The United States is a constitutional federal republic with a three-part governmental structure. Its power is distributed between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. These institutions are separate from one another but share a common ethos. Each branch has the power to make decisions and to enforce laws.
The United States has two main political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. They have been the two major players in American politics since the American Civil War. Both parties have adapted their policies and support base over time. The Democrats have focused on social services, health care, and other issues that affect the poor while the Republicans have embraced economic liberalism.
Although the US is a democracy, its political system has a number of shortcomings. In particular, the democratic process has been subverted by a minority of interest groups. As a result, American citizens are limited in their ability to speak out about their concerns.
Money politics have also permeated the entire administrative and legislative process. As a result, only a small group of elites enjoy privileges and influence. This is a situation that has impacted other sectors of American society.
One of the biggest challenges in American nominating processes is that politicians and other activists are vulnerable to the manipulation of celebrities and plutocrats. During nomination season, turnout in the first and second caucuses is a valuable indicator of a candidate’s nomination chances.
Another issue is that voters are increasingly identifying themselves as either a Republican or a Democrat. Historically, Americans have identified with their ethnicity, but the current trend is toward identifying with one of the two major parties.
Another major problem is that political campaigns are expensive. Increasingly, the money in politics has become necessary. A large portion of the campaign expenses is devoted to financing the candidates. Moreover, the money that politicians and other partisans donate to the party is almost seen as a form of bribery.
Many Americans believe that a handful of wealthy interests are too powerful and are restricting the rights of ordinary citizens to express themselves. They have turned inequality in economic status into inequality in political status. And they have also used their financial clout to bully other countries.
A recent Pew Research Center survey found that the US is more politically divided than other developed economies. Despite the political divide, half of Americans think that their elections are not reflecting the will of the people. However, only 52% are confident that their elections will be reelected.
Other problems include a lack of accountability for elected officials and a tendency for candidates to withdraw from the race. A lack of a formal central organization has created internal factions within each of the two major parties.
The judicial branch is headed by the Supreme Court. It is responsible for interpreting the federal laws. Lower federal courts are charged with resolving disputes between the executive and legislative branches.
The Democratic and Republican parties are both dominated by a few elites. These few elites are largely responsible for the administration of the U.S. government and for the business and economic community.