oppression, exclusion) of free people. Thus prosperity for all flourishes in direct proportion to the extent people are made truly free.

Democrats, on the other hand, believe that these mediating structures instead of tempering bad impulses, actually expand and extend these bad impulses, thus “freedom” inevitably results in inequality that must be rectified by the forces of the State.  It is the mission of government to use its power to reduce inequality (by force and intervention), and protect and uplift the “victims” of this “badness” that abounds and is perpetrated by anyone who is “free” namely ungoverned.  In short Republicans properly should tend to view that the State should endeavor to be as minimal as possible (advancing as much freedom as possible), and Democrats properly should advance the view that the State use force to ensure care and opportunity for the “oppressed” and the disenfranchised.  

Any thinking person (i.e., not ideologically rabid and possessed) should recognize some truth in both impulses, and imagine that a nation’s best welfare would arise out of vigorously engaged ‘battles’ among leaders who were genuinely oriented toward the welfare of citizens, instead of oriented toward the spoils of power.  What is likely best for a nation is some blend of the radical freedoms and reliance on mediating institutions once presumed to be a Republican impulse, while recognizing and acknowledging benefit from  government attention to the welfare of citizens in need and disadvantaged, once presumed to be a Democratic impulse.

A one party system removes the spoils of power element to a better extent that a two party system, and thus would recreate an environment in which this all important debate between two legitimate forms of political ideology can continue to animate the pursuit and implementation of our ideals for government and the people who permit and support it.

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  • Gordon Anderson

    Codewords for what these parties could ideally be might be “Personal Justice” and “Social Justice.” These two are both necessary for a healthy society, but if you push either principle to the extreme you end up harming the other, or the whole. I think one reason the party system worked better in past that the members in the party, and the elites leading them were grounded in values that recognized that a blend of individual justice and social justice is necessary. Today, money trumps conscience almost completely, so that parties use the control of government to get benefits for those who donate to them. The rhetoric of Freedom and Justice is simply empty rhetoric, and Constitutional Principles and intents are mentioned only to help the masses think the system hasn’t been hijacked by donors to these parties. Supreme Court decisions that allow massive contributions to parties by special interests so the Court doesn’t take the Founder’s concerns about “factions” (which the parties are) very seriously. In fact Supreme Court justices, too, are increasingly partisan, setting it on the dysfunctional track of the Congress.

  • Like most Americans. I was taught that Americans live in a Left Wing (
    Democrats) vs. Right Wing (Republicans) political landscape. In the far
    extremes was, of course, Communism vs. Nazi/KKK. Again, Right vs. Left.
    Therefore we must be equally wary of the Communist leaning Democrat and
    the Nazi/KKK leaning Republican. Many a college student has eyed me
    suspiciously when I attack the error of Communist thought. Sure to
    follow my presentation is the predictable “symmetry” argument. “We need
    Democrats (no matter how Stalinist their policies) to counter-balance
    those Racist Greedy Nazi-leaning Republican/Tea Party types. It was
    the brilliant Dan Fefferman that first educated me to the fact that this
    entire matrix/paradigm is brought to you by our dear Marxist activists.
    When we use their words we accept their premise. In reality, Communism
    and Nazi-ism are both totalitarian twins. The more accurate terms
    are:…. Liberty Vs. Tyranny…..As both Mark Levine and Justin Moon
    put it: We can have freedom with responsibility. Without responsibility
    there is no true freedom. The Democrat and Republican “leadership” are
    both heavily invested in corrupt Crony Capitalism. My evidence is that:
    GE, Big Pharma, Labor Unions (especially Government Employee Unions)
    Trial Lawyers, Goldman Sachs (among other Wall Street players) and
    Insurance giants…(wait for it)…all gave huge donations to Obama.
    Some gave to both parties! All of them got great returns on their
    investment. Bush and Obama both grew government. Big government
    Republicans do not “balance” Big Government Democrats.. Policy wise,
    Obama is Bush on Steroids.

  • While fully participating in policy discussions, I no longer look to Government for solutions. Even if they made me Emperor of America, I could not fix our fundamental problems, no matter how perfect my laws. Why? Because the basis for American Exceptional-ism is all but destroyed. This once great Republic was great because it was good. We are arguably the grand experiment in Protestant Christian Values/Ethics codified into a simple creed. A creed that Americans once defended. We are not a single racial tribe, or the lineage of a royal family. We are literally a Faith Based Nation. Our creed was our foundation. You can still find it printed succinctly in our money: “In God We Trust- Liberty-” and “E Pluribus Unum”. Simple, pithy, and profound. I know of no other nation founded on such ideals. Some have wisely borrowed from our constitution and creed. But it started here. Democracies have come and gone. There are other “Faith based nations. Countries that were nominally founded on “values” were, of course, the dictatorships: Communist, Islamic, etc. come to mind.

    We must rediscover and live the eternal values that made America prosper in our Glory Days. When the Republican President of the Union defeated the White Seperatists Democrates we freed the Slaves. Once the Democat party was destroyed we (Radical Negro Loving Republicans) passed the 14th and 15th Amendments locking equal rights into the fabric of the Constitution. At that point God could Bless America as never before. By 1920 we surpassed all of Western Europe in Freedom and Prosperity. We were the dominate power in the world by the end of WWII. By the 1960s we started to lose our moral and spiritual identity. This bears closer examination. Do we still believe in and trust God. Do we accept responsibility and exercise mature freedom? Are we “From Many-ONE?” Well…not like we used to be. When we embrace our True Identity, Faith, Values, and Creed, we will be headed back on the right path. What say you?

  • Vincent Ioppolo

    Greg Bowman, I say damn near spot on. The problem that many refuse to recognize is that the democratic party as well as a large block of the republican party have embraced Marxist ideology. The democratic party being by far the worst offender. As long as our nation keeps heading down that road the farther we will get from our founding principles, all to the detriment to we, the people.

  • Tristan Bryant Fessler

    Okay, so we have a problem. I’ve read many articles about this problem, and most state what they think is a better alternative to the current Two-Party System. But what they don’t say is how they plan to instate their alternative. Okay, you have a system. How do you plan to get it in place?