What political party do you consider yourself a member of, democrat or republican? It seems like those are the only two options.
Most Americans, however, consider themselves to be somewhere in between the two or sometimes another party. Since the majority of Americans do not see themselves 100 percent republican or democrat, they just choose the side they feel they agree more with.
One typically registers under the Democratic or Republican Party and votes, accordingly, even if they do not necessarily feel they agree with a lot of things the candidate of their party believes.
Even though candidates in the presidential election are allowed to belong to any party, ultimately it boils down to a two-party system. Third-party candidates get significantly less press coverage, funding and have less of a support base, meaning people are less willing to volunteer for a third party.
Also, another huge factor is that republicans and democrats view third parties as a threat, known as a “splinter group.” The fear of splinter groups, or groups that break off from one of the two major political parties, create the idea that if one splinter group becomes successful, many more will follow. These splinter groups would then essentially decrease the overall power of the democrats and republicans. A third party will grow from either the democratic or republican party, sharing a similar foundation. Thus, the party they stemmed from would become less organized and unified.
The lack of third-party candidates destroys diversity in the political spectrum. The two-party system in America, currently, does not create an accurate representation of the American people. I believe many voters feel as if having a third-party president would be “un-American,” but this mentality is far from accurate. In fact, the Founding Fathers believed that political parties would only hurt a representative government and believed they had no place in a democracy.
Today, the American people depend heavily on the two parties, alone, and have polar opposite views, so the idea of a compromise seems unattainable. Political disputes will continue into the future until we create some official tiebreaker for hyper-partisanship and I believe third parties could potentially be that solution.