Push Back

It is an axiom of duopolist ideology that Americans 'believe' in the two-party system. Such pronouncements are the stock in trade of the professional commentariat. Chuck Raasch writes for USA Today: "most Americans believe in the two-party system and are inherently skeptical of concentrated power." Unlike their readers, duopoly ideologists such as Raasch are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the glaring contradiction contained in such a statement. In a letter to the editor of the same paper, a reader criticizes its editorial stance in favor of the duopoly: "This Democratic-Republican cartel empowers the elected officials to continue holding power, which is bad for democracy but profitable for monopolists in partnership with the government."

Nonetheless, many Americans do indeed 'believe' in the two-party system. What, however, is the status of this belief? On the one hand, it reveals a fear of a one-party state, and on the other a fear of real political engagement and antagonism. The realignment and recentering of power relations between the duopoly parties have led many to reflect on the health and merits of the two-party system, revealing a fairly widespread concern that it could indeed collapse if the Republican Party proves incapable of resurrecting itself from its symbolic death. How would Americans respond if they were finally robbed of the illusion of choice? Undoubtedly, many simply do not want to find out.

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