In closing, this book informs us on how the Republicans went crazy and Democrats became useless, and how it’s become a problem. The books unfolds the faults of the Republicans and Democrats “behind the scenes”, and made me more aware of the parties today.
There are two ways to get rid of the causes of factions, or political parties. The first way of removing these causes is to destroy the liberty essential to their existence. The second way to get rid of the causes is to give everyone the exact same o...
Party is an inevitable feature of the democracy and it is defined as ‘an autonomous group of citizens having the purpose of making nominations and contesting elections in the hope of gaining control over governmental power through the capture of public offices and the organization of the government’ (Caramani, 2011, p.220). Parties are ubiquitous in modern political systems and they perform a number of functions, they are: coordination, contesting elections, recruitment, and representation (Caramani, 2011). Political parties are the product of the parliamentary and electoral game, and party systems reflect the social oppositions that characterize society when parties first appear (Coxall et al., 2011).
In the past century, people continued to express an increasingly discontent view of Congress especially true when one looks back before the Clinton Impeachment debacle As the size of the nation and the number of congressman have grown, the congress has come under attack by both public influences and congressman themselves. Yet looking at one congressman's relationship with his or her constituents, it would be hard to believe that this is the branch of government that has come under suspect. In “If Ralph Nader says congress is 'The broken branch,' how come we love our congressman so much?” author Richard F. Fenno, Jr., provides insight into this view and why, through congress coming under fire, constituents still feel positively about there congressmen. Although congress is often criticized, its fine tuned functioning is essential in checking the power of congress without hindering the making of legislation.
Both works provide valuable insight into the political atmosphere of American society, but vary greatly in their intended message, usage of persuasive method, projected audience, and choice of tone. One can see resemblance, however, in the fact that the authors of both articles strive to spark a reaction in their readers and encourage change. In that regard, while Hedges’
Mann and Norman J. Ornstein argue that the Legislative branch is the most broken branch of government. Congress was designed by the Framers of the Constitution of the United States to be an independent and powerful party. The Framers wanted the Legislative branch to represent the vast diversity of people of the United States, to deliberate on important issues and policies, and to check and balance the other branches. However, Congress’s role in the American Constitutional System differs from the part it was meant to play. The authors argue that Congress has failed to fill its responsibilities to the people of the United States because of the division of the Democratic and Republican parties, which leaves little room for compromise and negotiation. Members of Congress focus on their own needs and interests, and will travel to far lengths to prove that their political party is the most powerful. Congress has turned a blind eye to the needs of the American people. Congress cannot succeed in getting the United States back on track unless they start to follow the rules dictated by the Framers of the Constitution. A vast series of decisions made by Congress, driven by Congress’s disregard for institutional procedures, its tendency to focus on personal ethics, and the overpowering culture of corruption, led to Congress failing to implement important changes in the United States
It’s hard to imagine a period in American political history that hasn’t been dominated by a duopoly of political parties. Even though resistance from the founding fathers on the issue of political parties is well documented, the two-party system we are well accustomed to developed shortly after the emergence of the United States as an independent nation. Whether it was the Federalist/Democratic-Republican system in the late 18th and early 19th centuries or the Democratic/Republican system we know today, two ideologically opposite parties have always maintained dominant control of the American political system. The existence of third parties and independent candidates, therefore, complicates the political system that we have used for centuries. Steven Rosenstone contends that the existence of our current two-party system is due, in part, to the ability of the two major parties to provide benefits in exchange for voter support. What then occurs when either of the major parties fails in its responsibility to be accountable to the public? While several options exist, including the demand for change within major parties, third parties and independent candidates become a viable option to restore a sense of accountability among American politicians. Even though third parties and independent candidates might seem attractive to voters, they often are unable to find success in any major elections. This lack of success can be attributed to many different factors, including constitutional and electoral barriers, as well as deficiencies born from the general lack of knowledge about third parties. Why then do third parties and independent candidates continue to exist in American politics? The ability of a third party to influence the policy p...
In Political Parties and Party Systems, Alan Ware summarizes the two main competing theories that attempt to explain party systems. First, the Sociological approach and then the Institutional approach. In order to comprehend his analysis it is necessary to realize that party systems are in a constant state of evolution, they do not remain stagnant. This evolution may, at times, be imperceptible and at others very noticeable, such as during a revolution; but the change is undoubtedly occurring. It is much easier to understand these theories if you view these two theories from a flexible standpoint as opposed to having a concrete beginning and end with exact delineations in between.
The terms “secular shift” and “critical realignment” both seek to explain the abrupt and gradual changes in American voting patterns and the two major party’s unique political positions. Both shifts occur at different rates, are formed by different variables unique to the current national economic and political conditions at the time, and lead to new party developments. Critical realignments alter party loyalty or bring about the emergence of a newly shaped version of a major party; their outcomes change the future political landscape and the makeup of a party’s coalition. Critical realignments mobilize new voters through their take on new developing issues and can create a new mold of a major party. In addition, critical realignments may develop under the creation of a third party to spark the emergence of new political issues for a major party to acknowledge and shift towards to garner that support.
