Here is my question: why do we have political parties in the United Sates? And my next question is, why are there only two? It isn’t as though the Constitution says there must only be two political parties. The Constitution says that the candidate must receive a majority in the Electoral College–that is a completely different issue that where I am going with this article.
So why do we have political parties? George Washington felt political parties were divisive, which is kind of their point. It seems to me that Americans like “winners” and “losers” or “good guys” and “bad guys” and we like to give them names. Political parties, in their original form, were more like clubs people joined to discuss politics and the issues of the day, and they are still kind of like that, except on a larger scale. That’s the difference from Thomas Jefferson’s political party to today’s political party: there wasn’t universal adult suffrage and nowhere near as many states.
I just feel as though there is no way that two parties take care of all the political needs of all Americans. Do we need political parties? Yes, because people like to organize things in their minds. But I feel as though there should be more parties and instead of primaries, there should be one massive general election with as many candidates who want, and have the money, to run followed by run-off elections.
Would that cost more money? I think not. When you consider the cost of 50 or 100 state primary elections and caucuses, there would be more voting. But there would be fewer negative ads, and more ads saying what the candidate would do for you. Maybe this is just wishful thinking. But it’s a nice thought right about now.