Courtesy of Raphael Warnock via Flickr

For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. Senate has a Democratic majority, and there is a Democrat in the White House. With majority control over the House of Representatives as well, many people think that this is a sign of hope for Democrats, as many states who traditionally vote Republican swung blue in the 2020 election. The next age of voters seem to lean Democrat, and overall, there is an appearance that as time goes on, the United States may start becoming more Democratic. However, this is a false hope. We should not have faith in our parties anymore; instead, we should focus on individuals and their beliefs, not if they have an R or a D next to their names. The two-party system is restrictive and antiquated, and American politics would be much better off if they were to get rid of it completely. 

Though it may seem strange, as both parties seem to encompass certain ideologies that any given individual has to fall under eventually, Democrats and Republicans spread themselves too thin trying to encompass the ideological spectrum. Not all Democrats vote Democrat or believe everything the Democratic party stands for and vice versa. It is very hard to completely encapsulate the entire population into two different groups ideologically. Indeed, in recent years most people choose to not identify on either side at all. Speaking as an Independent myself, I find that I have beliefs on both sides of the political spectrum that prevent me from believing strongly in either party. There is no point in trying to keep a disintegrating system going if fewer people believe in it every year. 

Getting rid of the bipartisan system in America would not only liberate people from focusing more on party affiliation, but it would also allow people to focus more on voting for individuals they actually admire as human beings and who share the same beliefs as them. The party system veils political candidates behind shrouds of blue and red, and obscures the nuances they might have in the beliefs that their party supports. If we abolished the two-party system, we could see people as individuals rather than the symbolic faces of their respective parties. Nuances could bleed in on important issues: for instance, pro-life liberals like Terrisa Bukovinak or LGBT conservatives like Jim Morgan and their causes could get more attention, offering a less divisive America and instead one that can discuss calmly rather than in heated red and blue arguments in Facebook comments sections. Removing the way we run politics would allow for more progress in communicating differing political ideologies to one another.

Although the removal of the two-party system seems like it would be a push back in advancements made by Democrats, the abolition would actually help promote more progress. By focusing on individual politicians, such as recent Senate winner Raphael Warnock, rather than party affiliation, we could help continue to vote more progressive people into office. Removing parties will allow voters to truly focus on what the person supports rather than what their party usually upholds; if voters are more progressive, they can more clearly see which candidates are truly progressive, and which are disguising themselves as activists to gain office. Even better, needing to focus more on the individual would be greater for political candidates running for office, because they will not simply gain support from the public just because they share party affiliation, but the people will know them and understand where they come from. This would lead to stronger bases for politicians, and the people could truly vote with their hearts for more qualified people to improve the country.

Though this is an almost impossibly daunting task, if we want to see real change in America, we need to abolish the very thing that is constantly keeping us from it. We could see real change in major issues like systemic racism and global warming if we stripped away the false pomp and circumstance of party politics and instead laid bare the people who are running for office, examining them as individuals rather than as cardboard candidates with “Democrat” or “Republican” written across them. Real change needs real people, not performative activists masquerading under party titles that mean nothing anymore. We can be optimistic about just about anything if we truly examine the people we are voting for. Making “Democrat” and “Republican” labels a thing of the past is our best hope for the progression of our future.