I studied history in college--thought about majoring in it. One of our professors brought out the fact that having two predominate political parties has actually strenghtened our country in an unintended way.
Having two parties is not legislated (obviously), but the two-party system has had a stream-lining effect on our government. We only think we have problems now, but, when you compare our unofficial two-party system to countries that have 3 or more fairly stong parties, you see that their "works" get even more gummed up with stale-mating, arguing, and unsuccessful efforts at compromise--no clear majority ever being a realistic outcome.
Interestingly, we haven't always had the Republicans and the Democrats. Other parties predominated in earlier years. It's just that, unofficially, we have usually had two main parties. Of course, it's perfectly legal to have other parties. That's where we get the evolution of new ones!
At least we don't ditch our Presidents based on party majority. Systems which do that frequently end up changing leaders so often that continuity is virtually impossible to achieve. I'm glad our Presidents have a full 4 years to see what they can accomplish. 6 years might give them too much time to mess things up. With 4 years, if we like where they're headed, we can put them back in office. If we don't, we can get somebody new!
Last edited by cela; 11/22/08 10:38 AM.