Vassallo, Scruggs Debate: Are the Two Political Parties Obsolete?

Steve Vassallo: Absolutely! When it’s broke, it needs fixing and 2016 has revealed how broken the parties truly are.

Steve Vassallo
Steve Vassallo

This point will focus on the Republicans, which I previously thought was the lesser of the two evils. In many ways they are far worse than the Democrats. Follow my logic.

The Republicans basically came about in the 1850’s as an anti-slavery party replacing the Whigs, another group that had outlived its shelf life. Abraham Lincoln gave the party credibility with his election of 1860 (an election that solidified the South against the GOP for two centuries). The Grand Old Party remained after the Civil War nominating some of the most corrupt politicians in American History a la Grant. There were some good ones along the way also like Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan, but the great ones have been few and far between.

What Donald Trump has exposed this political season is that it’s time for a new party to emerge that truly represents the American people and especially the American worker and middle class. The Mitt Romneys of the world and Paul Ryans have lost touch with the heart and soul of the voters. In fact, if you missed it, although Trump failed to win Wisconsin, he carried Ryan’s Congressional district!

The primary system is flawed beyond description with delegates being chosen after the electorate has spoken with total disconnect to the verdict of the vote. It’s all about party control and keeping the powerful in power. It’s sickening beyond description and has to change and will change following the Republicans’ titanic defeat looming ahead in November.

Trump broadened the base which is what the Republicans have been wanting to accomplish for decades. The only problem is, he was the wrong messenger to those yielding the power among. Having carried already more than 20 states and territories, Trump is clearly the “plurality” choice of the party as 15 of the other contenders/pretenders have been clearly rejected by the voters. The two opponents that remain are going nowhere fast which leads us to the ultimate disaster….a brokered convention, naming it appropriately for what it is.

In conclusion, here’s the silver lining as this writer sees it in mid April. The Republicans will be too hardened to nominate Trump, choosing rather to nominate another lost cause for the General Election such as a Romney type. Furious, the millions of Trump voters will sit on their hands in November and feel the “burn” (not “bern”) with the rest of the nation causing the Republicans to be destroyed by a socialist. Then we can place the “RIP” finally on a party that has lost its way. A new party will emerge in 2017 that will be the true pulse of the conservative coalition, minus the Wall Street tycoons, lobbyists and all the rest of that coalition that has steered the GOP straight into the iceberg.


Dickie Scruggs: Political parties are true to their purpose—nominating the candidate most likely to win the general election.

Richard "Dickie" Scruggs
Richard “Dickie” Scruggs

It is a popular misconception that American political parties are democracies where a candidate wins his party’s nomination by getting more votes than his rivals. That is not the function of a party. Rather, American political parties are organizations whose purpose is to put into office a candidate who best advances and protects the interests of those who control the party. In this they do a good job.

It is more accurate to say that our two major parties are organized around democratic principles–no candidate can gain his party’s nomination without winning a majority of the delegates who are seated at the party convention. That’s not necessarily a majority of primary and caucus voters. Nor is it necessarily the candidate with more votes and delegates than his rivals. The only sure path to a nomination is for a candidate to win an outright majority (50% plus) of the delegates.

Both major parties have widely-published rules governing how their nominations can be won. Any candidate who wants a particular party’s nomination must agree beforehand to abide by these rules. If a candidate doesn’t like the rules, he is free to run as an independent. Otherwise, he can complain only if the rules are changed after the contest has begun. For both parties the rules are designed to channel the parties’ nominations to the candidates whom the parties’ professionals believe has the best chance of winning the general election.

As of now it appears that neither party is changing its rules in midstream. It is natural, I suppose, that some candidates are complaining that the rules aren’t fair to their candidacies. But they are the rules that they agreed to follow. None of them were compelled to seek a party’s nomination. And how fair would it be if the rules were changed now to favor a candidate who is otherwise unable to secure his chosen party’s nomination?


Dickie Scruggs is one of Oxford’s best-known former attorneys who now expresses his passion for adult education through the GED in a unique state-wide program he has developed, aptly called “Second Chance.” Scruggs is a well known Democrat and anchors the position of the Left in Point/No-Point. He can be reached at DickScruggs@gmail.com.

Steve Vassallo of Oxford is a frequent contributor to HottyToddy.com covering a wide range of subjects. An arch conservative, the popular columnist holds the political position of the Right in Point/No-Point. He can be reached at sovassallo@gmail.com.

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