Most political conversations in the US have something to do with the two big political parties. Each one is made up of people who think the same way about some issues. When they get together and agree to work together, they become a party. Not everyone in a political party agrees on everything, but most believe in enough of the same things that they will vote together. Today the big political parties are the Democratic Party, whose members are called Democrats, and the Republican Party, whose members are called Republicans. But could the government work without them?
The first president, George Washington, wasn’t in a party, but all presidents have been since then. To get elected now, people who want to become president work with others from their own party – they also choose someone from their party to be their vice president. A long time ago, they ran alone and whoever got the most votes was president and whoever came in second was the vice president. If we still did that, we would almost always have a president from one party and a vice president from another.
So why do we need political parties? It makes sense for people who believe the same things to work together this way. Even if they don’t always agree with each other on everything, people working together as a group will always be more powerful than just one person alone.
Today, the two most powerful parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, don’t like each other very much. People from both parties argue with each other more than they might if there weren’t parties.
Since each party has its own set of views, voters have some idea of what a party member will do if elected. But sometimes, it seems like some politicians think the views agreed to by the party are more important than what the American voters think. So, do we really need political parties? Would politicians work harder for the people they represent if they didn’t have to worry about party loyalty?