America Needs To Do Away With The Two-Party System [Opinion]

The two-party system within American politics needs to be done away with so that voters can truly choose representatives that actually represent them.

Red or blue, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat: these are the defining characteristics of American politics and have been since its inception. While the party names have changed over the course of America’s history, the two-party system has been the way America has run for over two centuries, and it is time for a change.

The latest presidential election, more than any before it, highlighted the disparity voters face when choosing someone to represent them and/or lead America. On the one hand, we have Donald Trump, a narcissistic, brash man who bears little resemblance to past presidents. On the other, we had Hillary Clinton, an outspoken, left-leaning Democrat closely tied to Wall Street and big banks.

According to The Ring of Fire Network‘s Josh Gay, “If you are like me, you were underwhelmed with the choices that you were presented with in the ballot box in November. I’m not fond of corporate influence in our electoral process, so choosing between a billionaire and a puppet of Goldman-Sachs was not an appealing option for me.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan

What makes the situation even more untenable for a voter-base growing ever more diverse is the lack of options even at lower representative levels. Essentially, you and I must either choose Republican or Democratic if we truly want to have some form of representation. The third parties we may agree with more than the major two simply do not have the traction we need to get the representation we deserve.

In my case, while I typically vote for an independent candidate in presidential elections, when it comes to House and Senate races, the third-party groups tend not to have sufficient traction for me to believe my vote will really matter. If I want to vote for a Green Party or Libertarian candidate, I know that they will most likely lose the race. I often still choose them because I want to make a difference somehow, but the effect of my vote is usually null and void.

In addition to the lack of traction third parties typically have, the bipartisan nature of American politics means I can’t actually be represented according to my ideal ideology.

To wit, I support aspects of both the Democratic and Republican platforms, yet I cannot effectively choose a candidate that will support that. If I support Obamacare and want it to stay, I cannot vote Republican as more than likely they will work to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If I oppose abortion, I cannot vote for Democrats, as their candidates tend to be pro-choice. If I value the environment and the well-being of our world, but also support business expansion and economic growth, who then do I pick? The end result is a compromise of my ideology, as I must choose the candidate that is the least harmful to the direction I want the country to go.

US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Doing away with a two-party system would be an effective step towards enabling the American people to truly be represented by those they elect. This isn’t to say that the Republican and Democratic parties should be done away with, far from it. There are many people who choose these teams because they accurately represent what their constituents desire. Instead, what we need is for there to be more options available, more diverse parties for Americans to choose from.

Such a situation would also enable Congress in general to be more effective. Instead of legislation simply being passed because one party has a majority, groups would be forced to work together in order to get their agendas passed. This means more disparate viewpoints on each point of legislation, resulting in better representation of American people rather than just political groups.

So what do you think about getting rid of the two-party system in America? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]