A critique and suggestion for reform of the american political process
| The American election and political process is a broken one. While many praise it's merits as a reformist system that balances efficiency with representation of the citizens, it ultimately fails to successfully achieve either. Its process is so rife with corruption that it creates a semblance of freedom, while in reality it is controlled by the rich, and controlled by the dominating parties. The two-party system has failed, and it is time for the public to realize it. Since 1868, not one third party candidate has run for office and won the presidency. Although very similar in their beliefs, the Democratic and Republican parties are in a political war, and no third party is able to gain ground in elections. Although, as of the year 2018, 39% of Americans identify as Independent (more than Democrats (32%) and Republicans (23%)), no third party has been able to get a foothold in the election system, and the majority of voters that identify with the Democratic or Republican party vote strictly along party lines. Although this can be easily explained by the fact that “Independent” encompasses a wide range of political beliefs, but the fact that 45% of the population does not identify as a member of either of the major parties, yet no third party has taken any kind of firm hold, clearly shows that Democrats and Republicans have a stranglehold on the political system. While these parties cannot be abolished in the eyes of the people, political parties must be eliminated from the election process. They shall not be recognized in any capacity by the government. While a candidate may run as a member of the Democratic, Republican, or other party, it will have no role in the election process. On the voter ballot, as of now, political party is at the forefront. The political affiliation of the candidate is listed to the right of the candidate’s name. Now, I will not deny this system’s merits. Ultimately, it allows the people who are unable to or uninterested in following the political campaigns of politicians to vote for candidates based on party, as they will be more likely to align with their views. However, the drawbacks of this system outweigh its merits. The legal recognition of party in the political system helps to fuel political tribalism and division between those of different affiliations. We have seen this effect become increasingly evident in recent years, especially during the waning years of the Obama administration and the election of President Donald Trump in 2016. Instances of political, religious, and racial violence have increased in the United States, with some particularly worrying cases, such as the shooting of a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018 (11 dead), and seemingly partisan home-made bombs to multiple Democrat leaning institutions and individuals, including the headquarters of Cable News Network (CNN), former U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to an analysis of statistics from the Global Terrorism Database by the Washington Post, instances of both right-wing and left-wing terrorism have grown in recent years. This is due to increasing political tribalism within the United States between two parties of very similar ideology. This is the biggest flaw of the current election system.
Additionally, the recognition of political parties makes it next to impossible for a third party candidate to be elected, or even gain more than 5% of the vote. This is because currently the majority of the United States registered voters are affiliated to one of the two main parties, or lean primarily to one or the other. And the majority of those vote exclusively with their party. So when they see their party listed on the ballot, they are far more likely to select that candidate, whether or not they may agree with their views. By eliminating partisan language from the election process, voters will be more likely to vote based on political preference, rather than party affiliation. Although likely only a small amount of change will occur at first (we predict a 5-7% change), the change in language will, over time, translate into an end to the political monopoly that the Democrat and Republican parties have had on the United States voter population for over 100 years. This change will be wildly beneficial to the American political system, as it will expand American politics to encompass a wider and more cultured set of views, and will help to spur further reform of culture, politics, legislation, and government structure.
Another issue with the political procedure of the United States is the Electoral College. The possibility of the election of a minority president should not exist in any kind of democracy. Ultimately, while the Electoral College gives more power to the states, and helps to retain the representative system of the U.S.A., but once again it's merits are outweighed by its failings. As stated above, this system creates the possibility of a minority representative being elected to office. This is the biggest problem with the system, but it is not the only one. Smaller states have more power per capita, and thus the vote of a person living in California is worth less than the vote of a person in Wyoming. According to a 2010 study by The Green Papers, California’s 55 Electoral College votes mean there are 705,454 people per vote while there are only 194,717 people for each of Wyoming’s three electoral votes. There is absolutely no excuse for this disparity in a Democratic country.