Monday, October 16, 2023

US Politics - The Two Party System

The constitution never expected a two party system, yet Democrats and Republicans have dominated US politics since the mid 1800s.  That has provided some stability, but it has also created brand policy.

The current chaos in the US Congress is an important reminder of why diverse points of view are represented in our governing bodies.  That ability to stifle legislation because it is off brand is asinine.  I understand that a political party is best served when it votes as a block, but I do not feel that constituents are always represented.  For example 210 Democrats voting to vacate the Speaker of the House is an ideal example of Representatives voting on brand rather than with constituents.  Bailouts and other policy legislation are good examples as well.

The Freedom Caucus has grown from about 29 members in 2016 to 45 members in 2023.  They represent their districts especially well when the districts believe in far right conservatism.

Based on the success of the Freedom Caucus, a significant third party of even 15-20 Representatives could have an outsized hand in US Policy for decades to come.  They could vote with Democrats or Republicans to create a majority.

The challenge is campaign finance.  Without the primary party financing, it is difficult to be elected.  A reasonable fear is that wealthy individuals could self finance and create an oligarchy.  However, one could argue that corporations and dark money have already created an oligarchy.

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