The Party’s Over. (Or Is It?)
For those of you that follow politics, you might have heard the following statements before:
Regarding #1, it is certainly true that the two major parties dominate up and down the ballot across a vast majority of the United States. Regarding #2 and #3, these are claimed by a variety of pundits on a regular basis. So what does it mean?
Please take a moment to read the following:
What makes today’s conflicts inside the major parties different from intramural elbow-throwing in the past? The rapid rise of unmediated democracy, enabled by the digital revolution. For generations, the major parties have served as rival department stores anchoring opposite ends of America’s political shopping mall. They chose which products to offer and favored certain ones with their most prominent displays. They marshaled big budgets for advertising and thus loomed over the boutiques and specialty stores — the greens, the libertarians and so on — serving smaller clienteles.
Smartphones and the Internet are killing big retail by connecting buyers directly to products. The same is in store for the major parties. Donald Trump went directly to the voters through Facebook and Twitter; they, in turn, swept him past Republican gatekeepers to commandeer the mannequins and display cases of the GOP. Likewise, Sanders has found plenty of volunteers and cash to support his attempted hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. Voters no longer need — nor, in many cases, want — a political party to screen their candidates and vet their ideas. They prefer to build their own movements, often with stunning speed.
Of course, this is just one man’s prediction of more independent and third-party candidates becoming viable in the eyes of voters. However, it should be noted that although figures like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders rose to increased political prominence in 2016 as self-identified outsiders, they did so within the major parties for a reason.
What do you think about this article and its primary arguments? Interested to hear your thoughts!
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