The Two-Party Trap

Recipe for Dysfunction in American Politics


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About the Book

The United States has become increasingly polarized, although the concept of a two-party system is not new. This book traces the major parties’ utter dominance—of the highest elected positions all the way down to “nonpartisan” political offices across the U.S.—from the founding of the Constitution through the 2020 presidential election. Even before the founding of the “modern” Republican Party in 1854 and the next 168-year era of Democratic-GOP dominance, the early decades of American nationhood were ruled in a similar manner by the two major parties of the day. This book is a comprehensive, fast-paced analysis of how the two-party system has grown to be such an affront to the ideals of the Founding Fathers and of the numerous Americans today who appear to accept it as a fact of life.

About the Author(s)

Steven Verrier has previously written works of short drama, fiction, and nonfiction published in the United States, Canada, and Japan. He lives in Bonney Lake, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Steven Verrier
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8945-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4703-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: How Did It Come to This? 3
1. Bouncing on the Rails 7
2. The Gingrich Effect 13
3. “Independents” and “Democracy” 19
4. The Electoral College 23
5. Microcosm of the Nation: Spotlight on Washington State (Part 1) 28
6. Microcosm of the Nation: Spotlight on Washington State (Part 2) 39
7. A Brief Historical Survey of the U.S. Congress 50
8. States, Municipalities, and Counties 57
9. Lay of the Land, 2018 (Alabama–Montana) 65
10. Lay of the Land, 2018 (Nebraska–Wyoming and DC) 76
11. Coming Out of the 2018 Midterms (Pacific Coast, Western Interior, Midwest, and Southwest) 90
12. Coming Out of the 2018 Midterms (Northeast, ­Mid-Atlantic, Appalachia, and Southeast) 100
13. Playing a Field of Two 108
14. Stacking the Deck 115
15. Missed Opportunity: The Kavanaugh Hearing 127
16. Three Walls 138
17. Spinning the Mueller Report 143
18. Justin Amash: A Bold Statement 148
19. July–September 2019: Embarrassing Developments 152
20. Impeachment and Acquittal: A Foregone Conclusion 161
21. Covid-19: Division Trumps Unity 173
22. Law and Disorder 177
23. Flipping (and Flopping) the High Court 180
24. The Year 2020 In Review: A Step Back 183
25. A Sad Ending 189
Epilogue: Let It Go 196
Bibliography 199
Index 217