Are The U.S. Parties Getting Stronger Or Weaker? Is This A Positive Or A Negative Development For The American System?

1403 words - 6 pages

Factions have always been an inevitable part of our country, but political parties have taken winding roads to get to where they are today. U.S. parties are strong and are getting stronger, that now most politicians in congress today and even the president fully comply with their respective parties. The inevitability of a party coincides with the way it is defined: “an organization of people who share the same views about the way power should be used in a country or society” (Lecture #1). The two-party system was not always as stronger, but as U.S. parties are becoming significantly stronger, there is a greater divide between the two parties and their constituents. The fact that the yes, the two-party system is becoming significantly stronger does not necessarily mean that it is a positive entity in the United, but rather it seems that the strength in the two parties is more negative.
After Reconstructions, parties were starting to gain in strength, but after 1910 it began to crumble when a group of progressive Republicans joined with a minority Democratic faction to overthrow the Speaker of the House at the time, Joseph Cannon (NY Times). During much of the next half-century, the two-party system continued unraveling, and in the 1960s the two-party system reached a very weak point in the American system. The parties were very decentralized and had little influence on political leaders and constituents. “Officeholders were seen as free agents, motivated by personal career goals and preferring weak parties that would not interfere with their interests” (NY Times). There was no real payoff for those working in the government and for political parties, which made many people disinterested in assisting with fundraising, campaigns, and or nominees. For this reason party organizations degenerated and did not hold any influence in government. Meanwhile, voter support for the parties disintegrated and the percentage of independent voters increased, as well as ticket splitting (NY Times).
The resurgence of party power in government was slow, but found its way in the late 1970s, first with party organization, then party influence in government and finally voter partisanship developed greatly and strengthened (NY Times). Now, political parties are more centralized and have established themselves as vital in elections, because of their influence in the governmental system. These parties choose candidates to be on election ballots, help these candidates raise money, run campaigns, and turn out voters (Textbook). Parties provide large sums of money to directly support candidates in office in order to secure their place and influence in office. They also influence how people in public office cooperate with one another to achieve policy goals (Textbook). Party labels have shown to make it easier for citizens who share common beliefs and interests to coordinate their actions during elections, including voting and donating time and money, toward a unified goal...

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