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spamandham said But what has purpetuated this into modern times? It seems it serves those already in power to exclude others who do not fall into this mercantilist vs. socialist mindset.
While Americans often see the two-party system as natural, based on their long experiences with it, it is in fact a product of the particular rules in place. The two parties that dominate thus have an incentive to keep the rules as they are, so as to prevent electoral losses to smaller parties.