Right now, is it time to end the two party system? The ideological polarisation between sides is so great now that the country is stuck most of the time in the middle of a fight. Party members and their supporting voters don’t believe anything that comes out of the mouth of those on the opposing side. Partisans take their news from those media organisations subjectively on their side. Truth has been sidelined by manipulative forces hellbent on muddying the waters wherever possible. The nation is in a mess and is bedevilled by party politics to such an extent that it is mired in lies and fake news.
When Two Tribes Go To War
The two party system was supposed to streamline the myriad different views and policy suggestions into workable ways of governing. Now, the adversarial nature of this two-headed political beast destroys more good ideas for the country than anything else. Red vs blue has so lost the bigger picture that the unity of the nation is under real threat once again. It is time to bust open this system and let some sunlight in to disinfect the polarisation. It is time to stop the lies and exaggerations so prevalent in political campaigns.
Higher standards are required to weed out the toxic lies in politics.
Two Party Political System Failing The Nation
Why are we where we are and how did we get there? The shift from concern with policies to playing politics has come about via the pushing of ideological values at the expense of shared experiences of identity. Any good marriage counsellor will tell you that relationships are built on compromise. I don’t see much compromise happening in the current climate. Political campaign managers have promoted divisiveness in a bid to get their candidates elected. They have identified social issues bothering certain demographics within their electorates and targeted these folks with negative messaging about the other side.
Demonising ‘the other’ has become the accepted thing in today’s politics.
- Tell your voter targets that things used to be better back then – employ nostalgia for some golden age.
- Blame ‘the other’ as reason why things are bad now – socio-groups on the other side.
- Demonise ‘the other’ as lazy, taking government money, & holding values at odds with the target audience.
- Tell them your candidate is going to fix things & only your guy can do it!
Two Party Democracy Reduces Voices Heard
The two party system reduces the diversity of voices heard in government. This adversarial, head-butting, paradigm wastes most of the human energy expended in civic life. It signs up passionate individuals to agendas they often don’t believe in, but for which they are forced to toe the party line. The old argument is that without the two party system government will never get anything done. Well, they are not getting much done as it stands.
It’s Time For Another Way
The biggest difference between the current political sides seems to be one of conservatives vs progressives. However, within that broad categorisation there are exceptions and many different ideas at play. If the politicians were freed from their opposing teams, perhaps, they could get on and achieve something together. The current set up is just not working. Being forced to fit in on a particular side, in one of those two main parties, has turned civic life into a contest. The contest had gotten out of hand.
The players have lost sight of their shared national identity. It is a shit show!
What Are We Teaching Our Children?
Think of our children and what they are observing. What are they learning from our current political paradigm? That the country is split. That our nation is divided and wont listen to those it deems on the other side. How is that going to serve them in the future? How is it going to serve our country going forward?
“Partisan polarization has long been a fact of political life in the United States. But increasingly, Republicans and Democrats view not just the opposing party but also the people in that party in a negative light. Growing shares in each party now describe those in the other party as more closed-minded, dishonest, immoral and unintelligent than other Americans.”
Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt, and Financial Freedom.