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The U.S. party system has changed vastly over its 330-year history since the adoption of the Constitution. Currently, parties define themselves, and are defined by mass media. This merger with mass media has created an imbalance in coverage of the parties since media are for-profit organizations.

Media make money by catching eye balls and generating advertising dollars, and that means they aim for simple stories with exciting headlines. This has devolved into a simple version of the "Democrats are fighting among themselves again" and "Republican are not fighting among themselves."

One can see Democrats from urban areas offering a gusher of policy ideas for housing, equal pay, access to health care, and voting rights. This is simplified into "fighting with each other."

The GOP is presented as united behind a New York billionaire with no inkling that maybe there are differences between Republicans who are Wall Street billionaires and wheat farmers in North Dakota, or Iowa small farmers and big banking magnates. This does not even touch on the wide religious gaps between mainstream and fundamentalist religious Republicans.

I'd like to urge the scrutiny of the fissures within the GOP to reveal their various disagreements to the same extent that that format is used on the Democrats. It will illustrate that both parties are coalitions of interests, not monoliths. When examining both parties, it is important to know who funds the candidates, what interests are dominant and some guess at what the party will do with power. That's the public interest.

HARRIET YOUNG

Flagstaff

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