Death of the Republican-Democrat Duopoly
Democrats and Republicans are at risk of becoming irrelevant, says reason.com’s Nick Gillespie, as more voters identify as Independents or with other groups like the Tea Party. He talks with WSJDN’s Kelsey Hubbard about the shortcomings of the longstanding duopoly in American politics.
Nothing in American life today seems as archaic, ubiquitous and immovable as the Republican and Democratic parties.
The two 19th-century political groupings divide up the spoils of a combined $6.4 trillion that is extracted each year from taxpayers at the federal, state, county and municipal levels. Though rhetorically and theoretically at odds with one another, the two parties have managed to create a mostly unbroken set of policies and governance structures that benefit well-connected groups at the expense of the individual.
Americans have watched, with a growing sense of alarm and alienation, as first a Republican administration and then its Democratic successor have flouted public opinion by bailing out banks, nationalizing the auto industry, expanding war in Central Asia, throwing yet more good money after bad to keep housing prices artificially high, and prosecuting a drug war that no one outside the federal government pretends is comprehensible, let alone winnable. It is easy to look upon this well-worn rut of political affairs and despair.