US Political Parties
The history of the American politics is dominated with two major political parties, although there are other political parties. The constitution of the United States (US) has been considered silent on issues of political parties, an indication that the US constitution has not articulated issues of the political parties (Ashbee, 2004). The founders of the parties in the earlier times considered formation of parties as a threat, although politics have defined US. At the signing of the US constitution in 1787, the nation had not a single political party in place. Surveys on the globe indicated that there existed no nation with political parties that were voter based (Matzke, 2009).
Inventions of the political parties in the US started in 1790s, this happened after the republic organized a win basing on the popular support. US have been innovative with centuries, to an extent that Americans linked the public policy with the public opinion through campaign techniques organized by the political parties.
Historians and the political scientist divided US into two party systems in five areas. It has been noted that modern two party systems is characterized with Republican Party and the Democratic Party (Frost et al, 2003). There are a number of other political parties commonly referred to as the third parties identifying with Libertarian party, Constitution party and Green party among others (Peele et al, 2010). The third parties occasionally eject representatives in the local offices. Libertarian party is the largest third party since 1980s.
The US political spectrum since the 1930s; has been accused of applying left-right politics, which has been criticized by the rest of the world. A critical consideration at the US political system indicated that the two major political parties in the US influenced classical liberalism and the economic liberalism (Matzke, 2009). Further investigations showed that right leaning Republican Party and modern American Conservatism supporting limited government; hence doing away with left leaning Democratic Party and the modern American Liberalism.
Democratic Party dominates the US political system with the Republican Party following closely at position two. Findings have indicated that since 1852, the two parties have been in power in any presidential elections, an indication that the two parties have been controlling the US Congress (Ashbee, 2004).
Democratic Party compared to other political parties in the world is the oldest that is still operational. Republican Party divided from the Democratic Party in 1912 general election. Democratic Party is known for economic issues and labor issues. Franklin Roosevelt is one of the most influential economic philosophers and president of the US argued along American Liberalism. American Liberalism has influenced the destiny of the Democratic Party since 1932 (Ginsberg et al, 2001).
New Deal Coalition was spearheaded by Roosevelt and made an influence in the White House till late 1968, taking the 1953-1961 Eisenhower as an exception. Democratic Party is one of the largest political parties in the US, with an estimated support of more than seventy two million active supporters (Frost et al, 2003). Barrack Obama, the current president of the US is the fifteenth Democrat to take up the high office. Surveys done in 2011 indicated that a significant number of Democrats have changed their bid to support Democratic Party for the support of the Republican Party, it is estimated that roughly one million supporters of the Democratic Party had defected (Ginsberg et al, 2012).
Republican Party is the second most powerful party in the US after the Democratic Party. Media fraternity in the US nicknamed Republican Party as the ‘Grand Old Party (GOP)’ since 1880s. Republican Party dates back to 1854 after it was founded by Modernizers and Northern activist involved in anti-slavery (Ginsberg et al, 2001). History shows that Abraham Lincoln came to power after the 1860 elections; Lincoln in the American Civil War took advantage of the Republican Party machinery in supporting and fuelling his victory (Peele et al, 2010).
Republican Party was influential at the Third Party system in 1854-1896 and during the Fourth Party System in 1896-1932. Republican Party in the twenty first century is inclined to the US conservative platforms which have strongholds in fiscal conservatism, economic liberalism and social conservatism (Brooks, 2009).
George Bush is the former president from the Republican Party, positioned at nineteenth to hold the powerful office among the Republicans. Mitt Romney was defeated by Obama a Democrat. Romney was Massachusetts’ former Governor. Taking a look at the midterm elections done in 2010, Republican Party held majority in US House of Representatives (Ginsberg et al, 2010).
Organizational structures of the political parties in the US are more of pyramids with millions of the supporters and a number of party officials. The national party heads at the top of the party are few and very powerful. US constitution has allowed federalism to take shape in the government as well as in the political parties (McKay, 2009). Offices and elections are influenced by the national-state-local basis model, which also expects the parties to be organized in the same pattern (Coleman et al, 2012). The organizations of the political parties have a great influence in the nature running the government.
The workers of the parties have the responsibilities of selecting promising individuals capable of running the offices. The selection is done through financing and managing campaigns as the positions and policies of the being appealed to the people in the constituents. It is expected that cooperation is a priority among the different levels of the government (Brooks, 2009). National party in a number of times gives a helping hand to the state levels and to the congress levels. Presidential elections are shaped by the state and local organizations.
Democratic Party and the Republican Party are experiencing challenges with the fluctuating membership. Political culture of Republican Party and Democratic Party has some similarities and differences that influence the membership of the general public. The outcomes of the policies influence the attitude, sentiments and beliefs of the general public towards the political parties (Ginsberg et al, 2010). Structural differences in Democratic Party indicated that the power in the party flow in an upward trend while power in the Republican Party flowed in a downward pattern. The second difference is pegged on the attitudinal aspect where the Democrats consider themselves as outsiders even after achieving the powers while the Republicans considers themselves as insiders even after losing powers (McKay, 2009).
It has been noted that the membership of the Democratic Party is reducing with time; it seems people are not satisfied with the Obama administration. America is governed by two main ideologies identifying with liberal ideology and Conservative ideology, and the two ideologies at time crash. Some of the people defecting Democratic Party argue that Obama is not Conservative, and also not Liberal, hence meaning that Obama administration to some extent lacks direction (Ginsberg et al, 2012). Times are changing with socializations and globalization, an indication that membership of the Democratic Party and Republican Party will experience changes (Coleman et al, 2012). Voting patterns among the Americans are based on values and ability and not pegged to racism among other negative connotations. A president must have strong and workable ideologies.
Ashbee, E. (2004). US Politics Today. England : Manchester University Press.
Brooks, S. (2009). Understanding American Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Coleman, J. J. et al. (2012). Understanding American Politics and Government. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.
Frost, B. et al. (2003). History of American Political Thought. New York: Lexington Books.
Ginsberg, B. et al. (2001). Essentials of American Politics. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc.
Ginsberg, B. et al. (2010). We the People: An Introduction to American Politics. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Ginsberg, B. et al. (2012). We the People: An Introduction to American Politics. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Matzke, C. S. (2009). Government in America People, Politics, and Policy. Instructor’s Manual , 3-275.
McKay, D. (2009). American Politics and Society. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.
Peele, G. et al. (2010). Developments in American Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.