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Trump that.. two-party system?

Donald Trump and Paul Frymer are on the same page…Somewhat. African-Americans have been marginalized in American politics for centuries. In 1992, a democrat took office for the first time in sixteen years. However, Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign was the first democratic campaign in thirty years to not discuss methods of assuaging racial tensions. His campaign also focused largely on gaining the support of white voters rather than African-Americans. Frymer would assert that this shift in campaign focal points stemmed from electoral capture, or when a group “has no choice but to remain in the [political] party” (Frymer 8). Because these groups will remain in their party, politicians will focus more on majority and swing groups rather than them. This in turn will only serve to discourage minority groups such as African-Americans from voting, as they feel neglected by their own party’s candidate.

Frymer argues that the two-party system is actually counterproductive in allowing for balance and equality among different social groups. As opposed to “appeasing both sides of the racial divide,” the two-party system appeals to “racially moderate to conservative whites and [suppresses] the open expression of black political interests” (Frymer 7). This makes the two-party system easily exploitable, and democratic party leaders for years have abused it. Even Donald Trump mentioned it in tonight’s debate, stating (roughly) that democrats promise many things for the African-American community during election months, but never fulfill any of them after they’ve taken office. Rather, they simply rely on receiving a majority of the African-American vote already. Under the two-party system, “party leaders have an incentive to appeal almost exclusively to the majority group,” further isolating African-American participation and equality in American politics (Frymer 6).

Nick • September 27, 2016

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