The Party Goes On: The Persistence of the Two-Party System in the United States

The Party Goes On: The Persistence of the Two-Party System in the United States

The Party Goes On: The Persistence of the Two-Party System in the United States

The Party Goes On: The Persistence of the Two-Party System in the United States

Excerpt

In 1972, David Broder, one of the nation's leading political journalists, published a book entitled The Party's Over. His theme echoed the beliefs of many political observers in the press, in the academic community, and in the world at large that the American two-party system—arguably the oldest party system in the world —was in serious danger of collapse. Although he was pessimistic about the situation, Broder was by no means writing about a certainty: "If we engage ourselves in politics, and particularly concern ourselves with the workings of those strangely neglected institutions, the political parties . . . we may find the instrument of national self-renewal in our hands." Broder's theme of decline was picked up like a banner and carried throughout the 1970s and well into the 1980s as an obituary of a curious institution, which we had viewed alternately with affection and disgust. The death of the parties became the premise of most analyses thereafter.

This book is about political rebirth. The American party system, like the Phoenix, has risen from the ashes of turmoil a half generation ago. The current system is not the same as it was before. It . . .

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