When George Washington took office in 1789, there were no defined political parties. Washington even made a statement condemning the development of highly partisan politics, as it may become a distraction from serving the American people. This, however, did not stop the Founders from taking sides on key issues that were plaguing the young nation and it was from these differences that the first political parties grew. Today, the United States is at a crossroads. Third party candidates got more votes in the 2016 Presidential Election than ever before. Does this mean the two-party system is antiquated, or is it working well for the United States as whole? Ultimately, we must ask, is the two-party system the most effective way for us to participate in modern American politics?
Those in favor of the two-party system believe that it can simplify politics for many Americans by providing political platforms. Additionally, the two-party system has a historical precedence of functioning well in the American version of a democratic republic.
Those against the two-party system believe that it does not offer sufficient room for new ideas and third-party candidates. Additionally, some believe that civil discourse among family, friends, and government officials is experiencing a break down through the intense polarization that can result from a two-party system.
Is a two-party system the most effective way to run modern American politics?