A good example of this is the way that campaign financing is set up. The presidential election fund is a fund that the Federal government has used since 1976 to fund election campaigns of presidential candidates. Presidential candidates of the major parties are given about $90 million of tax dollars for their campaign, plus each major party gets another $15 million in public funds. Minor party candidates get some funding, but it is in no way a level playing field.
A major party is defined as any party that received more than 25% of the votes (I believe it used to be 15%) in the previous election. You can see the beauty of this: there are only two major parties, because you need money to get votes, but the only way to have votes is to spend money to get them. This ensures that the only two major parties are the Democrats and the Republicans.
The two parties have primary campaigns, but the powers that be in the party have more to say about who wins than the voters do: think about it, how many debates was Ron Paul allowed to participate in?
This means that the party leaders of the two parties are the ones who decide who the president will be, not the people. The people who are in place will thus ensure that no one upsets the apple cart, so that the parties continue business as usual, giving our money to the powers that be.
Here is how the Presidential campaign fund grants break down (millions of dollars):
Some things here are interesting:
In 2008, Obama turned down the funds, because of restrictions on reporting and funding that come with taking the cash.
In 2000, the Reform party was not able to get the major party status funding, because Perot only captured 8.4% of the vote in 1996, but they were able to get primary funding from the
In 1996, it was the Reform party that managed to score with the campaign cash as a major party, after securing 18.9% of the popular vote in 1992, due to Ross Perot being their candidate in that year.