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Effects Of Political Parties Essay, Research Paper


Since the last of the Whig party left office in 1852, the

American political system has been primarily a two party system. The

Democrats and the Republicans have been the two parties fighting for

the Presidency since that time. There have been many other parties

since that time, but mainly, these two have gone unopposed against

each other. However, how much good do these parties actually do? Would

our country be run as effectively if the presence of political parties

was no longer a factor? It is the opinion of the authors that the U.S.

Government would exist without political parties and may, in fact be

stronger. The concept of political parties seems to go against what it

means to be a politician: to represent his or her constituents. More

time, money and effort, it seems is put into getting elected to an

office than actually doing work for the people in that office. One

fairly recent example is seen in the case of the proposed federal

Balanced Budget Amendment. Mark Hatfield, Republican Oregon Senator,

went against his parties wishes and voted against the amendment. His

party nearly abandoned him for choosing the people over his party.

Many senators are faced with the same decision every day, but instead

stick with party beliefs and not what they feel would be the best for

the people. In order for true democracy to be achieved in our

government, we feel drastic changes need to occur.

Review Of The Literature

Since the mid 1850’s, the Democrats and Republicans have had

control of the nation government. The only place where opposition was

felt was at the state and local levels. However, in the early days of

our country, third and fourth party candidates played important roles

in politics. A few of these parties from our history are the:

Democrat-Republicans, Jefferson Republicans, Whigs and Federalists.

Many other lesser known or hardly known at all parties were the:

Socialists, Unionists, Farmer-Laborists, Progressives, Communists,

States’ Rights, American Independents, Libertarians, New Alliance,

Populists, Consumers, National Economic Recovery, Right to Life,

Workers league, Socialist Workers, Peace and Freedom, Prohibitionists,

Workers World, American, Grassroots, Independent and Third World

Assembly. This immense list goes to show that not all American history

has been two party. What we know today as Democrats and Republicans

derived from some of these parties to be what they are today. The

emergence of the parties has come mainly as a reaction to history

where most of the rulers have been dictators or kings. The people do

not favor dictatorship and therefore created political parties to

better represent the feelings of the voters (Madron, 1974). This is

not a time of a dictatorship and we have achieved representative

democracy. We have evolved as a nation and have grown out of the need

for political parties. The 1992 Presidential election was a definite

sign that the usefulness of political parties is crumbling. The

Democrats came out on top, followed by the Republicans, however, a

third party candidate, Ross Perot, emerged and ended the race with

nearly 10,000,000 popular votes. Perot made himself out to be the only

one who could clean up the mess in Washington, and came through with

an impressive finish (Wolfson, 1994). From this example, it is obvious

that the way we know political parties, or perhaps political parties

as a whole, are being phased out by the people. The world in which we

live is constantly changing and getting faster and more efficient at

making news readily available to the people. Back in the times before

radio, tv, the internet and e-mail, people had to find out somehow

about politics. The main source of their information came from

political parties to educate them as to who was running and what they

stood for and believed in (Carlin, 1992). Now, if someone needs

information on some kind of politics, they can simply turn on C-Span,

surf the ever-expanding net, or write an e-mail to the President

himself. Another strike against political parties is evident. Lately,

politicians have had their way in separating themselves from the

voters whom they are supposed to represent. A greater gap is growing

between the two. Voters do not like being just a number (Wolfson,

1994). The basis of democracy, in case some have forgotten, is equal

representation for all people. By separating themselves from the

voters, politicians are only creating a stronger case against

political parties.

Another such argument against parties can be seen in the fact

that lately, voters have been straying from voting for one candidate.

Instead of voting for a candidate, they may be voting simply against

another candidate. They are choosing the lesser of the two evils by

choosing the one that offends then the least, not judging on the

qualifications of the two (Ladd, 1978). Finally, the argument that may

have the most stature lies in the fact that nowhere in the

constitution of the United States, the document our forefathers penned

more than 200 years ago, are political parties mentioned. In a time

without radio or tv, where political parties may have been needed, the

authors the document in which governs our lives made no mention to

them or what they stand for. This argument in itself should take a

major role in the determination to rid government of political

parties. Since political parties did start and take hold as they did,

Americans have stuck to them and seem to remain grasped to them. If we

want our government to run more smoothly and work for the people and

not against, better than our current conditions, we must break the

pattern and ban political parties. There is much disapproval of the

two party political system today already, as illustrated. For a better

government for future generations, one without the constant battles

for political offices and without separation from the people, we must

look very closely at what can be done. Ideally, the solution would be

to ban political parties. Section III Conclusion From the research

into the matter of political parties, we have come to some conclusions

regarding them. As it may have seemed apparent throughout the report,

we believe that the American Political system would perform dually

well without the bothersome nuisance of political parties. It is true

that political parties served America well in their time, however a

time of change is unavoidable. With faster technology and better means

of communication, some parts of parties become obsolete. As people

become more aware of the country in which they live and the political

system dominating their country, more pieces of parties become

useless. As stated, political parties did at one time serve a valuable

purpose, and they have help shape our system into what it is today.

Surely, without political parties in our nation’s history, our system

would be much different. For that reason, political parties did do

some good. It has been a long time, though, since much good came from

them. Now, the only good that comes from parties is watching the ad

campaigns of politicians bashing each other to pieces for some office

or another. Even that can get a little old. So, in conclusion,

political parties have served their purpose. They were used for what

they were intended and now, for what they intended has already been

achieved, therefore making parties themselves obsolete.


1. Carlin, David R. Commonwealth. “Lessons From November: Fraying The

Bonds”. December 18, 1992.

2. Ladd, Everett Carl. Where Have All The Voters Gone?: The Fracturing

Of America’s Political Parties. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,


3. Madron, Thomas W. and Chelf, Carl P. Political Parties In The

United States. Boston: Holbrook Press, Inc., 1974.

4. Wolfson, Lewis. USA Today. “The Revolution In U.S. Politics Is

Nearly Here”. January, 1994.

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