Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Just why is it we have only two major parties?

Because it's an excellent way to ensure that the people can express their will? Because it's a way to limit the influence of plutocrats?
Here's what no mainstream pundit dares discuss: the two-party system is sick unto death. Not only could the two-party system collapse, it should collapse. Nobody can say this in polite company, but reforming the corrupt two-party system is impossible, and so the only way forward is collapse.

Thomas Homer-Dixon described this dynamic in his book The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization.

The American public deserves a real choice, not the rigged non-choice between two party hacks. The American public deserves the opportunity to vote for Sanders, Trump, and whatever hacks the two elitist war parties select.

"Why Aren't We Talking About a Four-Candidate Race for the Presidency: Two Party Hacks and Trump and Sanders as Independents?" By Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds, 4/12/16.


Avraham said...

I would rather there be two parties. Lots of parties means small minorities have all the power. I can't explain this in detail this minute. Looking at the numbers Ross Perot it seems took enough votes to insure the democrats got the election of Clinton.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Avraham, that's quite true. I read a book about the French Third Republic and proportional representation led to minority parties in the legislature. The language used was, shall we say, "colorful" and nothing much that was good came out of all of that.

In the past I've thought that threshold requirement for new parties and the resulting (I suppose) lock of the two major parties was a good thing for the very reason you state.

In These Troubled Times, however, I waiver on the value of this when it is clear that the parties have floated far away from any mooring in concepts like responsiveness to the people and the national interest. We live in a time when the national government and many state governments have lost legitimacy. Perhaps more parties is not exactly the answer but rather a paradigm shift. Given the utter lack of appreciation of the Constitution and liberty on the part of the electorate, even a paradigm shift seems very, very unlikely, at least without an economic collapse which, incidentally, I think will soon be forthcoming.

It's a shame that Perot went wobbly when he was a contender. I think he could have paved the way for a third party that would have defeated and eliminated the Republicans. Donald Trump has a similar opportunity but, despite his visceral patriotism and basic business common sense, does not seem to have a deep understanding of what is required for rejuvenation. Still, the alternatives are all horrible.

Perhaps France is a guide for us now. Marine Le Pen is a formidable woman with a profound grasp of politics. She and her party are rising but are still able to be blanketed by a combination of the two larger parties as happened in the recent provincial elections. Ditto for UKIP. Impressive electoral gains are still not sufficient to effect that equivalent of the Whig implosion and the rise of the new Republican Party.

As I've long believed, we are at the end of the WWII paradigm(s) and confusion reigns only because we are in a transition period but don't quite see it.