The survival … of the two party system … is not a universally shared objective, particularly in this season. Its virtues rather than its imperfections gain for the two party system its most implacable enemies. The moderate coalition, the sensible accomodation, the muted ideology, the politicians who strive to borrow each other’s protective coloration and who jostle one another in the center — all this, the price of broadly based government, of general acquiescence, and of stability, is paid in frustration. The choice in a general election between two candidates either of whom can satisfy most people, or at least radically dissatisfy very few, always leaves some of us with no choice at all.
Alexander M. Bickel, Reform and Continuity: The Electoral College, the Convention, and the Party System (1968)