By, Maya Fransz-Myers | Media Editor
June 7, 2016
With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election as close as November this year, the structure surrounding our country’s voting process has become a highly debated topic. Many citizens have become frustrated with the constraints of the two party system and the feeling of being forced to choose a candidate that they may not wholeheartedly agree with, just because they fear the idea of their vote being wasted.
The United States is often considered a country created on principles and embracing diversity, but unfortunately, the system in which we elect our country’s leaders sometimes hinders this anticipated freedom of political expression. In this country, the two main dominating political parties are the Republicans, that often stand for more conservative and traditional values, and the Democrats, that usually spark and change and take the more liberal approach to issues. By having only two parties that seem to share almost equal control, it provides guaranteed confrontation, sometimes stalemate, and often times frustrated citizens.
“The two-party system in America limits voters’ choice in their representatives and does not accurately reflect America’s diversity and variety of political expression,” said junior Veronica Petrikas.
For example, in the current election, many people in the US find themselves caught between choosing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, and have come to consider it “picking the lesser of two evils,” which should not be the case when electing the future President of the United States.
Adding to the problem, the case in choosing between the two frontrunners becomes increasingly more difficult because the two parties are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. As the years go by, the Republican party has become more and more dominated by radical conservatism, where ideas often appeal to extreme traditionalists or members of the Tea Party. The same goes for the Democrats, where liberals have moved to favor more radical change from what we have now. These polarized parties make it hard for a voter to fall completely to one side and prohibits being able to vote for someone that they truly believe in.
Currently, and in the very recent past (prior to most of the candidates dropping out), it has been shown that the media plays a big role in fueling the rivalry and domination of the two parties and their candidates. Much of the media coverage surrounding the election are often debates and news reports that focus solely on arguments, exploitation, name-calling, etc. between candidates and party members.
Junior Sami Skorstad believes that the competition brought about by the two party system pushes candidates to “participate in the media driven fights that occur between the two parties.”
On the other hand, not everybody sees the situation as harmful and inefficient. Junior Shea Donnelly noticed that the system “has lasted so long, has evolved, and has proven it works in our country,” but also thinks that it’s “unfortunate that because of how citizens identify politically, others tend to automatically assume certain characteristics about them.”
Many people believe that the two party system may have its flaws, but seems to work for our country, and one of the only things that is a negative outcome about it is the effect on citizens, not candidates. Many times because of the radical positions between the parties are dominant, people assume that because someone is voting Republican, they can’t have moderate views and vice versa with voting Democrat, which often leaves to rivalry.
The pros and cons of the system set in place for our country has become an increasingly more talked about topic, mostly due to the highly televised and extremely controversial upcoming election with several candidates from far sides of the political spectrum dominating the polls and media. It will be interesting to see how the election plays out, and if the rising frustration amongst the public in regards to the process of voting will lead to a shift in the way our country works.