The two-party system creates division and forces identification with ideologies that one may not believe in, leading to a vote about the party not the person.
The system has been a core part of American politics since the creation of the states. Although there have been changes as to what beliefs are associated with these groups, Americans have mostly been identified with being either a Democrat or Republican. This need to identify with these groups is where the first problem starts to arise.
Lee Drutman, a political scientist at the New America Foundation, states in his book “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop,” “Given only two viable choices, all voters must align themselves with one vision, which makes it hard to register their ambivalences.”
Not every person agrees with what a political party stands for. There are a multitude of people who may agree with some ideals from the Democratic party and the Republican party.
The political system almost forces one to align with one of these parties or risk your vote being cast aside, leaving the final verdict unaffected.
This political system also encourages division between those who lie within different parties. As time goes on, it feels like the tension between the left and right only gets worse.
In a study done by Pew Research Center it shows that 72% of Republicans regard Democrats as more immoral, and 63% of Democrats believe this about Republicans.
This is just the beginning as more studies were done and similar results were shown with traits such as dishonesty and close-mindedness. This system that was supposed to lead with pride in your own ideals has led to disgust in others.
The appearance of a dominated political party system was something that a few of the founding fathers had been afraid of from the very beginning.
Alexander Hamilton states that he believed political parties were “the most fatal disease.” James Madison, who had worked with Hamilton on the federalist papers, wrote in “Federalist 10” that a “well-constructed Union” should be “its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.” Because of this, people began to vote based on the party that the candidate belongs to.
Another study done by Pew Research Center shows that 122 of 139 U.S. Senate elections from 2012 to 2020 “have been won by candidates who belonged to or were aligned with the party that won that state’s most recent presidential race.”
Although this does not directly mean that people are only choosing based on their political party, it shows a direct contrast to how it was in prior years as in 2006 almost a third of the senate contests (10 out of 33) were won by candidates who were a different party from the previous pick.
Everyone should take a step back and start looking at each other as real people again, not as a member of a certain political party. Parties create division, and what you need to truly run a country is union. Through union will come change. Once again people should start voting not for the party in which a candidate represents, but for the character and ideas that the person brings.