The Electoral Threat


Ezra Shirtcliff

Centuries ago, the first president of the United States, George Washington, gave a warning to political parties in his farewell address. ““However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

In the last presidential election, millions of people witnessed a personification of that warning. The citizens of the United States were given between two options that people didn’t want to answer. So, was George Washington correct with his warning of a two party democracy, or was he wrong and that the people of the united states should continue having the usual two parties.

Currently in the U.S. there are two main political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. The Republican party currently supports small government, lower taxes, less restrictions on business, and decreased spending on social programs. While the Democratic party currently supports equal rights and higher quality education. That also means that when it comes to pressing and important issues, like climate change, there is only 2 possible solutions that someone has the option to pick. Voting problems began to emerge and questions are now asking topics like lobbying, political parties, and media.  This article will describe the benefits and negatives to america’s two party system and possible alternatives.

Unfortunately, systems have been put into place where a person’s decision on a matter can be overruled by someone else’s. There are multiple forms of this, but as of the latest election, the most famous of which is the electoral college. Originally, the electoral college was put in place so that the average man wouldn’t have to worry about politics and that someone else would have to. This method worked while america was still young and new, but as time progressed, people became more politically active. Sadly, the electoral college was built to override the popular vote and it very commonly does. According to the economist, the electoral college gives a bonus 3.5% advantage to the republican party. The primary reason being that the average population of democrats tend to live in cities and so they have a weaker total vote.

When it comes to politics there are many problems and its important to note that it’s not a perfect system. When you give someone a voice, everyone gets a voice, and what parties allow people to do is to unite their voice to increase their chance of getting results. When you have two political parties, it doesn’t give much room for your voice to be unique.