Bull Moose Party

As I was reading tonight’s reading about the creation of the two different political parties, or “factions” as they were referred to at the time, I began to think about what significance political parties have today. Especially with this year’s election, I find this an interesting topic to talk, and just to think, about. Mainly what crossed my mind was the idea of there being other political parties, other than just the Democratic and the Republican parties – the two that most known today. Of course, we know that there are other parties, but why don’t we know more about them? Why is it that all the smaller parties are less famous? Which is what brings me to the Bull Moose Party. As odd as the name may seem, it was, and is, a real political party, and even had a sitting president – Theodore Roosevelt. Initially, the party was called the Progressive Party, but Roosevelt changed the name (after he boasted that he was “as fit as a bull moose”).  This party is fiscally conservative, but socially liberal which, to me, seems like a combination that appeals to a lot of people. So, why isn’t it more well-known? Why isn’t there a third debater up onstage with Romney and Obama from the Bull Moose Party? What would have happened if there were? Personally, while I agree with many of the ideals of the Bull Moose Party, I feel that if the country had splintered off into many different political parties, America may have shattered. That said, could all of the different out-spoken ideas helped to spread the little-known opinons of some, rather than just the glazing over of specific varying opinions as occurs today when people declare themselves either “Republican” or “Democrat”?

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11 Responses to Bull Moose Party

  1. sophie says:

    Krissy, you make a very interesting point. Your question got me thinking because you are totally right– America is basically divided into the Democrats and Republicans, and yes, there are other parties, but they are less famous. But why? Honestly, I think having only two main political parties makes government and everyday life much easier. If there were still several presidential candidates in the race today, there would be a overwhelming number of opinions and the race would eventually get down to two candidates in the end. At the same time, there are plenty of people who don’t agree with the ideas of both Democrats and Republicans and having different opinions on some topics might help voters make up their minds. Anyway, I think the reason why there are only two main political parties in America is simply because it is less complicated. But who knows what would have happened if we had split into several other political parties?

  2. Joe says:

    Krissy, the question you pose is very thought-provoking. Ever since the early days after the Constitution was ratified America developed a two-party system, as most citizens were either Federalists or Antifederalists. Personally, I believe that a two-party system has many advantages, most namely that it forces the politicians to incorporate many diverse ideas into their platforms, giving them the general favor of the American public and therefore having a better chance of getting elected. I find it highly unlikely that a nation such as America could survive politically with more than two prominent parties. When a nation has many political parties battling each other for attention, the result most likely will be that the Republican and Democratic parties will be weakened due to the overwhelming amount of information being circulated and promises being made. When there are too many specific political parties the chances of the people of a nation being fairly and equally represented in government dwindle. This is because the elected officials will not possess broad views, such as Democrats and Republicans do in order to secure a seat in office, but will be so consumed on their parties’ particular platform that not as much will be accomplished. Although the two-party system that America currently employs has some disadvantages in that it may not represent all of the people’s individual views, it more importantly pleases the general public in that it provides political stability. In some countries such as Italy that have multiple party systems, less progress is made, and gradually over time these nations tend to move towards a two-party system because often the political stability the system provides translates into more economic opportunity.

  3. chloe says:

    I completely agree with your comments on the Bull Moose Party. I often wonder how the country would be different if other lesser known parties had risen to the top opposed to the Democrat and Republican parties. This party seems particularly interesting to me because I know that in addition to my own views, this party seems to reflect those of many people I know. The Bull Moose Party almost seems like a complete compromise between Democrats and Republicans which really makes me question why it never rose to power. However, I also agree with the comments above in that two major parties seems to be the most successful number. This way, there is a clear majority, and more often than not when there are many smaller parties in conflict it ends negatively. Regardless, at this point in time one can only imagine what could have been if a more moderate party similar to the Bull Moose party had risen to power.

  4. Madison says:

    Krissy,
    You bring up some interesting points. To address your question as to why there is not a third predominant political party, I feel there are two reasons. The first is tradition. The two main parties (Democrats and Republicans) are so entrenched in our society today and so dominant that it is simply difficult for a third principal party to become as strong as the Democratic or Republican parties. In virtually every election, from the state level to the national level, the main fight for power is between Democrats and Republicans. They are the parties that get the most attention. The second reason is that the two parties are so broad that they are able to attract so many different people with very different beliefs and different backgrounds. Within a party, there are different viewpoints on the same issues – not all Republicans or Democrats feel the exact same way about fiscal or social issues.
    We do, however, have other options. While being a Democrat or a Republican is the most common route to take, there are many other parties from which to choose. One might feel that there is no point in supporting any of the alternative parties because they may never win. Though it may sound simplistic and obvious, with enough support, a particular alternative party could rival or even become stronger than the Republicans and Democrats.

