Death to the Duopoly

The United States has been dominated by a two party system for nearly as long as it has existed as a nation. It is this two party system, divisive and manipulative, that has led us to where we are today.

Wally Stearns, Reporter

The United States has been dominated by a two party system for nearly as long as it has existed as a nation. Political parties have come and gone, under different names and policies, but regardless of title, two parties have vied for power. It is this two party system, divisive and manipulative, that has led us to where we are today. A nation divided, tumultuous, and bitter. A nation that has failed to honor the fundamental principles it was built upon, and a nation that faces a bleak future.

The two political parties have fabricated their own moral absolutes, and should you challenge any belief your party holds, you risk ostracization and ridicule. This blind partisanship has created cults, with individuals forced to view the world through the monochromatic lens of their party. And should their candidate lose? Not a problem. Wait four years and have another go. If their party is rocked by some outrageous scandal? Well, you might lose the next election, but again, you can give it another shot the next time around. There are no serious consequences for losing, for behaving erratically, irresponsibly, or foolishly; and at this point, no middle ground, either. Democrats and Republicans agree on nothing, except for one thing: allowing additional political parties an equal voice would dismantle their duopoly.

Third parties have been around just as long as the two party system, but without the obvious fame and notoriety. The most prominent today, the Libertarian Party and The Green Party, are relatively new, with the Libertarian Party being formed in 1971 and the Green Party being formed in 2001. Why haven’t you heard much about them? 

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) sponsors and holds debates for presidential and vice-presidential candidates. It is funded by the Republican party and the Democratic party. It mandates that all presidential candidates must garner the support of at least 15% of the nation according to five independent nationwide polls. These polls, mind you, are not required to (and seldom do) list third parties as an option. These policies have been challenged under allegations of violating antitrust laws and Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules. Many lawsuits have been filed, and four third-party candidates have been arrested for protesting the CPD’s regulations—regulations that can be blamed for the complete lack of media coverage for third parties.

It is clear that changes need to be made. How those changes come about is up to you. If you believe strongly in something, vote for it, donate to the cause, or educate others. Vote for the candidate that speaks your mind. Vote for the candidate that you have faith in, that you believe in your heart of hearts holds the best interests of the American people. Vote for the candidate that aims to serve you while in office, and not the other way around. Get involved locally. Elect the city council members, mayors, and governors that you believe to be morally upstanding and just. Explore other options. You have quite a few. There are fifty-five registered “third parties” in the United States; there’s bound to be one that shares your set of beliefs. Most importantly, don’t settle for the lesser of two evils—who’s to say they’re not the better of two liars?