Hardball: How Politics is Played Told by One Who Knows the Game by Christopher Matthews compares politics to a game played by individuals seeking to gain and maintain power. Matthews defines hardball as “clean, aggressive Machiavellian politics. It is the discipline of gaining and holding power, useful to any profession or undertaking, but practiced more openly and unashamedly in the world of public affairs,” (13). Matthews offers maxims to explain tactics and truths that better a person’s position in the game of politics. These maxims include “It’s Better to Receive than Give”, “Keep Your Enemies in Front of You”, and “Hang a Lantern on Your Problem”. These three maxims have proven successful in bringing success to those who utilized the tactic.
The book opens up talking about the up and coming election of the time of the book and how the American voter believes whole heartily that there is something extremely wrong with our American political system. And of course the Democrats believe it’s the Republicans to mostly blame. And on the other side the Republicans say it’s the policies of the democrats at fault of this American political pitfall. But they can all agree and believe on the fact that the American people
Today, political parties can be seen throughout everyday life, prevalent in various activities such as watching television, or seeing signs beside the road while driving. These everyday occurrences make the knowledge of political parties commonly known, especially as the two opposing political parties: the Republicans and the Democrats. Republican and Democrats have existed for numerous years, predominantly due to pure tradition, and the comfort of the ideas each party presents. For years, the existence of two political parties has dominated the elections of the president, and lower offices such as mayor, or the House of Representatives. Fundamentally, this tradition continues from the very emergence of political parties during the election of 1796, principally between Federalist John Adams and Anti-federalist Thomas Jefferson. Prior to this election people unanimously conformed to the ideas of one man, George Washington, and therefore did not require the need for political parties.1 However, following his presidency the public was divided with opposing opinions, each arguing the best methods to regulate the country. Ultimately, the emergence of different opinions regarding the future of the United States involving the economy, foreign relations, ‘the masses,’ and the interpretation of the Constitution, led to the two political parties of the 1790s and the critical election of 1800.
In discussing the problems surrounding the issue of factionalism in American society, James Madison concluded in Federalist #10, "The inference to which we are brought is that the causes of cannot be removed and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects." (Federalist Papers 1999, 75) In many ways, the nature of American politics has revolved around this question since our country's birth. What is the relationship between parties and government? Should the party serve as an intermediary between the populace and government, and how should a government respond to disparate ideas espoused by the factions inherent to a free society. This paper will discuss the political evolution that has revolved around this question, examining different "regimes" and how they attempted to reconcile the relationship between power and the corresponding role of the people. Beginning with the Federalists themselves, we will trace this evolution until we reach the contemporary period, where we find a political climate described as "interest-group liberalism." Eventually this paper will seek to determine which has been the most beneficial, and which is ultimately preferable.
The United States of America has engaged in the battle known as political polarization since before its foundation in 1776. From the uprising against the powerful British nation to the political issues of today, Americans continue to debate about proper ideology and attempt to choose a side that closely aligns with their personal beliefs. From decade to decade, Americans struggle to determine a proper course of action regarding the country as a whole and will often become divided on important issues. Conflicts between supporters of slavery and abolitionists, between agriculturalists and industrialists, and between industrial workers and capitalists have fueled the divide. At the Congressional level there tends to be a more prevalent display of polarization and is often the blame of Congress’ inefficiency. James Madison intentionally designed Congress to be inefficient by instating a bicameral legislation. Ambition would counter ambition and prevent majority tyranny. George Washington advised against political parties that would contribute to polarization and misrepresentation in his Farewell Address of 1796. Washington warns, “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts.” Today, the struggle to increase power between political parties results in techniques to gain even the smallest marginal gains. To truly understand political polarization, we must examine data collected through a variety of means, the effects of rapidly changing technology, and observe what techniques are used to create such a polarized political system.
There is much debate in the United States whether or not there is polarization between our two dominate political parties. Presidential election results have shown that there is a division between the states; a battle between the Democratic blue states and the Republican red states. And what is striking is that the “colors” of these states do not change. Red stays red, and blue stays blue. Chapter 11 of Fault Lines gives differing views of polarization. James Wilson, a political science professor at Pepperdine University in California, suggests that polarization is indeed relevant in modern society and that it will eventually cause the downfall of America. On the contrast, Morris Fiorina, a political science professor at Stanford University, argues that polarization is nothing but a myth, something that Americans should not be concerned with. John Judis, a senior editor at The New Republic, gives insight on a driving force of polarization; the Tea Party Movement. Through this paper I will highlight the chief factors given by Wilson and Judis which contribute to polarization in the United States, and will consider what factors Fiorina may agree with.