Two parties

I'm sure there is plenty already written about the origins of two-party domination in the United States and I admit I've not sought it out.

What I am interested in is this: why is it that many people think it's a good thing that we only have two viable political parties? When I ask them, I often hear the argument that it brings balance. What exactly is balanced about it? Do they mean "balanced" in the sense that the new Star Wars movies were about balance in the force and a planet full of wookiees? What exactly is good about this balance, if it even exists?

On the other hand, there's also the tired refrain that the two parties are indistinguishable. That's a farce of course, but there are certainly times when their policies are very similar.

Still, it seems few consider that there could be other viable options if elections were run differently. There are other parties now, but they're not viable.

The rescue of major banks bothers me. No serious dissension was heard when the government decided to "bail out" the banks. If you weren't really paying attention, you could have been left with the impression that there was no alternative. If other parties were invited to the discussions, at the very least there might be a few more of us doubting the veracity of this plan.
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