Divided government refers to a situation where different political parties control different branches of government. For example, if one party controls the White House and another party controls Congress, then the government is considered to be "divided."
Divided government can lead to gridlock and political stagnation, as the two parties may be unable to agree on key issues and pass legislation. It can also create a situation where one party is able to block the initiatives of the other, which can make it difficult for the government to effectively address the needs and concerns of the public.
Divided government could be an opportunity to break the stranglehold of the two major parties and create a more open and inclusive political system. By providing more choices and competition, independent and third party candidates can help to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the table and challenge the status quo.
According to the Congressional Research Service, divided government has been relatively common in the United States over the past several decades. For example, between 1981 and 2012, the President and Congress were from different parties for a total of 26 years. This suggests that there is a significant demand for alternative viewpoints and that the two major parties do not always have a monopoly on power.
By encouraging independent and third party candidates to run for office and by supporting their efforts to participate in the political process, we can create a more diverse and representative democracy that works for everyone.