Is America’s Two-Party System Breathing It’s Last Breaths..?

Kang and Kodos

The answer is that it surely has to be.

While many Americans have been complaining about the two-party system for decades, never has the inherent idiocy of that system been so pronounced and obvious as in 2016 and the fact that the presidency will be contested by either a celebrity demagogue who at least half the population despises or a criminal who no one likes or trusts.

Or Kang and Kodos, as I prefer to think of them.

But the fact that both parties – the Republicans and the Democrats – appear to have also been in meltdown only serves to expose the ridiculousness of the system to those who otherwise might not have perceived any problem with it before.

With one party going out of its way to halt the rise of a rogue candidate (and failing to do so) and the other pulling out all the dirty tricks to prevent a genuinely popular, grassroots politician from ‘stealing’ the nomination from a corrupt, hated, mistrusted establishment insider, the farce of American ‘democracy’ has never been so evident.

WikiLeaks has now made official what most people already knew – that the DNC has been actively scheming to undermining Bernie Sanders’ campaign at every turn and doing everything possible to ensure that Establishment Messiah Hillary Clinton gets to run for the presidency.

In essence, the DNC was screwing Sanders and his legions of enthusiastic, mostly young, supporters and campaigners the whole time.

Beyond that, of course outright electoral fraud was also brought into play to ensure Hillary’s path to victory (covered at length here).

And it could be argued that the biggest part of the Inside Job was played by mainstream US media, which was fixed into pro-Hillary mode from the outset and spent much of the primaries trying to pretend Sanders was merely some kind of fringe irritant to be dismissed and not allowed to ‘interfere’ with the ‘real’ nominee.

Hillary vs Trump meme: Two Party System 

So with Sanders removed from the race – via no small amount of fraud, media scheming and DNC trickery – voters are left with Trump and Hillary: both candidates being immensely unpopular and neither even remotely capable of carrying the trust or goodwill of the majority of the electorate.

But the system is of course designed to work that way: to narrow the arena to limited possibilities, as limited possibilities can be easier rigged or controlled. A binary choice – or at least the controlled perception of a binary choice – is, in essence, undemocratic; but it means that both sides can play the either/or card. Trump: ‘If you vote for Hillary, everything will stay the same.’ Hillary: ‘If you vote Trump, there will be anarchy’.

The situation for many therefore becomes voting out of fear or simply for lack of alternatives: voting Hillary only because you’re scared of Trump, or voting Trump only because you know how crooked Hillary is.

And when even Bernie Sanders himself, who has spent months openly stating how unfit Hillary is for the presidency, gives in and endorses her, it’s no wonder so many people were booing or calling him a sell-out.

 Bernie Sanders campaigning for Democrat nomination, 2016 

Sanders’ reasoning, if you listen to his speech, is literally fear: essentially, he says you must support Hillary or we’ll end up with Trump.

But Sanders could’ve run as an independent. He could’ve, in essence, continued the fight, taking his legions of supporters and campaigners with him. The fact that he didn’t do so – putting aside for now any theories about ‘selling out’ or back-room deals – suggests simply that the whole notion of running as an independent candidate is so dis-empowering, so looked-down-on, that it isn’t even worth contemplating.

And that’s because the system itself is rigged to facilitate the continuation of the two-party system; or what Ralph Nader once called the “two-party dictatorship”.

The most successful Independent campaign in modern memory was in 1992 when businessman Ross Perot ran against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. Perot actually won approximately 19% of the vote (about 20 million votes): yet he was unable to win a single electoral college vote and didn’t win any states.

Sanders, for the record, was also offered a considerable deal by the Green Party candidate Jill Stein – she offered to let him transfer over to her party as the presidential candidate, with Stein staying on as prospective vice-president.

Given what Perot was able to do in a much less toxic time, the potential for a Sanders/Stein campaign to offer voters an option other than Trump or Hillary would’ve been enormous.

Given how much momentum was behind Sanders campaign, and given how many people are openly unwilling to vote for Hillary or for Trump, there was surely never a better time for such a joining of forces. And even if it didn’t result in a win in November, it would draw enough support away from Hillary to amount to a massive political/social statement about the Third Way in American politics and hope for the future.

Instead, Sanders appears to have just caved in and lowered himself to simply trying to frighten people into supporting Hillary – for fear of the alternative.

He too, by playing it that way, is essentially advocating preservation of the system in which your only options are two parties – and whichever candidate those two parties put forward, no matter how horrible those candidates are. Almost literally, Kang and Kodos.


“If you let a third or fourth entity into the debates, the Republicans and Democrats will fall,” former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, explains in an interview with CCTV. Ventura, once of the Reform Party, has been a massive advocate for Third Party politics and independent candidates for many years. “They’ve been in charge of this country for 150 years. I guess it gives you one more choice than a dictatorship…”

The media too is completely set up to make independents and Third Party candidates seem like an irrelevance.

The mass media is set up to deny a place at the debating table to these candidates and is modulated to limit their exposure.

