Skip to content
Who's in the Video
Nick Lemann is the Dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism and a former New Yorker staff writer. While at Harvard – where he  graduated in 1976 –  Lemann[…]

Lemann explains why we have two parties, and why it probably won’t change.

Question: Are two parties enough?

Nicholas Lemann: You know in my native Southland, we had a saying. You know, “If frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their ass so much.” So it’s kind of like that. It would be great to have more than two parties. You know it’s very easy to sit here and say, “No. Two parties aren’t enough. We must have three parties or four parties.” Fine, but we’re not going to. So that’s . . . You know that should be the caveat on my answer. I just . . . I am constantly amazed by how sort of robust and survivable the two major parties are; and how little any meaningful challenge of them ever gets going. And so I would be immensely surprised if when my kids are my age, there actually are three or four major parties.