What Are the Disadvantages of a Political Party?

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The disadvantages of a political party include placing the interests of the party over those of a nation, weak governance and fostering division. There is also the argument that a political party only reflects the views of the most extreme members of that party alone and not the sentiment of the average person.

In his farewell address to the nation, President George Washington expressed disfavor of political parties because he believed that factionalism creates mischief. He was concerned that the new Democratic-Republican and Federalist parties could divide the country when he left office, and he stressed that government should operate through unity. Washington believed that special interests may dominate the government, and he argued that vengeance could develop as one party tried to upend the other. He also believed that the dominion of one party over another could give way to despotism over time. Washington argued that the people should change policies through the electoral process or amending the Constitution instead of relying on a political party.

Political parties may also become hijacked by members who strive for ideological purity, which could quell moderate and dissenting opinions. This strict adherence to ideology can be reflected in congressional districts, which result in gridlock and partisan fighting. There are those who believe that American politics are too divisive, and there is the view that the two-party system works against the interests of the American people.