As my time as an active Postie comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to review a topic that has always interested me that I chose to write my first ever column on: the mess that is the two party system.
In January 2019, two years into the presidency of Donald Trump, the American political landscape looked a lot different than it does now. The Republican Party was more divided than it is now. The Democratic Party looked like it was going to split into a “progressive left” and a “centrist left.” This is sort of apparent, with representation for the progressive left by some congress members like “The Squad.” Still, this is a very small sect of representation and these politicians and their supporters are still a part of the Democratic Party, and it doesn’t look like they will be branching off on their own, if they haven’t yet already.
While in the beginning of 2019 it may have looked like the Democratic Party could have split, the Democratic Party made their power and intentions clear on keeping the Democratic Party moderate. When Bernie Sanders ran for president once again in 2020, he was a solid front-runner until Super Tuesday. Most of the moderate candidates that were splitting up the moderate vote, like Pete Buttigeg and Michael Bloomberg, dropped out to basically hand Biden the lead.
When it came down to it, the Democratic Party stood their ground and held solidarity in order to put up the candidate that best represented the main ideals of the centrist Democratic Party. The party has fought hard to maintain their identity and keep themselves from leaning too far left. However, nudges from the more radical side of the party have seemed to push the Democratic further left ever-so-slightly.
The Republican Party had a similar-looking possible split in 2019. At this point, the party was still looking pretty split up about how they felt about populist Donald Trump, though any sort of disagreement has been thoroughly squashed here in 2022. The Republican Party has become the party of Donald Trump. Even though he didn’t win the 2020 presidential election, the way the party completely circled around him with the stolen election allegations and the January 6th insurrection was something a freshman columnist could never have predicted.
What this freshman columnist did predict, maybe a little ignorantly, was a three-way split of the Republican Party into classic conservatives, Donald Trump populists and conservatarians, the sect of the party that have more libertarian ideals, but are associated with the Republican Party.
Let’s be honest: the conversation surrounding the two-party system was maybe slightly nuanced in January 2019, but since has lost all sense of nuance to the times and changes in political discourse.
It’s interesting to take a look back and see what has changed in the political discourse since I began my journey as an opinion columnist. To my readers, I thank you for embarking on this journey with me as I share my opinions and learn about the topics I cover. My time as a Postie has shaped my college experience and will continue to be a part of who I am as I become a Postie alumni.
Mikayla Rochelle is a graduate student studying public administration at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.