Unfairness in American Politics
Paying attention to the recent presidential race lately or any political race over the years, one will notice that only two candidates: one a democrat, the other a Republican are promoted. Very few people know about third parties as the media often portrays them as crazy or out-of-touch with reality, and do not even consider them as viable competitors. This goes against the democratic principles this country was founded upon, and it is basically saying that the majority rules in this country.
Politics should include all parties, instead of the lesser-of-two-evils approach we have now; because it exposes the other candidates and offers more options to voters.
The recent presidential election is a good example. Even during the debates there were only the two main candidates debating; although the first debate between Obama and Romney helped people to find out the two candidates views on various issues, it did not give voters enough options (Rockler 1). There were six candidates running in this election, but only two: Barack Obama a democrat and Mitt Romney a republican were promoted by the media. The other four: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode and Rocky Anderson were barely, if at all promoted by the mainstream media; it is as if they were not even running.
If we want real democracy, then debates should include all candidates. We have seen both the Republican and Democrat party’s visions for our country for too long, we need a new plan. Allowing third parties to debate against the two major ones could compel both the Democrats and the Republicans to become more accountable, and to “change with the times.” Some of this comes from the way politics are set up on this country, which is what promotes the creation of two political parties. Since our country has a system in which a candidate running for office must gain the majority of the vote, there is good reason to have a two-party system (Rockler 2).
The two-party system we have in our country is undemocratic. People not knowing that there are other people that they can vote for, often look at the two candidates and think “well this guy is worse than the other guy, so I will vote for this other guy”, Not knowing that they have other choices. In an article, writer Eric Black quotes:
I’ve cited it a few times before, but I still get a smile out of what Minnesota political analyst Wy Spano once told me was his favorite cartoon. It shows two voters, meeting on their way out of the polling place, and one says to the other: "Which one did you vote against.” (1)
As the above quote states, due to the way politics are set up in this country; people do not vote based on views but based on who is the lesser of two evils, the Democrat or the Republican. In addition, new and independent voters do not have enough options. People who are not affiliated with any political party but vote based on views do not have enough options. Many of these people see the Democrats and Republicans as the same in terms of their policies, and many of them do not even vote because of this (Thomas 2). Many of my friends and I did not want to vote at first because we simply did not trust either candidate, until I did research on other candidates and I realized that there were more candidates out there, who share the same views that I do.
Another issue with the two-party system is that Americans who are unaffiliated with political parties get no representation; for example there are very few independent politicians in office; there are currently only two independent senators: Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernard Sanders of Vermont. In addition, the elections are set up in a way that whoever has the most endorsements and funding are the people you usually see in debates, on commercials, and getting interviewed; for example during the last election both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were able to raise over six-hundred million dollars, as reported by The New York Times (Rockler
2). While the third party candidates did not raise even half of that. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Jill Stein did not even get up to five-hundred thousand dollars. Stein, like the rest of the candidates were campaigning based off of the relevance of their ideas, not how much money they had. We as Americans should only vote based on the views of the candidates, not on their party affiliation or how much money they have; it is not good that we only consider two parties (Rockler 2). As an independent voter myself, seeing the economic downturn our country is experiencing, and seeing how neither the Democrats nor Republicans have not made any real effort to solve it; I have learned to look at the other options we have.
Some people argue that two-party systems provide political stability to our country; instead of one big, giant, unorganized mess, we have just two parties to choose from. You could also argue that having a two party system is simple, as voters have just two parties to decide between (Thomas 2). It is this same stability and simplicity that has enabled the status quo in to continue in this country. If we want radical change we must elect radical change; both the Democrats and Republicans must realize that if they want to bicker and argue, instead of compromising and working together in order to solve the problems that this country has; we will lose hope in them and begin looking at the third parties. In addition, some people argue that the two-party system provides moderation. Both candidates must be able to appeal to the moderates or the people in the middle of the political spectrum (Thomas 1). The candidates will appear as moderates when they are running for office, but if they get elected most of the time they will refuse to compromise with the opposite party; leading to the gridlocks in congress and government shutdowns we have now. I truly believe that the economic doldrums our country is experiencing is because of Democrats and Republicans policies refusing to compromise; for example if a committee of Democrat senators want to pass a bill that they believe will help the country the Republicans will refuse to pass it, not because they do not think it it’s a good idea but because it is Democrats proposing the bill. All the while the middle class is shrinking and we are trillions of dollars in debt, the media needs to promote third parties more, in order to show Americans the other options they have.
The two-party system is neither working nor is it democratic. Unaffiliated voters get little representation, third parties are not promoted during elections, and it provides a lesser of two evils approach to voting, and there is no variety of options for new voters. I ask Americans to demand that the media hold fair presidential debates, that all candidates be allowed to participate in the debates, and that the media provide fair and unbiased covering of elections instead of promoting the candidates who pay them the most money. There is no reason why only two political parties should get promoted while the other parties do not. I also ask that we do research into third party candidates and develop our own opinions; instead of just looking at whom the media promotes.
Black, Eric. "Why the Same Two Parties Dominate Our Two-party System." MinnPost.com.
MinnPost, 7 Oct. 2012. Web. 8 Nov. 2012.
Rockler, Harmen. "Presidential Debates Should Include More than Just 2 Candidates." The Daily
Orange. Syracuse University, 8 Oct. 2012. Web. 6 Nov. 2012.
Thomas, Regina. "The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Two-Party System in US Politics."
Article by: George C.
Date/Time added:2013-04-27 11:21:49Rating for this article: