Election 2020: The Up Side of Undivided Government

I’m of two minds on this question. Divided government is wonderful. My voting advice would be to not vote at all. If you must vote, vote third party. If you must vote major party, vote for whatever will fuel division. If you live in a red zone, vote blue. If you live in a blue zone, vote red. But having a one-party state would mean that true anti-systemists are only fighting a one-front war as opposed to a two-front war (or a multi-front war).

By Thomas L. Knapp, The Garrison Center

As of late October, the political modelers at FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats a 72% chance of pulling off the trifecta — winning the White House and majorities in both Houses of Congress — on November 3.

My visceral response to that possibility is negative. Excluding outlier possibilities like a Libertarian landslide, I’ve always considered divided government the best outcome.

Gridlock, in theory, is good. If an opposition party controls either the White House or one house of Congress, that theory goes, it can thwart the other party’s worst ideas through presidential veto or the opposition-controlled house refusing to pass legislation.

But in the 21st century, that theory hasn’t proven out very well. Instead of one party resisting the other party’s worst ideas, it tends to trade its acquiescence to those ideas for getting some of its own worst ideas implemented as well.


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