Political Parties: Are they Still Relevant?

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Elections come and go and they often do more than just leave us with a president or a senator; more times than not they leave some of us with a bitter taste in our mouths. Why, you ask? Because we see political parties rear their ugly heads, showing us their true colors, and no, they are not red, white and blue.

The true colors of political parties have gotten me thinking. Are they still relevant? I would argue no because, one, we are already seeing voters leave political parties in droves, two, candidates and parties themselves no longer adhere to their platforms, and three, they simply divide our country.

Since the 2008 election, we have seen an increase in people leaving their respective parties and claim independency. In a 2011 USA Today study of 28 states, over 2.5 million voters have left their parties in favor of independency.

This surge in independent voters is just another reason to abolish political parties. There are now over 24 million registered Independent voters compared to 30 million Republicans and 42 million Democrats.

Though those numbers are not as high as the Republicans and Democrats there is evidence to suggest that these independent parties are growing. In the all-important swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, there has been an increase in Independent voters totaling to over 500,000.

This statistical data represents a changing of the guard, so to speak. It represents a group of people who view political parties in a negative light. Such as new Independent voter Chris Weigand; he says that the parties are “so hellbent on carrying out whatever their perceived agendas are that they’ve totally lost sight of the regular citizens.”

Perhaps one can argue that some party politicians keep their sights on the regular citizen but it is difficult to argue that they have kept their sights on the core values of their party platform.

When we look at this example we need not look any further than the criticism that was drawn from 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

As he went through the primaries he was focused on out-righting his other opponents. Diving further and further into his party’s platform. It was like music to the Republican’s ears.

But I guess Romney had a change of heart when he started his presidential campaign because we saw that he was being criticized for a lot of flip-flopping and back tracking. All one seemingly had to do was watch his first presidential debate and see “Republican Romney” transform into “Moderate Mitt” right before their eyes.

Let’s be honest though, Mitt Romney is not the only political party member that we have seen that cannot stick to his core party beliefs. There are other politicians who have done so as well which is why political parties should be abolished.

Besides giving us a recent example of a politician’s flip-floppery, the 2012 election also gave us a very grim realization of our nation’s parties and its followers. They, we, are divided.

Our country, which sought out to free the world of despots and dictators, of warlords and warmongers, is being ripped to shreds from within by its own system, its own corrupt politicians, and yes, even its own people.

I fear for the worst if we do not do away with political parties, if we do not stop labeling ourselves Republican or Democrat and start calling ourselves Americans. After the 2012 election, 52 percent of voters polled expect that the current partisan conflict will stay the same, according to a Pew Research Center Poll. Well, if this is true, and if these partisan conflicts do stay the same, then we may find ourselves a broken nation. Abraham Lincoln leaves us with an important reminder, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

So with all things considered,the shift of independent voters, the inability of our representatives to maintain their party platforms, and the divisiveness of our parties, what are the benefits of abolishing political parties?

Well, one, you would see an increase in research a voter would have to do in order to make an informed decision. No longer would an uninformed voter be able to walk into a poll and vote for a candidate just because they are a member of their party.

Two, you would see an increase in the number of candidates because with a thir

Three, you would see the average citizen begin to be recognized as an individual with their own thoughts, beliefs, and ideas and not some product or puppet of a political party.

Four, we would see elections determined by statesmanship and honor instead of who can receive the most money from their political party.

At the end of this article, I am merely asking: are political parties becoming irrelevant? You, the people have the chance to decide on this matter. Do we make a change or do we stick with the status-quo?

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