Republican candidates, I’d argue, owe Republican officeholders a degree of respect, an underlying allegiance, even when they disagree with them. (I’d apply the same argument to Democrats.) Why? Because the cohesion and durability of the two great political parties bears on the health of the nation itself.This is a sentiment often expressed in America. "I believe in the two-party system" is the answer in the catechism. It's utterly incoherent, especially coming from a partisan. On the one hand, if you take the view that the parties are only loosely ideological, more properly coalitional, and the end results of a series of social and economic back-and-forths that didn't fully settle into their recognizeable present formats until the 1980s, then the durability of the parties themselves should strike you as almost wholly irrelevant, a present alignment of interests that will eventually and inevitably discorporate and reform into different alignments as socioeconomic conditions inexorably change. On the other hand, if you take the less defensible but increasingly common view that American political parties are, in fact, fundamentally ideological, and that our "hyperpartisan" age is not a matter of electoral marketing and public perceptions but of an actual battle between two distinct, mutually exclusive ideological entities, then it makes no sense to hold that the inferior or deleterious ideology must not only survive, but thrive and endure.
Some dude at the Corner
And so the paeans to the so-called two-party system are windows into the true nature of governance in the United States. Two large parties that are neither strictly coalitions nor especially ideological, locked in rough numerical parity, differentiating themselves on minor points of domestic policy, teeter-totter cycle after cycle on the fulcrum of a militarist, bipartisan, governing consensus that views the United States as a unique political entity whose position of global predominance must be maintained at any cost. These matters are loosely euphemized as "national security," although the parties retain at minimum stylistic differences where "security" is concerned. It isn't a particular program or policy that the parties share; it's an unshakeable, unquestionable, unquestioned premise about the necessity of American predominance, not only as a means of maintaing the present, precarious standard of living in America, but also because of an actual and absolute belief that this state of affairs represents the best possible outcome for the world. This almost boundless hubris--that perpetual American dominance of global affairs is the ideal state for all of humanity--underlies the governance of the nation, and through party disputes, interagency rivalries, court intrigues, and election cycles, it remains unaltered.