A Call for the Immediate Demise of the Two-Party System by LaDaisha Claybrook @ University of Memphis
Earlier this month, the College Democrats held a Progressive in Politics discussion, which involved local leaders in the Democratic Party. It was your basic liberal discussion, in which panel members told us to vote so that we can take back the house and participate in mobilizing voters, and so on. Honestly, for the most part, I was bored out of my mind. I’ve heard the same thing a thousand times from a thousand different people. It wasn’t until, one student rose up and asked, “What is it going to take for us to fix the Democratic Party,” was my interest piqued. The response was baffling and it was at that moment I decided the Democratic Party is not enough. I am not aligned with the beliefs of the Republican Party, so what party will represent me? Clearly, I can’t be the only one to feel this way or else we wouldn’t have so many voters who voted for Obama and Trump. It’s time to kill the two-party system and make way for the rise of political parties of different spectrums.
In answer to the student’s question, the man on the panel told us there was nothing wrong with the Democratic Party. We just have to vote and take back the house and so on. While I agree, Democrats are in a better position compared to the Republican Party, Democrats should have been in a prolonged state of self-reflection after the 2016 presidential election. Instead, in my opinion, Democrats are depending on Trump to continue polarizing the country in a way that hurts conservatives and benefits liberals. Every time Trump does something controversial, Democrats take it and say this is why we belong in power. Just because Trump and the Republicans suck is not enough reason to vote Democrat. I don’t buy into the whole angry, white male view, but I do think there are a lot of white Americans that felt abandoned by the Democratic Party. Hillary’s “deplorable” comment was almost as bad as her “super predators” comment. I, also, feel that during election cycles Democratic candidates pander to the black vote, temporarily making them feel special, and then forgetting about them once in office. This creates a need for a party that is able to connect to all voters, whether they’re black, white, Hispanic, or Asian. Also, in maintaining the two-party system, we maintain the myth of only 2 viewpoints that matter or that one is right and the other is wrong. I, personally, believe in a revolution, socialism, and the end to white supremacy. Neither party has stated they are for these things, but I know for a fact anyone who lives in an unjust system, anyone who is poor and feels like they can’t break out of their financial situation, or anyone who doesn’t benefit from white privilege could be open to these things. Although I do relate more with the Democratic Party, I like some Republican policies. I feel like the goal is helping people who need it. When it comes to the poor, we can do it with socialist welfare policies or no government, strictly community involved programs. All of this to say, additional parties would incorporate additional viewpoints, even viewpoints already held by Democrats and Republicans. Lastly, both Democrats and Republicans are too polarized. I’m too young to know if this is a new phenomenon or of it has always been this way. I’ve never seen conservative media that was somewhere in the middle. Fox and Breitbart are radical liars that blow every single thing out of proportion. Of course, I’ve never seen it for myself, but as a liberal that’s what I’ve been taught by liberal media. I’m an avid listener to Pod Save America, that’s where I get my news in an entertaining format. A downside to that is they instill a way of thinking in me that could be dangerous. They’re anti-Trump and they’re anti-Republican, so they won’t say anything nice about Trump or Republicans, even if they do something good. As a result, I have nothing nice to say about Trump or Republicans and I can’t think of one good thing they’ve done. This is clearly an issue. If you think of someone as the devil, it’s hard to relate to people who voted for the devil. A new party or parties have the potential to be immune to polarization. If you’re new and upcoming, you don’t have the time to attack other parties, instead you would be reaching out to voters and informing them of your platform.
Picture by Jerry Gantt