Are political parties really needed in America?
Why do you think so?
What if we abolished political parties altogether? George Washington urged us not to create them, he said it would divide the country. Thomas Jefferson was a member of one, but only because he realizes that even that early in our country's history he needed party backing to become a part of the government. He was also against them. Two founding fathers were against them, but they are strong today. You need either party backing or a lot of your own money to run for office in this country. Do you agree with this?
I believe that they divide Our nation, and cause us to pay taxes for nothing to get done in government. There is an us against them attitude on Capital Hill.
It's not so much that we shouldn't have political parties, but that we don't have politically functioning political parties. People who vote Republican falsely believe that the Repulican party represents their views. People who vote Democrat falsely believe the Democratic Party represents their views. Politics in general go a lot deeper than Liberal or Conservative, and yet we have this cookie-cutter political party system that prevents anything from ever getting done. If we had, say, five major political parties instead of two, elections and primaries and so on may actually have an effect on creating a consensus for how the population wants the country to operate.
As for doing away with political parties, it sounds like a genuinely good idea, but I think the population at large would find it to be a very foreign concept.
I think political parties are a natural outcrop of society. That's not to say that I am a big fan but we also ask the same question as it applies to labor unions. In either case I do not see either concept doing anything significant for the people affiliate with them. They are similar in nature in that they attempt be the "thought process and the voice" for the membership. If we had a total open electorate, I think you would find that it would be rather frenzied and would probably cost the taxpayers more in terms of conducting elections. When ten people all run for the same office independently and all of them share the same beliefs, all they do to accomplish is they so splinter the vote that no one in the race obtains a clear majority. It does not move voters across the aisle, it just splinters the votes on the aisle. One could argue that we need more parties for more choices. That concept has not been very successful as we have seen the Liberterians only have marginal success and mostly as a splinter of the Republican Party and conservative movement. The Tea Party has enjoyed some success on issues but this is a "movement" more so than a traditional party with traditional candidates, etc. The Tea Party Movement tends to go in the direction of what or who best supports their basic beliefs or tenants. In most cases that is likely to be a Republican or an Independent since the movement tends to be more conservatively oriented. Political parties in this country are much like water, they tend to find their own level naturally. They can be dangerous in that the pie of qualified voters is only so large so when that pie is divided over more participants something usually gets splinters and the existing voter distribution becomes skewed. That does not necessarily solve anything or make it better. WB
I personally don't think their needed and it's an unnecessary label for a politician in my opinion. It really kills me when people say that they're a "Republican" or "Democrat" and they vote for everyone on 'their side'. I believe that if politicians openly state their political beliefs and goals then their shouldn't be a problem. It would also force more people to actually know who and what they're actually voting for as opposed to just going in and voting for a specific party. I also believe that it can cause peer pressure because if a Democrat agrees with a Republican on a personal issue for example, he may feel the need to agree with his party and not 'cross over'. I'm not saying everyone is like that, but I'm saying in certain cases it can be this way. Without those parties, they could feel free to express how they feel.
Political parties may still be important, but not as important as in the past. In an earlier time, American political parties helped mobilize voters and issues. Knowledge about candidates, not to mention political jobs, were dispensed through the parties. But, today we get most of our knowledge about the candidates through the electronic media and parties no longer have all those jobs to hand out since the civil service system was enacted.
However, parties do organize elections and issues in some respects. The party gives some voters guidance on how to vote. And they tend to be more important in parliamentary nations than in the US.
I think the parties divide us as a nation and do give off an "us vs. them" attitude. If I believe in candidates from both parties, I shouldn't have to be pressured to vote one way or the other.
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