Two parties

In the comments of my Thank You post, Ben asked what I thought about our two-party political system.

He reminded me of my post from last November, Why I Might Throw My Vote Away. I think that should give Ben a good idea of my views about it.

I also highly recommend reading Peter Robinson’s book, It’s My Party. In it, Robinson gives a great account of the evolution of political parties in our country, including potential explanations for how the two have persisted.

I’ll have more to add-on the subject soon.

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4 thoughts on “Two parties

  1. Of course! I had forgotten that that was where I had read about how Perot turned the national discussion back toward fiscal conservatism. I even commented on the post! Thanks for redirecting me back.

    A different perspective I have heard recently goes like this: if one were to believe this would be a tight race, a classically liberal/libertarian person might vote for Romney in the hopes that he wins and proves to Republicans just how much centrism gets us and we can swing even further in the other direction.

    It was put a little more eloquently than that, but that’s the gist as I understood it. I don’t subscribe to the view because it tries to peer a little too far into the future and seems to assume too strong of a relationship between the Presidency and the outcomes of bad policies. The President doesn’t operate in a vacuum, and I think it might be expecting a bit too much to believe people would be able to see this effect after the Obama presidency. (Because of both misattribution and ignorance.)

    I say vote how you believe and trust others to try their best to do the same. I always got into trouble playing poker by trying to pre-empt and second-guess the decisions of my opponent. I played better when I just played my own cards.

    However, this is all pretty much just an intellectual discussion for me for the near future… Apparently I was never re-registered to vote when I got my Texas DL late last year (recently moved back to the state.) The primary is on Tuesday and I was looking forward to casting a vote for Ron Paul since I agree with him way more than I do with Romney. Oh well, there will be 3rd party candidates in November.

    • I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking on Romney either. I think the Coke/Pepsi candidates we get are a result of the center moving left. I’m not exactly sure how or why they moved left, but they did. It may just simply be brand politics and oratory ability. Reagan moved the middle rightward with his oratory.

      I know people who talk like libertarians and right center folks, but vote left and I think they vote left because of the identity rather than a true matching up of their beliefs.

      • I totally agree. I think oration and rhetoric (in the true sense of the word) are a big reason for this. Being able to articulate the consequences of actions is what (I believe) people bought into with Reagan. Unfortunately now we allow the debate to be framed in a way that obscures true consequences and trades cause and effect relationships for emotions, and our politicians leave themselves in a no-win situation even if they WANT to make the right choices.

        We need a Milton Friedman-esque orator. We’ve got some great blogging-writers (Boudreaux, Landsburg, Cochrane, even Mankiw) and some that aren’t afraid of a microphone (Roberts) but the only problem is that they’re all economists! Where are the comprehensible, articulate politicians? Christie seems willing to frame his own debate, but I don’t know where he stands on some of the more libertarian-litmus-test issues…

        • I agree. Reagan set a template that few are willing to even try. Part of the problem might be that people who can communicate the case for liberty do not want to be politicians.

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