Seems to me that in my Early Years, the two main political parties were each barely on opposite sides of a line that represented the middle ground: when something came up, each side pointed toward a solution that was only slightly to the left or right.
More and more, however, the Republicans and Democrats seem to be moving farther and farther apart -- one side or the other will produce a 'personality' that draws public attention, and their counterparts will cast around for someone to counteract the other side. This (of course) only results in the first side coming up with a counter-counter-personality, who must be topped. Back and forth they go, each sides Loud Voice moving the group a miniscule bit farther away from the other -- until, finally, we reach the point where any proposal by either side is immediately perceived as unacceptable for the simple reason that it came from the 'opposition'.
I know I'm not the first person to think of this -- the simple fact that there have been repeated attempts to establish and grow a third, fourth, or other 'alternative' party suggests that there are a lot of people out there that agree: neither the Democrats NOR Republicans have a hammerlock on Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
Personally, I think (and hope) that it isn't going to be too much longer before the separation between the two parties is great enough that there will be room for a third -- and further, that once that 3rd party survives an election year, it will quickly grow to overwhelm either of the other two. I think this will happen for a very few simple, basic reasons:
- Our government has simply become too big, bloated, and inefficient.
- Our government is nowhere NEAR responsive to the wishes of the American people as a whole.
- Our government has become too intrusive and demanding on the very people it is supposed to be serving.