We are in a 2-party system because the special interests and multinational corporations have put so much money in both parties that they cannot be toppled. We aren’t a true “2-Party” system, since other parties are allowed to run such as the communist party, the libertarian party, etc. However, these parties are rarely able to pick up a substantial amount of the vote. The fact of the matter is that even the independents who are serious about becoming president will run as either a Democrat or a Republican. Sanders and Trump were neither of those two yet ran in those parties; they represent a threat to the party establishment because they threaten to topple the leadership and remake the party system. Rand Paul is also more of a libertarian than a Republican, yet runs as a Republican. You’re just not taken seriously if you run as something other than a Democrat or a Republican, and if you run as a libertarian or socialist, you are considered a “burden” to the party because you threaten to hijack more of their votes than the opposing party.
Would we be better off with a multiparty system?
In my opinion, yes, because it would allow people to vote based on who they want rather than play to identity politics. However, the electoral college doesn’t really allow us to do so and hinders our ability to create a multiparty system. But I do believe we’re trending in that direction; just look at the 2016 election and the wave of outsiders who ran.
Advantages and Disadvantages of our political system
Our system is very diverse and unique, and that is a good thing since as Americans we like to be different than other countries. Also, our party system definitely allows us to look at policy more than European systems. In the European systems, they typically just talk about whether or not they should open their borders up to immigrants. A disadvantage of our system is that it allows for identity politics and exploitation from corporations and special interests.