Divided Government and Partisan Polarization

Is it possible for a serious third party to emerge in the United States, positioned ideologically between the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right? Why or why not?

In what ways are political parties of the people and in what ways might they be more responsive to elites?

If you were required to become active in some aspect of a political party, what activity and level of party organization would you choose and why?

Is it preferable for the U.S. government to have unified party control or divided government? Why?

In general, do parties make the business of government easier or harder to accomplish?