Political Parties

Topics: Elections, Election, United States Pages: 4 (1419 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Hope Lynn Herrmann
Essay 2
American Government

Why do democratic governments need political parties? Why does the United States have only two major parties? Name and explain the major factors influencing how many political parties exist in US politics. Under what circumstances could a viable third party emerge to challenge the Democrats and Republicans? Would you rather have more than a two (major) party system, and if so, why?

Democratic governments have been in existence for thousands of years and has dominated the history of the United State since the end of the revolutionary war. The appeal of this form of government is that the government is for and by the people. I believe that the political parties of our nation serve to organize the varying views and expectations of the people. A political party is “a group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government, and determine public policy.” (Schmidt 244) Our nation has operated on a system of two major political parties since around 1800. The names and core values of those parties have changed several times over the years. The two major parties today, the Republicans and the Democrats, are the parties that stand a reasonable chance at winning any given elections. The Republican party is known to be conservative in both economic and moral issues. This party would prefer to limit social services and emphasize one's ability to be responsible for their own finances. They are also known to oppose hot topic issues like gay rights and abortion. The Democratic party, on the other hand, are currently pushing social programs like the Affordable Healthcare Act (also referred to as Obama Care) based on taxing the upper and middle classes and are much more accepting regarding gay rights and a woman's right to choose. These two political parties serve as opposite points of reference to modern issues allowing adults to think critically about all alternative options available to us. In...

Cited: Bardes, Barbara A., Steffen W. Schmidt, and Mack C. Shelley. American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials, 2011-2012. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
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