Is Our Presidential System Doomed?
In light of the 2016 presidential election and the tumuntrulous turmoil caused by it, it is easy to deem our presidential system on the verge of collapse. In fact, a comment by a previous professor of mine noted that the shelf-life most democracies hold should have been a topic of discussion surrounding this election. With that in mind, I agreed with overarching points Wolf made throughout his article but found him to be lacking serious recognition of fault on both parties. Blaming primarily the Republicans for tearing apart the American people, the simple act of being a two-party system is what is tearing apart the American people. While it is naive to assume the exact purpose of the founders when they were crafting the Constitution, their general justifications and intentions can be predicted to be revolving around benefiting the people of this country. Yet the attachment and polarization of the two main ideological parties has caused the presidential system to be hindered and in turn, undermine the foundation this country was created on. For example, the fear many Democrats had with this previous election was having all three branches of government belonging to a single party majority. However, as Wolf notes, gridlock is still an echo of the problem among Republicans. This is a result of having only two categories to fall under with broad opinions or ethical viewpoints. Therefore, while I do not claim the presidential system is doomed or even as far as on the verge of collapse, I certainly believe it should be somehow modified. With a two party system, citizens are forced to fit into one box or another which can be stressful to the point of citizens turning to nonparticipation. This is definitionally an ineffective government practice if a “democracy” is driving its citizens away. Rather than being completely replaced, I believe the presidential system should be modified to allow for other parties to be truly involved. Another idea would be integrating parliamentary democracy principles in our system such as many European nations have.