A few weeks ago I wrote an article talking about how Third Parties cannot win the Presidency with the current rules and regulations existing inside the American political spectrum. Today rather than talking about the CPD like we did a few weeks ago, I’m going to explain the Steamrolling Effect and how it has kept Third Parties in check throughout American History.
The Steamrolling Effect keeps Third Parties from taking power by creating a catch 22. If a idea that is presented by a Third Party that people like, it will become popular. At that time the major parties would adopt that idea into there own platform, thus stopping that movement inside the third party by drafting the support of the third party into the major party. The reason this is a catch 22 is because in order for a third party to survive independently outside the influence of a major party they would need a adopt unpopular platforms which in itself will not garner much support.
A prime example of the Steamrolling Effect was the Prohibition Party in the first part of the 20th century. The Prohibition Party was a single party issue political party based around the prohibition of alcohol. Before the 18th amendment which outlawed the Prohibition Party were able to have major success on their platform of the outlawing of alcohol including a governorship in Florida and a member of the House of Representative in the second half of the 1910’s.
With that though, the 18th amendment was soon passed by both Democrats and Republicans in congress at the time. This would outlaw all alcohol from being sold. This hurt the Prohibition Party greatly, and they were never able to hold any other major office after that point. The party imploded at that point because there was nothing else to rally around on the party platform. The Prohibition Party faded into history as a footnote in American politics in the first half of the 20th Century.
If either major party sees an issue that the American people support by rallying around a Third Party, they can just adopt that party’s platform thus taking support from that party. This keeps Third Parties in check from getting too big and powerful.
Most weeks I talk about shady tactics that the major parties that the parties use which borderline on illegal, but this week what they do is 100% legal. Parties change and adapt. Without the adaptation things like Women having the right to vote or desegregation never would have happened. Maybe it is a good thing that the major do this. It keeps popular ideas in the populous mind, but then again it undermines those who worked hard to get the masses fixated on that idea inside the third party.