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Thread by @naval: "The two party system is an emergent "bug" in representative democracy. A Political party is a coalition to monopolize the vote. The framers […]"

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The two party system is an emergent "bug" in representative democracy.
A Political party is a coalition to monopolize the vote.

The framers of the constitution neglected to ban political parties, as it would infringe upon freedom of speech. So political parties monopolized the vote.
It is the nature of a winner-take-all system to consolidate down to two entities.

Any third-place party can always combine with the second-place party to become the new first-place party.

Therefore, our system can only represent two choices on any given topic.
The parties want to get as many voters as possible. The majority of voters are apathetic, not even playing the political game.
Scale effects rule the world around me. Including when it comes to branding, spreading messages, rallying resources.
The parties have to brand strongly as strongly as possible, to create the faithful core and to hook the apathetic. To make them play the game.
The two parties then are under selective pressure to evolve as far apart. If they drift towards the other party, then they risk creating apathy when they want passion.

Therefore, there’s no "middle ground party" in politics.
When you're on completely opposite sides of an issue, it's even easier to just talk about two different issues and call them the same thing.
On immigration, one party is talking about legal immigrants while the other party is talking about illegal immigrants.
On abortion, one party is talking about the definition of life while the other party is talking about self-sovereignty.
On guns, one party is talking about mass-murder while the opposite party is now talking about self-sovereignty.
On health care, one party is talking about minimal human decency while the other party is doesn't want health care run by the DMV.
And neither one wants to talk about endless wars, mass surveillance, university costs, infinite debt, over-classification, and corruption.
Looking for someone to blame for polarization? There’s no one to blame. The system is the problem.
Looking for someone to blame for consolidation of power? There's no one to blame. That's just how power works.
Democracy survives at the margin - the most powerful voter is the rational Independent whose vote isn’t promised to anyone.
Both parties take extreme positions, speaking a different language. When the normally apathetic middle bothers to vote, it wins.
When the country swings too far to the right, you get Obama. Too far to the left, you get Trump. Too far to the Trump and...?
The Internet provides the means to coordinate a vote for a third party.
Voters can pledge their vote to a third party candidate, keep track of pledges, and only cast their vote when the candidate has the desired threshold. If not, vote for your normal big party candidates.

(This system is however vulnerable to sybil attacks and fake pledges).
The presidency used to be part of the two party system. But media splintered and political ads don’t work like they used to. Social media + crowdfunding means that the Presidency is the first office where independents and outsiders have a shot.
As @nntaleb showed, the most intolerant minority can win. But its intolerance must be for political parties, party platforms and their soldiers. Assess each candidate on their own merits.
But who has the time? Everyone is busy. You’re either bought into a party brand or apathy. Or you’re spending enormous personal time for tiny social gains.
That trade off mainly makes sense at a local level. If most spending was local, it would be a different equation.

But power continues to coalesce in central authorities.
The long arc of politics bends towards centralization. And no internal revolution is possible when the system is (accidentally) designed for two parties only.
The freer societies of the last few hundred years were founded through escape. Found a new colony or kingdom.
But physical space is gone. They’ve carved it all up, from Antarctica to the moon.
The future revolution will be digital.
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