And too much of the voting public doesn’t even consider such candidates, because they’ve been conditioned to dismiss them as absolute long-shots or pie in the sky. But when you have elections where 64% of the electorate doesn’t even turn out to vote (because, we’re told, they don’t like either of the two main candidates), what would happen if the bulk of those people instead gave their votes to independents or Third Party candidates?

Even the term ‘Third Party Candidate’ is designed to be inherently dismissive, as it suggests a secondary or lower tier of politics that is somehow inherently less worthy of serious consideration.

So is any of that going to change?

Well, it seems as if America might now reach absolute tipping point: either just go into full, even open, dictatorship mode or allow for the evolution of the system. Trump and Sanders have already fully exposed and discredited the two establishment parties: Trump by bypassing and defeating the Republican establishment completely and Hillary by having to resort to electoral fraud and mass media manipulation to oppress the Sanders campaign.

There has never been a time like this in American politics.

Mass disillusion and mass mistrust in the establishment system is at its all-time high; and while the right-wing voters have Trump, the liberals and progressives find themselves stranded and without a candidate. They can go Third Party or vote for an Independent. Some of them will.

But the desire and absolute need for revolution that has now massively manifested itself might mean that this is the end. The only survival option might be to go into full dictatorship mode: Hillary or Trump – either of them could be the vehicle by which that is enacted, given the right crisis. Or, in a best case scenario, within the next four to eight years, the two major parties will have haemorrhaged so much support that other parties will be significantly strengthened or a whole new movement can pick up major momentum.

But one suspects, pessimistically, that it might take a major crisis of some description for the two-party stranglehold to really end and the system to change.

What is clear from 2016 is that, for progressive Democrats anyway, the desired change cannot be accomplished within the constraints of the party anymore.

S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.


  1. Blame Brexit. Blame Trump (if…). This is the plan.

    Can we really expect two-party and normal affairs to make another four year cycle? I’m not that convinced we’ll even get to this election, with more Obama and emergencies on stand-by. One single ‘act of provocation’ and the US is turned upside-down and over the pond and on…

    If only the many more… caring-to and coming to, this rare-like website and ‘a place at the debating table’. “Coming-out” and commenting. Yet, how much have we had the care knocked out of us? Here’s the background drainer. More who-cares, than what about? Some stage the necessity to matter, will more masses, kick-in (talking US and UK). The blessed (good and from God somehow), irritant of Trump, and the never more obviously criminal Clinton, is at least demanding deeper looking at the resolute rot we live in. Yes, the two parties are irredeemable, unless most all are suddenly forced to resign. And this is what’s needed – and they lose heart in the face of the fight. Realise their prison building for ‘all’ is also for them. And the goodness in the best of em rises.

    • Well, it’s clear both party establishments have lost all credibility, along with the mainstream American media. It’s hard to see how they can carry on with business as usual without either scrapping democracy or allowing for ‘revolution’.
      If there is to be ‘revolution’, however, then it is likely to be stage-managed revolution, co-owned or co-opted by the Establishment to make certain the ‘change’ doesn’t completely disrupt their own agendas. Hence – in my opinion – Mr Trump; an establishment figure disguised as a rebel to play out a false ‘revolution’ just in case Hillary doesn’t win.

      • Trump’s a rebel; compromise the question. Why would he stand otherwise? Makes no sense, plus, those close and long-term viewing, offer too much testimony – speaks too loud. It’s not ‘what’ he says but, there was no need… he didn’t have to? Surely not that hot, an actor? There’s no logic he’s in the in-devil-crowd. Pray he gives his life… this is what he must. For us to win some ground. Regardless of finer thinking and his give-away ‘torture’ etc crap. Clinton could take us all down quick. Forget the anti-Christ, we have wars to consider with this crack-head.

      • To be more precise; Of course, who knows what drives Hillary, what’s going on in her head? The war-talk though is the most disturbing thing I hear. Suspect drugs, because why else would people be so dangerous with us all? The only other answer is transhumanist visions from hell – (being precise here). The disconnect to want to provoke Russia, even China, not least c/o Syria, is truly horrific. Not sure if Trump was/is sincere for good, he would/will get much done? The litmus test, if he was elected and along the way, is who he chooses to surround himself with? You could argue, if he was elected at all/assuming carrying the votes – most indicates, he’s on the ‘other side’ not the ‘peoples’? Not the yapping but that he’s ‘allowed’ to get there. Conversely, stopped by crooked ones, might show his credibility? Or, you could argue, he’s a set-up up from the start, a con for the robbery, to instigate the riots and clampdown? As for; gets-in, does-good? One goal of hope: Pull the world back from wider war. From all that’s left for those so desperate in their crimes and a busting-up economic West.

        Value this and the handful of sites I visit/comment on. If ever a time to express our cries and protest eh? One main challenge; Will we, cry out and protest? Enemy elite’s internet-based aim is divide and keep us from productive convergence. Can we sustain conversation and somehow collaborate in enabling – encouraging, 10,000 more blogs, and millions of digital outcries? While we can. You and cynical to the uttermost re Trump-ers might be right but surely, we’re already in too deep a mess for his whereabouts, to potentially matter significantly/negatively? As for positively – shouldn’t take long to see/if?

