The Democratic and Republican parties have grown from having smaller differences in political ideology to being absolute polar opposites. Today, each party is all but required to have exactly opposite views on everything from law interpretations, to social issues, fiscal ideology, and the military. The two are now essentially rival teams. Whichever team you support, it is understood that the other team is the villain and always out to take over one thing or another. Because of this cutthroat rivalry, it is no longer acceptable to be a moderate. If anyone in either party appears moderate, they’re told it’s just giving the other party more power, and of course that would absolutely be the end of the world.
Third party supporters have been told for years that a vote for anyone other than a Democrat or Republican is a wasted vote, and I think it’s safe to say that in the past most people have bought that. In more recent years, however, many Millennials have refused to accept this system. Numerous sources claim that as many as 50% of Millennials identify as independent. You know, older generations talk disparagingly about the number of Millennials who don't vote, but maybe it's because we have been told all our lives that we only have two choices, even if we don't identify with either of them.
The way our voting system is set up, it should theoretically be possible for a third party candidate to gain political traction in an election as it corresponds with the popular vote. Of course, we know that it's very possible to win the popular vote while losing the electoral vote, (which, by the way, is possibly the most ridiculous flaw in this country. If a candidate wins the popular vote, that person should win the election. I am completely against the electoral college altogether.)Everyone always acts like our Founding Fathers' words are practically sacred, but I will say that I disagree with them. The framers of the Constitution lived in a time when many lower class citizens were illiterate or nearly illiterate, and it is understandable that they wouldn't want the masses in more direct control of the country. Today, however, illiteracy is pretty much unheard of in America, and state schools have allowed for widespread education. Not to mention, we live in the age of constant contact. It can be argued that some voters are misinformed, but they certainly aren't uninformed anymore.
In our current system, with its rigging and corruption, we will forever have a perceived power struggle between the Democratic and Republican parties. I say "perceived" because I believe that leaders in both parties are only looking out for their own fat bank accounts while simultaneously trying to convince the lower and middle classes to believe in their supposed dream of equality. Whether now or later, we have to break the cycle of the two-party system in order to move forward as a nation.