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Who shut down the party?

The Democrats are defeated. The Republicans are defeated. Come November, regardless of the winner, one thing is for sure: America is the loser.

With the nominations being all but decided, it’s becoming evident that this election could be the one that breaks the two- party system that has too- long dominated American politics.

In case you’ve been living under a rock since January, Republicans have settled on Donald Trump. The eccentric billionaire, reality star, real estate tycoon — whose name you might recognize since he’s put it on everything he’s ever come in contact with — surprised everyone when he entered the campaign last June.

Back when there were 17 Republican candidates, it seemed highly unlikely that Trump could ever win the nomination; however, as the candidates around him dropped out one by one, Americans slowly came to grips with the possibility of a Trump nomination.

Donald Trump. The name has become synonymous with racism, sexism and just about every other negative -ism you can think of. Republican leaders have never had kind things to say of Trump’s rise, calling it “frightening and disturbing” (Rubio), “utterly amoral” (Cruz) or “bitterness in politics” (Ryan).

Just about every Republican politician has denounced Trump at some point during the campaign season, yet the same politicians have recently endorsed Trump in light of the nomination.

Despite the best efforts of Republican leadership, some members of the party refuse to fall in line. Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Mark Kirk both belong to the “NeverTrump” movement, while also speaking down on Hillary Clinton.

Speaking of the opposite side of the aisle, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has secured the nomination, despite over 40 percent of Democratic voters still “feeling the Bern.” While Sanders has promised to take his campaign to the Philadelphia convention, it is unlikely he can sway enough super delegates to steal the nomination from Clinton.

Clinton has received endorsements from President Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Though Clinton is leading in the delegate count, Sanders’ campaign has received endorsements from key members of the Democratic National Committee and Congress. It’s become difficult for Democratic politicians to tow the party line since there are still two lines to choose from.

The failure of either party to fully unite around its nominee is unprecedented, and if you ask me, it’s quite wonderful. For too long, America has been trapped by its political parties. The only way to succeed in politics has been to choose between Democrat or Republican. Voters have been limited to the same two options.

Then, along came the outsiders, polar opposites in almost every way yet more alike than you may realize: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Both are angered by America’s current state and promise changes. Both are campaigning without any Super PAC funding to claim they can’t be bought. Both are promising to improve trade policies and improve infrastructure throughout the country. Both are defending Social Security the way it is. That’s pretty much every similarity between the two, besides their New York origins and wacky hairstyles.

The success of both Sanders and Trump is essentially a giant “screw you” from voters to the political establishment. American voters are tired of their politicians being bought or clinging to their party affiliation. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from both campaigns, it’s that America needs a political revolution.

The parties have taken away the individual voices of voters. Our beliefs and opinions are far more diverse than can be represented by an elephant or a donkey. The parties have had the power for too long. This election is the closest the country has ever come to abolishing the two-party system.

It’s clear that Americans no longer want to follow party lines, especially when the options have boiled down to Clinton and Trump. Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson have both seen greater rises in poll numbers than any third party has ever received.

No more Democrats. No more Republicans. It’s time we stop associating with our political parties for every decision. Many voters and politicians have decided to abandon their political party; it’s time the rest of the country joins them in shutting down the parties.

About The Author

Sam Palmisano

Sam Palmisano is a freshman dual-majoring in economics and marketing. Sam loves kayaking and ping pong. Outside of Eagle News, Sam is a member of the Honors program and Student Conduct Committee, and serves as President of the Palmetto Hall Area Council. His goals are to be a political economist and to one day run for Congress. You can find Sam getting into arguments on social media or playing frisbee on the library lawn.

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