        Oh well, a restless night. Using this comment to ache something out. Better (I) pray.

        • Help me out with what you mean with ‘transhumanist visions of hell’…? I mean, I know what the sentence means, but I’m not sure what it means in relation to this specific subject-area.
          On the subject of Trump: I’m not entirely sure whether he’s for real or just controlled opposition – I genuinely cannot tell. But I imagine he’s less dangerous than Hillary: since we know for sure what Hillary’s nature and leanings are.

    • Yup there I go again, lippy language not explaining or necessarily keeping to the subject. Suppose, could go: Trump – one or two others claim – like the rest in elite-ville knows about these ‘final solutions’ but stepped up to try stopping them. Maybe ‘knowing/about’ is the wrong phrase and ‘believes that much’ – more the case – and ‘coming imminently’. And could’ve surmised, able to mainstream assault through politics and who else could, let alone, would? Someone being able to genuinely challenge the US dynasties needing to be not in-enough but..? (The big ‘but’).

      Transhumanism via crashing economies, wars and mass/mass die-off/killings. Some argue these plans are too ‘self-defeatest’ to go-ahead. Strategic hideaways suggest otherwise and wealthiest ones all clambering to build their safe-spots. Their apparent action speaks loud. And Hillary? Deeply, delusionally, idealistically, in for this tomorrows world? Deluded – that’s the other word.

      Trump could be as claims, one of the growing concerned… “having kittens” lot, prepared to do or die? There must be some billionaire-boys recognising their potential regret to come, if they don’t/didn’t, have a go? A quite-ish, progressive coup is I reckon, well under-way. And my guess is a sizeable number of the US population think, not only the two-party system has trouble staggering on but their whole creaking states. Trump provides some kind effort, for all the screaming Trump-ites, there’s way more who want to give benefit of the doubt. Not all like but ‘could he be?’

      ‘From hell…’ provocatively linking, what I consider, is the dark unseen of it. Scribble and puzzle away, wanting to write-out and pray into. Need God to show me what’s going on with all this? Not got so far yet but trying to stay off the net and things, long enough to get in the hearing groove. Excuse me babbling up your most decent website but doing these comments helps. Me. Get some suss. Tar for asking.

      • No worries, Mark – I love your contributions.
        I’m not disagreeing with you about Trump necessarily. I remain undecided about him: he could be an establishment con-job or he could be the real-deal (albeit a very problematic real-deal). With Trump, I feel like if he would just tone down the racist-baiting and excessive right-wing rhetoric, I would probably be much more enthusiastic about him on account of some of his other positions.
        I still prefer him to Hillary: but it seems like, either way this election might go, there’s going to be major problems.

  2. Obviously the irony of how dysfunctional their system is, is lost on many americans, though the rest of the world is waking up to it. However the multi-party system we have is getting worse too. In the last election over a million votes were cast for the many many many independants and minor parties. That may not sound like much in an electorate of over 46 million but further analysis of the results may show that in our FPTP system some of those votes could have made a difference in some constituencies for the major parties. And as with the US we have plenty of non voters too, approx 15 million in the last election. Real democracy really doesn’t exist anywhere but it is defintely safe to say that reform is definitely needed both sides of the Atlantic.

    I also find it interesting that folks seem to think that one or other of the candidates could turn out to be a dictator. This could fit in with one of the predictions of the famous Baba Vanga who apparently predicted that Obama would be the last american president. Of course many different scenarios could produce such a result, so we shall just have to wait and see. Although if I was an american I’d be concerned as she also predicted 9/11.

    • Yes, there are a lot of people who are anticipating ‘chaos’ and unrest in America, followed by Martial Law, with either Hillary or Trump in a position to preside over a ‘dictatorship’ in all but name. I’m not sure that’s precisely what would happen – but I think it is possible, given enough unrest and violence. I begin to suspect that one of the reasons the DNC couldn’t allow Sanders to win the nomination is because it has all been planned for that shift into Martial Law – and someone like Sanders might not be amenable to that, whereas Hillary or Trump would be.
      The idea of Obama being the last president is interesting: I’ve never heard of Baba Vanga – can you tell us more about her?
      In terms of reform being needed on both sides of the Atlantic, I agree completely. PR, coalition politics and cross-party government is the way forward in my view.

      • Totally agree – PR is a start, coalitions and cross-party gov help to curtail ideologies – but maybe we need to think more radically, maybe we need to get away from party politics altogether and develop a form of democracy that is truly representative and not just pretenting to be.

        As for Baba Vanga, she was a blind Bulgarian woman who by all accounts had about an 80% accuracy rate for her prophecies. Some describe her as the modern Nostradamus who made predictions not just of events within her lifetime but far into the future (50th Century or so). She died aged about 85 in 1996 and an internet search will yeild hundreds of articles on her and her predictions. Her story is quite facinating but some of her predictions for the future sound like sci-fi scripts and I’m glad I won’t be around to find out if she was right.

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