Over the weekend Ohio governor and former republican candidate John Kasich hinted he may decide to withdraw support from his own party, should the GOP fail to “fix” itself and continue its current trajectory towards the far-right. Cornell experts comment on Kasich’s remark and offer their take on the well-being of the two-party system.
Glenn Altschuler, professor of American studies at Cornell University, says the two-party system, unlike the general US population, is becoming less diverse and therefore less effective.
“The two-party system has lasted so long, and served the country relatively well, because each party was ideologically diverse. These days, because the parties are relatively homogeneous, and are driven to the ideological extremes by primaries and gerrymandering, there is little or no incentive for bi-partisanship or compromise.
“That said, our politics continues to be organized in a way that makes it virtually impossible for third parties (except for candidacies self-funded by billionaires like Ross Perot) to get on the ballot in many states, let alone win elections. Thus John Kasich’s problem: if he no longer supports the Republican Party, where can he go?”
Elizabeth Sanders, professor of government at Cornell, says that both major parties are approaching a once-in-a-generation realignment.
“Well, we do know the GOP may be falling apart and the Democrats too are in a lower-visibility crisis.
“We are approaching realignment. That’s what all this means. A once-in-a-generation realignment caused by the failure of neoliberalism and globalism to allow decent, reasonably happy and hopeful lives to 40 percent of the US population.”