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Originally, I was going to talk about the electoral college.

After reading articles ​from​ both


sides, I could not help but feel overwhelmed and frankly quite frustrated with the lack of
knowledge these 'intelligent' writers have. They did not understand political history, the
foundations of our nation, or statistical relevance and context. They were also strongly
opinionated and emotional- they met almost every requirement of "fake news" that we have
established in earlier assignments in this class. Because of this, I was reminded of my general
distaste for political parties, so I decided to write on that instead.
Political parties, and the necessity of them, has been debated since the birth of our
nation. Our first president, George Washington, intentionally spoke out against the formation of
parties throughout and after his presidency--specifically mentioning them as one of his main
points in his Farewell Address. However, political parties quickly took our nation by storm
(during Washington's presidency and by his own advisors in fact) and have lasted since. In
"What Are Political Parties Good For? Plenty, Actually", it is argued that Washington's viewpoint
is no longer valid because our nation has grown. This article argues that "they [political parties]
accommodate different interests, opinions, and views"; however, this is not the case. These
days people are more towards the middle while political parties are on polar ends. This has
caused people, especially the younger generations-- who have not yet become normalized to
the American system--to fear associating with a political party, as they believe that people will
automatically misinterpret them. Though it is becoming more known now, for most of history,
things have been tense in the bipartisan system: "partisans on both sides are so angry they can
barely speak with the other, much less work together" (Coblenz). These days, it seems there
are only two answers to each problem, and each of them are extremists viewpoints. People are
so submerged in the system of hate created by the media that they are unable to compromise
and work together against the problem(s).
Though Lee Hamilton, the author of "What Are Political Parties Good For? Plenty,
Actually", recognizes the shortcomings and mistakes of modern political parties, they aren't
contextualized enough in political history to understand this how most of American politics have
gone. They seem to represent a moderate member of one of the political parties who doesn't
seem to recognize the severity of hatred between parties: "I’ve never felt that my
disappointment was grounds for abandoning the party" (Hamilton). They claim its part of the
democratic system and, therefore, cannot be taken out, but, once again, this not the case. The
basis of political parties more accurately comes from a Republic and in theory, should be
relatively weak. Hamilton also says, "but he [George Washington} didn’t fully recognize their role
as consensus-builders — their concern with transcending differences and political factionalism
and arriving at stances designed to appeal to political majorities both in elections and in
legislatures." Despite his correct terms and eloquent conciseness--that I lack-- Hamilton is
spewing misinformation. The purpose of political parties is to make it easier for the American
people to learn about the candidates. Though this sounds good, it is really a wolf in sheep's
clothing.
Without political parties and their "convenient labels and stereotypes to rely on, voters
would be forced to assess their ballots without bias" (Almond). Steve Almond, though he bluntly
states it, makes a good point. Rather than focusing merely on the 'R' or 'D' in front of the
candidates' names, they would focus on their individual beliefs and solutions. Not only would
this result in less partisan fighting, the American people would be more informed. The Founding
Fathers did not want everyone to vote because they feared people would be uninformed, and
we have fallen into that. People are too focused on fighting each other to be able to focus on
problems that threaten our nation and even species as a whole.
Though I disagree with our two-party system and our political parties, I feel that they
cannot be dealt away with altogether. First of all, we already have them, and people rely on
them. Now that they are in place, if taken away, chaos would erupt. Our nation is too partisan
and filled with too much bias for parties to disappear: if they did, people would not even know
where to start. I think the best idea would to heal the political divide between our nation and
significantly weaken the power of political parties. In American history, the best political parties
have been temporary ones that work together to fix specific vital issues (i.e. Abolitionists),
because, when parties as such are formed, people do not fall into the narrative where one side
has to be evil. In reality, each side is just a different approach to the same problem. If political
parties only served as bodies to inform and temporarily unite against common issues (even if
there was still debate within the party about how the problems should be handled), our nation
would be much better off.
Additionally, it would be best for America to do away with the two-party system. We are
the only democratic nation with such, and it has provided us much grief even with its start. A
two-party system does not accurately represent anyone, the majority or the minority. Rather a
no-party system, with temporary alliances against issues rather than people, would be best. It
would provide stability and focus our energy on critical issues that threaten our nation.
Something needs to be done: " 80 percent disapprove of Congress", and "In a Gallup poll from
last year, 60 percent of the respondents said they wanted new political parties"(Coblenz).
People are obviously dissatisfied with our current system, but unsure about what to do about it.
Political parties should not be all-powerful and dictate voters by forcing them to pick a side;
instead, they should serve as centers of education rather than the systems of hate they have
become. These days, as new generations arise, people are becoming fed up with all of the lies
and lack of policy. We want to know what people stand for and are tired of the political fluff
thrown in to hide their lack of policy or lack of good and honest policy that people will stand
behind. According to the article, "What If We Got Rid Of Political Parties?", "in a world without
labels, candidates would be forced to appeal more to common sense and problem-solving than
tribal prejudice and partisan attacks": if we want things to be done, and politicians to do their
jobs, we need democratic accountability.
Sources:
https://corg.iu.edu/programs/hamilton-views/comments-oncongress/What%20Are%20Political%
20Parties%20Good%20For%20Plenty,%20Actually%20.html
https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/267222-the-two-party-system-is-destroying-ameri
ca
https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2018/10/30/get-rid-of-democrats-and-republicans-steve-almo
nd

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