Herring: The two party government system goes against equality

General Opinion Graphic

Shi Violet Herring

In order to achieve equal representation within a government, the two-party system must be abandoned.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a democracy is a government ruled by the people through representation that is not obstructed by hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a democrat as, “one who practises social equality,” and a republican as,”one that favors or supports a republican form of government.”

With that in mind, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a republic as a government lead by a chief of state rather than a monarch, and where the power is given to the citizens through voting and representation. Each definition given fosters the same ideals under a different perspective.

With that being the case, why is it that in today’s political climate the words democrat or republican are followed by a sour taste in the back of one’s throat? It also brings up the question of whether or not these two parties have the ability to adequately represent their citizens anymore, when one party decides its view solely based on the fact that the other party supports the opposition.

John Adams famously said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” 

This very evil that is seen in the modern day political world was also a fear of George Washington’s, noted in his Farewell Address speech.

In his speech Washington said,”The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” 

In a Ted talk given by Former Republican member of the US Congress, Bob Inglis, the wisdom of the founding fathers is examined when pushing for a united government.

Inglis said, ”America must stop the dividing and must start the uniting.”

Inglis resolves his claim for America’s unification by proposing that both parties take this opportunity to conquer climate change, health care, and imigration as a modern day moon landing mission, meaning America needs to view these problems as opportunities for growth and exploration into the unknown future.

In order to make great change, the two parties must unite under a common goal. Looking at Oregon State’s student government, this goal is to represent the student body with equal representation and opportunity. 

According to Drew Desilet, the faculty advisor for the Associated Students of Oregon State University, ”Our student leaders see the negative ‘us versus them’ impacts a two party system has on our society. The political party ban, the ban on combining of financial resources, and the campaign spending limit all come together to create a system where students are weighed and elected on their own individual merits, rather than by who their friends or associates are.”

The ASOSU constitution, Section 13: Campus Organization Representatives A, allows one delegate to represent an organization’s ideals and viewpoints; OSU could be the start in pushing the next generation to adopt unity and the acceptance of different backgrounds through politics in the future.

While this institution shows great promise for the future, great changes need to happen within our own government if unity is to be seen within our lifetimes.

Was this article helpful?