Opinion Features

The Downsides of a Two-Party System

By Bryan Smilek
Opinion Editor

Throughout the United States’ history, there have always been two dominant political parties: Democratic and Republican. In past elections, these two parties have consistently remained the top two running platforms for prospective presidential candidate. As such, these two parties provide candidates the most funding and exposure for officials running for office. Likewise, the bloodlines of those parties run deep, meaning that some families across the country have been registered Republicans/Democrats for decades. Therefore, it has become increasingly hard to sway the votes of individuals who have an ancestry of affiliation with a specific party, which begs the question-does this two-party system harm the United States’ political system?

As previously stated, the two main political parties, Democratic and Republican, have existed within the United States for centuries, which had led many families to grow deep roots in one specific party. Therefore, they may feel convicted to vote for the party that their family has supported for generations. As a result, these individuals may feel pressured to vote a specific way, thereby influencing their opinions and political mindset. Even further, this prevents them from identifying the best candidate given an implicit bias. Given the longstanding presence of these parties within the U.S., much room exists for this behavior to have occurred for the past few decades and even centuries.

While the two-party system has been prominent throughout America’s history, it is not without issues (Photo Courtesy of Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Another issue that may arise form the two party system stems from the superior amount of funding Democrats/Republicans provide for their candidates. While individuals, such as Donald Trump and Joe Biden, possess the backing of major parties, which include wealthy members, individuals running independent of a major party lack the funding to market themselves. As a result, an individual who is running independently, may not gain exposure to the public solely since they have not captured enough funds to compete with the multi-million dollar Democratic/Republican campaigns. Therefore, a very qualified independent politician may be overlooked, which could prevent the political system from reaching its maximum potential.

Finally, the two party system has created much division amongst the political parties and voters themselves. Given that these two parties stand on relatively opposite ends of the spectrum for virtually every issue, everyone who affiliates with a specific party is directly opposed to the other party’s ideologies. As a result, this has created much division within the Senate and Congress, which has often stopped bills from being passed in a timely manner. As a result, the common American citizen is harmed from the division within politics which often results in a lack of timely action to resolve pressing issues. Therefore, it is evident that the two-party political system may, at times, can be detrimental to the commonfolk within the U.S.

Overall, it is apparent that the two-party system possesses multiple negative factors. Specifically, it has created a long-standing division amongst voters and politicians that can sometimes inflict damage upon the common American citizen. Likewise, it negates independent politicians from gaining traction amongst the American population given insufficient funding. Finally, it sometimes causes individuals from analyzing each candidate, regardless of their party. Thus, it is evident that the two-party system may mislead voters at time, and I urge you to think meticulously before voting!


Contact Bryan at smilekbr@shu.edu

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