Questioning the two-party system

Barrett, Tom

As another election starts making its way over the horizon, it has already become quite obvious that the Democrats and Republicans will be the only real contenders for the Oval Office. This fact is not news to anyone. Nevertheless, there are still some naysayers out there that question our democratic system. They feel that we should revamp our legislative process so that the views of the American public are more equally and thoroughly represented. They are, however, obviously wrong, and here is why.

First off, they say that many issues are complicated and the only way to reach a just solution is through open-minded conversation. Please. Every political issue can be and should be divided into two sides. This simplicity is what makes American politics so beautiful. You’re either on this side, or you’re on that side. Right and left – it’s as simple as day and night. It’s something everyone can grasp. There’s no ambiguity, no fuzzy gray area, no indecisive middle ground. It’s just American democracy at its finest.

Secondly, this two-party system is particularly helpful when election season rolls in every fourth November. Instead of being barraged by an unmanageable amount of candidate platforms coming at us from every direction, we have two neatly packaged candidates who are more than capable of representing the views of the entire United States population. Seriously, with 12 new American Idol contestants to keep track of every year, it would be unfair to ask the American public to know more than two candidates. In reality, you don’t even have to know your candidate’s name. All you have to do is know whether you are Democrat or Republican and your choice is practically made for you.

Lastly, this system ensures one final thing: progress will never be made. It is no secret that polarized debates in Congress make the legislative process become more gridlocked than Manhattan at rush hour. Now this aspect may seem like a bit of a flaw at first, but think about it for a second. This country is perfect just the way it is. If no agreements to change can ever be reached in Congress, then that just ensures that the United States will continue to be the praiseworthy nation that it is for even longer.

The biggest question I have for these political pundits is “If it’s not broken, then why fix it?” So what that we are stuck in a war with no clear ending? So what that our education system is a joke? So what that there is an intensely increasing gap between the rich and poor in this country? This is America, the home of real football and McDonald’s, the spearhead of democracy and free enterprise throughout the world. Social inequities? Economic problems? International confrontations? Those things will all work themselves out in the end, right? So let’s all sit back and flip on a baseball game while we sink our teeth into a warm slice of apple pie.

Our country seems to be doing just fine the way it is, doesn’t it?

Tom Barrett is a junior philosophy major from Colonia, N.J. He can be reached at [email protected].