Na­tion’s two-party sys­tem isn’t work­ing any­more

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE - let­ters@nwadg.com

Our coun­try is locked into a two-party sys­tem that only serves as a vir­tual mo­nop­oly for the Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can par­ties. This sys­tem blocks chal­lenges from new, spir­ited con­ver­sa­tions and re­stricts the elec­torate to nar­row views.

The Demo­cratic Party has lost the dy­namic im­parted years ago by Franklin Roo­sevelt. He un­der­stood the plight of mil­lions of dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple of this coun­try in the Great De­pres­sion of the 1930s needed a party that would help them in their great need. He used this need to make the Demo­cratic Party dom­i­nant for over 40 years. But that legacy was frit­tered away by the party’s lead­er­ship look­ing for its ill-ad­vised fo­cus on city voters. Th­ese Amer­i­can peo­ple are still there in the so-called Rust Belt states and other im­pov­er­ished states like Mon­tana and Ge­or­gia. The Democrats try to cap­i­tal­ize on this pre­pos­ter­ous Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump by run­ning against him in states that have num­bers of dis­ad­van­taged Amer­i­can’s who are al­lied to Trump. The Democrats keep los­ing in th­ese by-elec­tions be­cause they have aban­doned the legacy of Roo­sevelt. Their most re­cent pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, Hil­lary Clin­ton, lost the elec­tion when she called th­ese Amer­i­cans “a bas­ket of de­plorables.” She did not mean this as a blan­ket state­ment, but it came across as such. I’m sure her hus­band, Bill, an as­tute politi­cian, knew the minute it came out of her mouth that the elec­tion was lost. This party will con­tinue to be a “po­lit­i­cal dead let­ter” un­til it re­turns to its roots set out by Franklin D.

The Repub­li­can Party de­feated its Demo­cratic op­po­nent, gained con­trol of both Congress and the ex­ec­u­tive pos­ing as “pop­ulists.” They are any­thing but that, but they have sold that to key el­e­ments of our elec­torate that Clin­ton alien­ated by her hubris. It is clear they are an “elit­ist” bunch of folks that make it clear in what they do that they don’t give a “fig” about much of the Amer­ica’s elec­torate. Their at­tempts at killing Oba­macare re­sults in the mes­sage to that elec­torate, “You are a bunch of un­de­serv­ing free­loaders and we don’t care about you.” They do that in leg­is­la­tion and in each pro­tec­tive reg­u­la­tion they re­peal. Th­ese crea­tures of the “rich and com­fort­able’ have no in­ter­est in the Amer­i­can elec­torate ex­cept at elec­tion time!

Both par­ties have locked out any com­pe­ti­tion and are guar­an­teed con­tin­u­ing con­trol of the United States Gov­ern­ment. It is time for this two-party sys­tem to go. What this coun­try needs is a dy­namic that was demon­strated in our sis­ter re­pub­lic France. France’s sys­tem al­lows a third-party can­di­date like Em­manuel Macron to of­fer an al­ter­nate choice to the far left and right that left France not much to choose from. Is this third way bet­ter? Re­mains to be seen but it does of­fer an­other op­por­tu­nity for the French voters to de­cide. I think the Amer­i­can elec­torate de­serves no less.

It is time for change! TOM CLARK Fayet­teville

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