    Below is a link for a list of alternative parties:
    http://www.apatheticvoter.com/PoliticalParties.htm

  5. lcharpentier2013 says:

    I believe that there are mainly two political parties because it is more effective and satisfies that masses. For example, if there were seven different political parties the voting process would be much more complicated. The amount of votes between each party would most likely be extremely close and across the board instead of the clear majority and minority results after an election between two candidates. If there were numerous parties, the winning president would only satisfy the one party and dissatisfy all the other parties. At least with the main two political parties in today’s society, only one party is let down while the majority of America that voted for the specific candidate is pleased with the result. The two party election system is more effective because it is a way to please more people and unite ideas. I believe that if there were numerous parties, these parties would fall back into two parties overtime. Although the two party system is simpler, it could be considered constricting the acceptances of new ideas between the parties. Overall I believe the two party system is logical, effective, and simple, and it is hard to imagine America without politics’ two defining parties.

    • kbylancik2015 says:

      Lauren,
      I think that you make a really good point here, especially by bringing up the idea of the elected President. I hadn’t really thought about what would happen if a President was elected from a small political party. That said, we also have to consider the fact that the people don’t really elect the President. Sure, their opinions can help sway the Electoral College, but when it comes down to it, it is up to the Electoral College to elect the President. So, what would happen if everyone in America hated one candidate, but the entire Electoral College voted for them? Even if they weren’t from a main political party?

  6. dcrichlow2015 says:

    Interesting point Krissy, to answer it I think that we need to look at this as basically as we can. I think that the other parties are less famous because they have less followers, and they are taken less seriously. I’m sure that some of the ideas that are represented via the republican or democratic party share some of their ideas, and I’m sure that they differ in others. However, the democratic and/or republican parties represent themselves better than these other parties. Now, that is not to put down these other parties, it is just to suggest that the more popular and mainstream parties make themselves more visible to the public better than the other parties. I think to some extent this is unfortunate because there could be valuable ideas that have not even been considered by the mainstream parties because the less popular parties cannot convey their messages. However, it is also good that some of these parties are less popular because they are, quite frankly, a mockery of the political system. Some endorse stupid ideas and just make a joke out of politics, which should be taken seriously. An example is The Rhinoceros Party of Canada. They have promised “to keep none of our promises,” which is just absolutely ridiculous.

    I think that the government should try to represent these serious parties more because it is important that all people be properly represented. I think at this point, the question is how.

  7. Brandon says:

    Krissy,
    I think that you bring up an interesting idea, which is why only two political parties are actually known to the public. I believe that the reason for this is simple, money. The two main parties, the democrats and the republicans have lot of powerful and rich people backing them up, and donating to them for their political campaigns. The other parties don’t get nearly as much backing, and so the democrats and republicans are able to buy off all the air time, leaving none for the others.

  8. Joe says:

    Krissy,
    The Electoral College system is run by Electors who have either a leadership position in a given party, or have been generally very loyal to their respective party. While there is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that ensures that the Electors cast their vote according to the popular vote of their state, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia all require that the Electors chosen cast their votes as they have pledged. Therefore, in these states, Electors are bound by state law to vote for the candidate that has won the state’s popular vote that they are serving. However, this also means that twenty one states have no requirements placed on their Electors, and in theory, they could vote for any candidate of their particular choosing. Today, it is very rare that an Elector should cast its vote against his or her state’s popular vote, as in our nation’s history ninety-nine percent of Electors have voted as pledged. Overall, the chances that all of America would hate one candidate and the Electors would all choose that candidate would be slim to none, because the Electors are chosen by their parties and represent the people’s general sentiments. Having many political parties would lessen the chances that the Electors would be able to vote according to popular vote, however, because then all of the small political parties would try to secure Elector’s votes, and the popular vote would be tougher to determine with many small political groups in one district, or state.

  9. Carrigan says:

    Krissy, your post is really thought provoking to me, not just because I love Teddy Roosevelt (the only president who could beat Andrew Jackson in a fight), but also because I also identify as a social-liberal and a fiscal-conservative. A huge problem with the current election is that both Obama and Romney are trying to “reach across the aisle”, or try to appeal to voters from the other party. This is bad for a number of reasons. Both candidates are giving voters unfair representations of themselves. Another reason this is bad is because there are factions in each party. There are moderates in both parties, and extremists in both parties. The Republicans have to appease both the Libertarians and the Tea Party, and the Democrats have to appease both the Socialists and the people who are only voting Democrat because they respect gay people’s rights and Romney kind of creeps them out (guess which group I’m in). If Teddy was around today, I’d be making phone calls for him. Two opinions are simply too few to represent the diverse and wonderful variety of America. CNN should have more coverage of other parties, because it’s honestly media coverage and nothing else that keeps the other parties from gaining prominence. Debates are just televised events, they’re not in the Constitution. If the media would pay more attention and raise awareness of other candidates, these other candidates would have a fighting chance. Countries like France have at least 4 serious candidates during any election, which makes sure that the people are really getting what they want.

    • kbylancik2015 says:

      Carrigan,
      I definitely agree with your point about the media – they play a huge role in today’s society and I don’t know what our society, and the political realm, would look like without it (it would be interesting to talk to someone who was alive before all of the new media and see how not knowing information as instantly affected politics). I’m also really glad that you brought up the point about “reaching across the aisle” – I’ve been hearing that term a lot, and understand it a lot better now that you use it in this context, and I see how that really is, and will be, a problem in this election. With such ill-defined parties, it’s difficult, these days, to tell who thinks what, and who’s going to do what with everybody trying to keep everybody else happy.

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