Political Science Discussion Post Response to a classmate’s post (Nydia)

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Essay and Discussion 9

Political Parties
In Chapter 9 of We The People (Ginsberg, et.al.) we discuss political parties and why they are important in a democratic society. In recent politics, many Americans have voiced their frustration with political parties. Political parties are organizations that are meant to influence the government and represent their constituents philosophies, morals, and needs. Competition between parties helps ensure that politicians will represent the needs of the American people. But special interest groups, big business corporations, and super PACs have bought most politicians and it seems they do not represent the American people but the desires of campaign contributors.

Political parties were originally formed in two ways. According to We The People (Ginsberg, et.al.), internal mobilization happened when “competition in Congress between the southern farmers and the northeastern merchants led them to organize their supporters.” The first political parties were formed by the Anti-federalists and the Federalist. The Anti-federalist had more influence in the south while the federalist had more interest in the New England area. External mobilization happened when politicians outside the government organize supporters to “win government power.” One example of chapter nine gives is that in 1850, what would later be known as the Republican party, organized supporters to win governmental power to stop the expansion of slavery. Since then, political parties have shifted in their philosophies and political views.

America is made up of a Two-Party system in which two main political parties have a realistic ability to enact change in government and politics. Although third parties often create competitions between democrat and Republican parties. Third parties are mostly viewed as unfavorable to voters because they rarely garner enough support to create change. However in 2016, as Americans distrust grew and they voiced their discontent with politicians. Outsiders such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had ardent supporters that opposed the traditional political candidates. Bernie Sanders was considered an outsider in the democratic party, who went after big business corporations and “Bernie or bust” became a battle cry for many of his supporters that opposed politicians like Hillary Clinton who offered no real change in the political climate. While Donald Trump used a “tell it like it is” tactic which was a selling point for most of his supporters. Those that opposed him as viewed his rhetoric as vulgar, racist, and sexist.

In an election that was very close in the number of voters that would determine which political party would represent each state, third party votes may affect the outcome of the 2016 election. Many Americans chose to cast protest votes by voting for politicians that had no real chance in winning. Our recent presidential election highlighted the political divide within America. But it also showed why every vote counts. The 2018 midterm elections brought out more young voters and a more diverse choice among political leaders. Political parties are important for our democracy. However, they are rendered ineffective if neither party represents the desires of its constituents.

Sources

We The People, 2017 (Ginsberg, et.al.).

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