One of the greatest of the Aesop's Fables was a sixth century one about a man, his son, and a small donkey. The fable is short, the gist is simple: the father and son get ridiculed for ridding the donkey together, separately, and finally wind up carrying the donkey themselves --only to become further ridiculed. And in utter disgust, they toss the donkey over the bridge to be done with their troubles.
The moral is quite simple: in trying to please everyone, they wind up hurting their own lives and destroying a valuable asset.
Now this tale would be better if it involved an elephant as well, but even without, the point can still be taken...
The political parties are right now being carried by the people, and are in fairly imminent danger of being tossed over the bridge.
While many writers on this site have been keenly interested in independent politics for some time, the mainstream media is simply drooling with anticipation of the feast of carnage that will ensue if the Republican convention becomes brokered or the Democrats can't unify behind their presumed candidate.
About the only thing that could make the commentators more giddy would be the opportunity to announce a third-party or independent run into the melee, with the media being the self-appointed referees of the 2016 political 'death match.'
And indeed, many candidates have blamed the media for this or that -- from ignoring Sanders to giving Trump too much spotlight -- but the bottom line is the people are fed up with the parties, and much like Aesop's fable, the tale won't end well.
With 9 or 10 vulnerable Republican seats in the Senate, any Republican implosion will send ripples through the national political map.
But likewise, if the Democrats can't get out the vote -- which seems to be their biggest flaw right now -- they could lose big, potentially having no influence in the entire process.
At any rate, 2020 is going to be a totally different race than today's.
Reverting back to Aesop's fable, the party that can present itself as a beneficial tool for the people -- one that carries its members (and their interests) rather than being carried itself -- is going to be the most powerful organization to arise from the chaos of 2016.