As we come closer to the end of the general election, there are many concerning questions that much of the American public has on the state of politics in our country.
It is a fact that lack of trust of our current government and the establishment remains at a near all time high especially among millennials.
To put it in perspective, according to a Pew Research poll over 77 percent of Americans in 1964, right after JFK’s presidency, said that they could “trust the government in Washington to do what is right.”
Now that number is at a shocking 19 percent. Why is the public so suspicious and pessimistic about the government? There are countless reasons, such as how large the government has gotten andfailing economic and foreign policies, but among those at the top I would argue is the failure of the two-party system that has hurt the trust of the American public.
Only 9 percent of the American citizens chose Trump or Clinton to be nominated for president for their respective parties. That statistic alone shows how the two-party system has isolated American citizens from participating in a healthy democracy.
Moreover the most anti-democratic part of the two-party system is the structure that it has put in place to make sure that independents such as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are bound to fail. This fixed system ensures and reinforces the establishment of Democrats and Republicans.
If support of independents and anti-establishment candidates were low than this would seemingly not be a large issue, but this is simply not the case. Polls predict that one in ten voters will cast their ballot for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein already despite both having very little media attention or money backing their campaigns.
Although not as popular as Clinton or Trump, both candidates have voter bases that are in the millions yet are still excluded from the debates because they do not poll at 15 percent.
Might I add that this ridiculous rule comes from the Commission on Presidential Debates, a private organization that is directly influenced by the two-party system in place and created to ensure that it stays that way. Without debate coverage the chances of the independent candidates being competitive against the dominant bi-partisan forces is near impossible.
It is understandable then why independents around the country believe that our elections system is “rigged” with the two party system in place; they have good evidence to support their reasoning. As seen during this election even people who run under the bi-partisan system are not safe if they don’t carry establishment interests.
Look at Bernie Sanders who carried the vast majority of the millennial vote against Clinton, but did not carry the money or media attention that was at Clinton’s disposal. This was due to her being an establishment candidate in the two party system.
The result of Bernie running and failing in a fixed system that is meant for bi-partisan candidates who carry the interests of D.C. and Wall Street has led another entire demographic to distrust the government and to likely refrain from participating in the election.
Or it could lead them to vote for someone like Trump who is the result of the anti-establishment base on the right, which again is another large demographic that distrusts the government.
These are the ramifications of a two-party system that has suppressed American democracy through overly regulating the campaign process, being corrupted by money and by being ineffective in power, only carrying political and economical interests of the elite in our country.