The Two Party Problem


Gordon Johnson

Art of the Democrat symbol, a donkey, and the Republican symbol, an elephant.

With the recent election of President Joe Biden, there has been a lot of heat between the two political parties in America. From social media call-outs, to wide, and often false, generalizations, the Republicans and Democrats have been seemingly destroying one another in recent years. With this conflict, the question arises: is the two party system good for America?

When George Washington was unanimously voted in as America’s first president, there were no political parties. But two terms and eight years later, things had changed, as people searched for a way to get their own opinions into this new democracy. And from this situation, the two-party system in America was born.

During the first contested election in 1796, John Adams ran against Thomas Jefferson; a Federalist against a Democratic-Republican. These were the two parties of America, despite Washington’s warnings of the “continual mischiefs of the spirit of party”.

Since then, the parties have changed, and America now recognizes the two major parties to be the Democrats and the Republicans. Of course, there are other parties, but they do not hold quite the same power over the government as these two.

So what’s the purpose of these two parties?

First off, parties give people a political identity. They allow for people, who want their views to control the government, to meet other people with similar ideologies. They also give people incentive to vote, because people who belong to one party don’t want a candidate from another party to take office. And this is just on an individual level.

But parties also act as a means of balancing one another out. Because while the two parties may seem opposites as extremes, they do often meet in the middle, with moderates on both sides. In fact, most people fall somewhere in the middle, politically speaking.

Despite these benefits, the two party system only seems to be a means of dividing the country. With both sides shouting falsehoods at one another over Twitter, and dehumanizing the opposing side, the only thing that can be seen is corruption. But is the problem with the parties or the people?

For anyone who reads the news, or is on Twitter and follows politicians, they would know the absolutely nasty things that politicians say about one another and their opposing parties. With insults flying and generalizations of groups galore, it seems almost as if there is nothing but conflict in politics.

Of course there are differing opinions— there will always be, at any time and any place in history— but there is a certain lack of respect that is repulsive. Even former president, Donald Trump, was banned from most social media websites for spouting complete delusion. And in more recent weeks, Representative Majorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee assignments after condoning the execution of certain Democrats on Facebook, among other horrific things.

While many claim that the party system is corrupt, I think that it is time to take a better look at the members of each party— the ones who represent them. There are problems with the people running the country, issues of respect and maturity. It is time for the politicians and the people of America to grow up and start regarding one another as equals, despite differences in opinion.

No one will ever be completely right all the time, and it is okay to recognize that and disagree— but it is never condonable to threaten another person based on their political beliefs, especially while in a position of power. We teach children to be kind to one another— must we really go back and reeducate politicians on the same subject?

There is corruption in the two party system— but it is not with the function of the system itself, but rather, the people within it. We cannot have a democracy if people are shouting insults at one another. We cannot have a country based on working together if all we do is tear one another apart. We all have differing opinions, but we must not allow for those disagreements to divide us.