US History (General)

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Why are parties weak in America?

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Phillip Holland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would like to say that political parties are one of the most powerful aspects of the American political system. In any major state or federal election, it is hard to get on the ballot or to obtain campaign funding without being a member of the two-party system. Both political parties generate income for various elections, and they are supported by special interest groups and wealthy donors. The media also gives candidates of major parties more attention than they do those of third parties. In recent years, politicians tend to vote according to the leanings of their party and this has often led to legislative gridlock in Washington. The parties represent a polarization of politics in the United States that does not support centrists but rather those who have strong leanings toward the right or the left on nearly every cause. A politician cannot have a combination of liberal domestic agendas while supporting a conservative foreign policy, because this will get him/her alienated from...

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