Stron Essay, Research Paper
WOULD THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM BE AS STRONG IN THE ABSENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES?OUTLINEI. Introduction A. Statement of Interest B. HypothesisII. Review Of The Literature A. History and function of political parties 1. History a. Many different parties 2. Emergence of Parties B. Arguments against the usage of political parties 1. The 1992 Presidential election a. Ross Perot 2. “Brave New World?” 3. Parties more separated from voters 4. Voters being forced to choose the lesser of two evils 5. The constitution does not mention political partiesIII. Conclusion A. Statement of conclusionIntroduction Since the last of the Whig party left office in 1852, the Americanpolitical system has been primarily a two party system. The Democrats andthe Republicans have been the two parties fighting for the Presidency sincethat time. There have been many other parties since that time, but mainly,these two have gone unopposed against each other. However, how much gooddo these parties actually do? Would our country be run as effectively ifthe presence of political parties was no longer a factor? It is theopinion of the authors that the U.S. Government would exist withoutpolitical parties and may, in fact be stronger. The concept of political parties seems to go against what it means to be apolitician: to represent his or her constituents. More time, money andeffort, it seems is put into getting elected to an office than actuallydoing work for the people in that office. One fairly recent example isseen in the case of the proposed federal Balanced Budget Amendment. MarkHatfield, Republican Oregon Senator, went against his parties wishes andvoted against the amendment. His party nearly abandoned him for choosingthe people over his party. Many senators are faced with the same decisionevery day, but instead stick with party beliefs and not what they feelwould be the best for the people. In order for true democracy to beachieved in our government, we feel drastic changes need to occur. Section IIReview Of The Literature Since the mid 1850’s, the Democrats and Republicans have had control ofthe nation government. The only place where opposition was felt was at thestate and local levels. However, in the early days of our country, thirdand fourth party candidates played important roles in politics. A few ofthese parties from our history are the: Democrat-Republicans, JeffersonRepublicans, Whigs and Federalists. Many other lesser known or hardlyknown at all parties were the: Socialists, Unionists, Farmer-Laborists,Progressives, Communists, States’ Rights, American Independents,Libertarians, New Alliance, Populists, Consumers, National EconomicRecovery, Right to Life, Workers league, Socialist Workers, Peace andFreedom, Prohibitionists, Workers World, American, Grassroots, Independentand Third World Assembly. This immense list goes to show that not allAmerican history has been two party. What we know today as Democrats andRepublicans derived from some of these parties to be what they are today. The emergence of the parties has come mainly as a reaction to historywhere most of the rulers have been dictators or kings. The people do notfavor dictatorship and therefore created political parties to betterrepresent the feelings of the voters (Madron, 1974). This is not a time ofa dictatorship and we have achieved representative democracy. We haveevolved as a nation and have grown out of the need for political parties. The 1992 Presidential election was a definite sign that the usefulness ofpolitical parties is crumbling. The Democrats came out on top, followed bythe Republicans, however, a third party candidate, Ross Perot, emerged andended the race with nearly 10,000,000 popular votes. Perot made himselfout to be the only one who could clean up the mess in Washington, and camethrough with an impressive finish (Wolfson, 1994). From this example, itis obvious that the way we know political parties, or perhaps politicalparties as a whole, are being phased out by the people. The world in which we live is constantly changing and getting faster and
more efficient at making news readily available to the people. Back in thetimes before radio, tv, the internet and e-mail, people had to find outsomehow about politics. The main source of their information came frompolitical parties to educate them as to who was running and what they stoodfor and believed in (Carlin, 1992). Now, if someone needs information onsome kind of politics, they can simply turn on C-Span, surf theever-expanding net, or write an e-mail to the President himself. Anotherstrike against political parties is evident. Lately, politicians have had their way in separating themselves from thevoters whom they are supposed to represent. A greater gap is growingbetween the two. Voters do not like being just a number (Wolfson, 1994). The basis of democracy, in case some have forgotten, is equalrepresentation for all people. By separating themselves from the voters,politicians are only creating a stronger case against political parties. Another such argument against parties can be seen in the fact thatlately, voters have been straying from voting for one candidate. Insteadof voting for a candidate, they may be voting simply against anothercandidate. They are choosing the lesser of the two evils by choosing theone that offends then the least, not judging on the qualifications of thetwo (Ladd, 1978). Finally, the argument that may have the most stature lies in the fact thatnowhere in the Constitution of the United States, the document ourforefathers penned more than 200 years ago, are political partiesmentioned. In a time without radio or tv, where political parties may havebeen needed, the authors the document in which governs our lives made nomention to them or what they stand for. This argument in itself shouldtake a major role in the determination to rid government of politicalparties. Since political parties did start and take hold as they did, Americanshave stuck to them and seem to remain grasped to them. If we want ourgovernment to run more smoothly and work for the people and not against,better than our current conditions, we must break the pattern and banpolitical parties. There is much disapproval of the two party politicalsystem today already, as illustrated. For a better government for futuregenerations, one without the constant battles for political offices andwithout separation from the people, we must look very closely at what canbe done. Ideally, the solution would be to ban political parties. Section IIIConclusion From the research into the matter of political parties, we have come tosome conclusions regarding them. As it may have seemed apparent throughoutthe report, we believe that the American Political system would performdually well without the bothersome nuisance of political parties. It istrue that political parties served America well in their time, however atime of change is unavoidable. With faster technology and better means ofcommunication, some parts of parties become obsolete. As people become more aware of the country in which they live and thepolitical system dominating their country, more pieces of parties becomeuseless. As stated, political parties did at one time serve a valuablepurpose, and they have help shape our system into what it is today. Surely, without political parties in our nation’s history, our system wouldbe much different. For that reason, political parties did do some good. It has been a long time, though, since much good came from them. Now, theonly good that comes from parties is watching the ad campaigns ofpoliticians bashing each other to pieces for some office or another. Eventhat can get a little old. So, in conclusion, political parties have served their purpose. They wereused for what they were intended and now, for what they intended has alreadybeen achieved, therefore making parties themselves obsolete. Bibliography1. Carlin, David R. Commonwealth. “Lessons From November: Fraying TheBonds”. December 18, 1992. 2. Ladd, Everett Carl. Where Have All The Voters Gone?: The FracturingOf America’s Political Parties. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,1978. 3. Madron, Thomas W. and Chelf, Carl P. Political Parties In The UnitedStates. Boston: Holbrook Press, Inc., 1974. 4. Wolfson, Lewis. USA Today. “The Revolution In U.S. Politics Is NearlyHere”. January, 1994.