David Brooks and Arianna Huffington argue that ‘the two party system is making America ungovernable’

In an Intelligence^2 debate, Arianna Huffington and David Brooks argued in favor of the resolution, “the two party system is making America ungovernable,” while Zev Chafets and P.J. O’Rourke argued against it.  The entire debate, along with accompanying information, can be viewed here.

Interestingly – aside from how interesting the debate itself and the fact that it’s a group of people from the mainstream media talking about this – a poll of the audience was conducted before and after the debate.  Beforehand, 46 percent were in favor and 40 percent against (that is, 46 percent thought the two party system is making America ungovernable).  Afterward, 50 percent were in favor and only 24 percent were against.

Correction:  The 40 percent and 24 percent figures were actually reversed, which is interesting in its own way, but perhaps less relevant to our blog’s mission!  Thanks to Pete Healy for that tip.

10 thoughts on “David Brooks and Arianna Huffington argue that ‘the two party system is making America ungovernable’

  1. Robert Capozzi

    As usual, I’m ambivalent on this one. I’d say the country IS ungovernable, but that’s inherent and generally a good thing.

    The two-party system is dysfunctional, however, in that both the Rs and Ds attempt to govern it, making the spontaneous order increasingly chaotic.

    We expect some level of dysfunction even in the most tranquil times, but the dysfunction is now reaching a point (if it’s not past the tipping point) in which the dysfunction is unsustainable.

    That so few vote and party affiliation is generally trending down, I’d suggest a lot of people agree with my take.

    Whether 3rd parties and independents can be a force to return the inherently dysfunctional state to a sustainable one, I’m not sure. It seems more likely that the Rs and Ds might fracture, but what is unfolding in the ME makes more outside-the-box scenarios more likely by the day.

  2. Green Party

    Thanks for post. Just watched the debate.

    Electing the Green Party would create the new economy, new green jobs, new green energy.

    The Green Party in government means a better America.

  3. paulie

    what is unfolding in the ME makes more outside-the-box scenarios more likely by the day.

    Wow…did you just read Root’s mind? LOL (Actually, I agree).

  4. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorcement

    [a] brunch for independents in San Francisco on Sunday, March 6 at 11:00 am.

    I want to come together, talk about the [recent] National Conference, and begin planning for 2011-2012.

    We’ve won major victories to empower independent voters here in California, and it’s time for independents to start exercising that power.

    Please join me in Downtown San Francisco on Sunday March 6th at 11:00 am

    I’m also leading a four part conversation series in conjunction with our Chair, Joyce Dattner, who is also the Director of the Life Performance Coaching Center.

    Revolutionary Conversations: How Do We Change the World When We Don’t Know How? ——– with Joyce Dattner and Jason Olson

    Are you deeply concerned about what’s going on in the world but aren’t sure what to do?

    Most adults in America have lived through a period where social and political activism hasn’t had a big pay off.

    Many feel like giving up, or already have. So what’s the cure?

    [b] *eyes open* on any thing to do with the CUIP and Independent Voter …………

    [c] *from above* O’Rourke’s classic, snarkie ‘Parliament of Whores’ (United States Congress in the early 1990s)

  5. pete healey

    I’m assuming a “middle-class”, “middle-of-the-road” crowd here, so half of an audience like that in agreement that two parties are not enough is a welcome development! And it is in line with every thing I know about sentiment and opinion in my community, which is alot like my assumptions about the audience.
    I am not, however, in favor of the Greens OR the Libertarians, the left OR the right. I’m all about creating the conditions in which we ALL get to compete on an equal footing with the Dems and Reps. And, No, I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *