Race for White House is two party deal: Either Republicans or Democrats

26/09/2020 11:59

Race for White House is two party deal: Either Republicans or Democrats

Race for White House is two party deal; Republican and Democratic, but it is not because other parties do not have right to suggest their presidential nominees.

Either Republicans or Democrats

Political parties in the United States are dominated by two major parties. Since the 1850s, they have been the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. This two-party system is based on laws, party rules and custom, not specifically outlined in the US Constitution. Various small minor parties come and go and occasionally win minor offices at the state and local level.

The only exception was Theodore Roosevelt who ran as a “third-party” candidate in 1912. He came the second losing to Woodrow Wilson. 

Proportional representation is not applied in federal or state elections. USA have a single-member district system which allows only one party to win in a given district.

“Because elections are held in the states and localities, and because they have decided that they will use a winner takes all rule, America has never been very favorable to the proportional representation,” expert on political parties Dr. Jeffrey Stonecash says.

There is interesting difference between Armenian and American systems. In the past when Armenia still had a presidential governance system political parties’ presidential nominees were their party leaders, but in America party leaders' job is to help candidate get elected.

“But there are some people who try once they have been leader of the party to then turn around and run for president. But there's no guarantee of it at all. You're just another candidate out there once the campaign starts,” says doctor Stonecash.

Basis of party conflict

According to doctor Stonecash, there are three main basic conflicts between Republicans and Democrats; economic individualism and the role of government, race and cultural matters and immigration.

Republican party is more conservative, Democratic party is more liberal. Stonecash emphasizes that conservatives don't want government to tell them what to do. As an example doctor mentions unwillingness of Republicans to wearing masks during pandemic.

These two parties have an interesting conflict according to race and cultural matters.

“The Republican Party is largely white. The Democratic Party is increasingly not dominated yet completely, but it has more and more minorities nonwhites. And I think there are a great number of whites who struggled with legitimacy of nonwhites. Some are outright racist, but some have an attitude that it's not that blacks are inferior, are biologically limited, but they live in a culture where they don't work hard. And so you get whites who are not sympathetic at all to treatment of blacks in a very positive way. They're not hostile. They just think that they need to adopt better behavioral patterns and they'll be okay. I might say not all whites are Republican. There's about 60%, 40% stuck with the Democratic Party,” says Stonecash.

And to sum up about immigration- how do Democrats and Republicans see America?

As doctor Stonecash mentions, liberals see America as an idea.

“An idea that anyone who wants to work hard, who comes here, who's dedicated, follows the appropriate patterns can be in America, conservatives indeed tend to see immigrants as threatening. “They think they consume welfare. They think they have the wrong culture. They think they're going to destroy what the essence of America is,” says doctor.

Political parties can get babysitter for their supporters to help them vote 

In America political parties can do anything possible to help their supporters and it is quite legal.

“You can offer anybody a ride. You can get them a babysitter. You can do all sorts of things to help enable them to be able to get to the polls. You cannot go into the polling site and assist them with voting. So you can get them there. You can do door-to-door to find out who's likely to vote for your candidate. You can make phone calls. And then if you find people who are going to support you, you can offer to do anything possible to help them. And that's all very legal,” says the doctor.

The article has been written in the sidelines of “Elections 2020: A Virtual Reporting Tour in the United States and the American Electoral Process” program.

Author: Varduhi Stepanyan


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