The Insanity of a Two Party System & Our Love Affair with Incumbents

Recent polling shows the American people are not very pleased with Democrats or Republicans. A new poll shows Democrats at their lowest point in 25 years with just a 37% favorability rating. Republicans were even worse off. In a poll conducted last month, the GOP garnered just 23% favoring them.

To some, such numbers would seem to indicate sweeping changes on the political horizon in Washington, DC. But overall history seems to indicate that while some changes are inevitable, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see much of a face lift come 2018 and beyond.

Americans are very good at critiquing and criticizing the United States Congress– and for all kinds of good reasons too. But the criticism typically comes in the form of blanket statements. And when it comes to criticizing – or even replacing – our own elected officials, Americans have proven that they absolutely love their incumbents.

In 2016, there were a staggering 97% of incumbent members of the House of Representatives who won reelection. In that same year, 93% of incumbent Senators won reelection. And if you look at the charts here, you’ll see that going back to 1964 sweeping changes are an exception, not the rule.

Aside from this, when major changes come along in terms of who’s the majority party in the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and the Presidency; it really seems to make little difference in the overall picture. The changes simply go back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, while hot button issues such as the National Debt, taxes, healthcare, etc. continue to be problematic.

There’s that old saying that, “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over, while expecting different results.” It makes sense. So, why there are so many that have convinced themselves that only a two party system is workable – or that only incumbents are worthy of votes – is baffling to me. This is especially true when there are alternative candidates that are obviously superior.

If true change is ever going to come in Washington, then the people are going to have to change their mentality in relation to these things. Otherwise, we’ll continue to get more of the same.


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About T. Arthur Mason 341 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.