We often describe our nation as having a Two Party System but in reality that should read “Two Major Party System.” Many democracies like the United Kingdom have multi-political parties which often requires negotiations after a national election to determine who will have the leadership. In parliamentary democracies the leader of the party having the most votes will control both the executive and legislative branches in government.
When the government for the new United States was formed, the separation of powers was considered most important and that the legislature, chief executive, and high courts should be separate bodies to protect us from dictatorial government, which today we are seeing threatened.
In reality we have many political parties representing various special interests. In addition to the Republican and Democrat parties there are the Libertarian and Green Parties plus many other groups that seek to be on the ballots in general elections. To be on a ballot, states have any number of percentage requirements as to how a candidate can be on the ballot, and we often see more than the two major ones listed when we vote.
Many third party movements look to how the Republican Party was created in the 1850s. The Republican Party began by enlisting members from the Democrat Party who were dissatisfied and from a growing group called the Abolitionist Party, citizens opposed to slavery. John C. Fremont was the first Republican candidate for president running and being defeated in 1856. However four years later, a brilliant backwoods lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, became the standard bearer of the new party and went on to win the presidency.
Third parties can have a tremendous effect on general elections and nearly caused the upset of Harry Truman and Democrats in 1948. Dissatisfied Democrats in the South titled themselves ‘Dixiecrats’, selecting U.S. Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia to be their standard bearer. The Dixiecrats caused a very close election, which Harry Truman still was able to win in what was considered an upset. Many years later, not so fortunate was Republican President George Bush who, running for a second term and being highly favored lost votes to Ross Perot who headed the Reform Party, giving the election to Democrat Bill Clinton.
Today there are a major number of people who reject the labels of either major party and call themselves Independent Voters. This group now nearly equals in number the totals calling themselves Democrats or Republicans and they are being heavily courted for their votes. The issues being espoused by these independents relate to the economy, illegal immigration, the conflicts growing in our schools and many other things. Some interesting titles have been taken like the “No Label Party.”
Within the Democrat Party, Joe Biden and his handlers have shown such poor leadership that two third party threats are emerging. One is coming from Robert Kennedy, Junior, who now has 20% of support of the Democrat Party of which a majority have indicated they wished Biden would not run for reelection. The other is the pressure being put on Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Looking at the Republican Party even with Donald Trump showing a major lead in the polls there are now eleven other candidates seeking the GOP nomination.
Another factor is the role religion may play as the number of churches getting politically involved has grown. With a Democrat leadership supporting so many issues that are condemned in the Bible, Christians and Jews are waking up to the fact that their action is needed. One group has a most intriguing title, Constitutional Christian Conservatives. This writer kind of favors that himself.
This looks like the election in 2024 may go down as the most important in our history. A vote of Socialism versus the right to keep our Freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States.