The USA was founded on the principle that government would guarantee individual freedom, thereby ensuring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
In 1776, the word "liberal" meant an advocate of individual rights -- those who followed this principle were known as liberals.
After the Civil War, the central government became an instrument of special interests by creating a mercantile system that suppressed free markets and created monopolies. Those who had once called themselves liberals now called themselves conservatives because they opposed this change.
Eventually, the mercantile system became abusive thereby creating a movement toward socialism in an attempt to redistribute income. Those leading this movement were referred to as liberals because they were not bound by the orthodoxy of the time.
Since then our federal government has become an ever-growing apparatus where politicians exchange political favors for votes.
It's basically a form of legalized plunder where one group of voters plunders the earnings of another group in order to benefit themselves.
This is the primary flaw of a two-party democracy.
The Democrats use government as a social tool. They tend to lean toward a collectivist viewpoint where the good of the society is more important than the rights of the individual. It's an insidious attempt to redistribute wealth by force by plundering those who succeed and rewarding those who don't, far beyond a reasonable safety net for those truly in need. Unfortunately, government generally creates more problems than solutions, stifles innovation and incentive, adds layers of suffocating bureaucracy and is almost never cost-effective.
The Republicans use government as a tool to maximize productivity. They tend to lean toward a materialistic viewpoint where the growth of the economy is of primary importance and being a global power ensures our dominance over other nations. Their creation of a massive military-industrial complex, whereby the USA spends more money on military strength than all other countries in the world combined, has turned us into unpopular interventionist global elitists and an intrusive domestic police state.
Both of these political forces require massive amounts of public funding to achieve their goals, whereby each side "compromises" with the other side thereby allowing both costly objectives to be met, creating an unmanageable federal government of colossal size with no end in sight.
A "closed" two-party political system, which has made it nearly impossible for a third party to compete, guarantees that one political party will always be the majority.
And any political party in the majority can run amok with impunity.
Since there is only one other party to keep the majority party in check, a single minority party that may someday once again be in the majority, the minority party can also run amok by mutual consent. The majority party extends government favors to its constituents and, in turn, allows the minority party to do the same, within negotiated limits, to its group of supporters.
Basically, the two parties conspire to confiscate and spend vast sums of public earnings for dual purposes. In a two-party system, there is no one to keep them in check.
Contrary to common sense, two political parties rule over a populace with more than two points of view.
Just prior to the American Revolution, one-third of the people wanted to go to war with the British, one-third wanted to remain under British rule and one-third didn't give a hoot because they knew they would be abused no matter who governed them.
The same three-way spilt was true for the Civil War.
We have a similar three-way split today. One-third of the population tends to support Democrats, one-third supports Republicans, and one-third prefers a leaner unobtrusive government, which is exactly what the so-called Tea Party movement is all about.
Without a political base, those who oppose the two parties in power must vote for the lesser of two evils, or stay at home and bang their heads against the wall.
A two-party system has brought this country to the verge of financial self-destruction. Taxes are far too excessive, the national debt is obscene, freedom is being eroded and our quality of life seems to be deteriorating.
Voting for the lesser of two evils ensures an evil outcome -- more of the same. We desperately need a strong third political party that will keep a lid on federal spending.
On the positive side, banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories per hour.
Quote for the Day -- "The worst government is often the most moral. One comprised of cynics is often very tolerable and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression." H. L. Mencken
Bret Burquest is the author of 7 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY and ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where head-banging is a competitive sport.