As the nation begins the process of electing a new president, the roles of the Republican and Democratic parties are undergoing fundamental shifts that are threatening their impact on both elections and policy.
Built in the 19th century, grown dominant in the 20th, they are largely out of date in this new age.
The two or so hours of the political debate you see on TV are just a fraction of what’s become an all-day event for the candidates and the journalists. McClatchy Washington bureau Political Editor Steve “Buzz” Thomma goes behind the scenes of a political debate to explain the sausage-making side of debates today. Natalie Fertig and Jessica Koscielniak McClatchy
They still control the ballot and machinery such as the primaries. But they do not hold the loyalty of the people. The largest party in America now is no party — with the ranks of people calling themselves independents at the highest level in more than 75 years of polling. The parties do not control the message. People learn about politics from social media instead of traditional means such as mailings or campaign rallies. And the parties are no longer the sole banker of politics. Big-money interests now effectively create shadow parties with extensive networks of donors of their own.