The Problem of American Politics is the Two Party System

America is no doubt a republic that is mired in a two party political system in which the voter has only two choices on a ballot – Democrat or Republican. I will not deny that there are smaller parties that do exist and that those parties do curry small followings. But these groups are generally just extremist factions of the two dominant parties and they do not pose any serious opposition to either the Democratic or the Republican parties. The construction of political parties and the two party system are in and of themselves dangerous things, for political parties require that constituents pledge a certain amount of allegiance to the party. The problem of party allegiance is that once a person espouses themselves with a particular group, that person will begin to view the political process as an “us versus them” arena, in which a party must exert itself over other parties to gain dominance. This becomes an ideological show down that tends to alienate many citizens from the process all together. The construction of politics as a process that is dominated by parties allows those parties to create the national debate that is heard by the voters. The parties create topics that are often apolitical and that can only be defined as social issues that serve to distract the average voter from real political issues. A case in point is the sensationalization of the Terry Schiavo incident, which clearly was a familial issue and not a political one. However, political parties turned the situation into a deeply partisan debate that distracted the American people from real political events and pitted party members against each other in a moralistic argument that was really none of their business. In the political fray to gain a majority, parties will attempt to gain the support of the greatest number of people as possible so that they can win legislative, or executive seats in the government. When parties try to get the majority of the votes in a polity, that party will inevitably aim their campaign rhetoric at the “middle” of the ideological spectrum – the people who do not feel particularly Democratic or Republican. The Parties know that they are secure in getting the votes of the extremists on “their side of the aisle,” for it is only right to assume that an extremist liberal would rather hold their nose and vote for a moderate liberal then for a conservative candidate. God only knows why though, they both seem to uphold the same political agendas these days. Since parties know that they have the extremist votes on lock down, they turn the entire political race into one for the center voter. This is where the parties become particularly dangerous, for they assume that they will not sway a soccer-mom voter by discussing relevant political concerns. Instead the entire political race becomes about social problems, such as crime, abortion and education. The polity becomes dominated by empty social rhetoric that is used to elicit emotions from the masses and to manipulate their fears, so that when the American people go to the ballot