38% of voters in the United States identify as independents. Why is that?
An article I came across on CNN’s website from November 2012 shed some light on some people’s answers.
Some folks just don’t want to be labeled:
“If you say you’re a Democrat it must mean you’re a left-wing liberal with no personal responsibility. If you say you’re a Republican, you must be a right-wing millionaire who doesn’t care about others.” – Jennifer Cummins, a moderate independent from Frankfort, Kentucky.
Some folks think that being politically independent is what our country was founded upon:
“I’m an independent voter because I believe in the spirit of America and how and why it was founded.” – Betty Faller-Pearson, Las Vegas Independent
And here are some other quotes from that article:
“Being independent has nothing to do with being undecided.” – Bretton Holmes, Phoenix AZ
“Washington is broken, and it’s got to be changed from the inside out.” – Roger Cantillo, New York
It seems that people just feel like they don’t belong in either of the parties and that sentiment seems to be growing.
The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious right and other social conservatives. Take Oklahoma for instance. Who won the Republican primary in this state last year? Rick Santorum. This guy screams social conservative and religious fanatic. This is the direction the GOP in Oklahoma goes. Oklahoma’s own Republican governor, Mary Fallin recently refused to allow veterans benefits to gay couples.
While on the other hand, the Democratic Party has been hijacked by extreme leftists and other statists.
Neither party, especially in Oklahoma, seems interested in letting others on the playing field either. That is, they have no interest in allowing third parties to be on the ballot even though there has been widespread interest from the public for it.
As I have said before, the only interest that the Republican and Democratic parties have is to perpetuate the power that they hold over politics and to serve their own special interests.
Knowing this, what is a person to do? Do they stick with the party that they already belong to and try to change things from within or do they take themselves down to the county election board, rid themselves of the shackles of partisan politics, and re-register as an Independent?
The downside in a state like Oklahoma to becoming an Independent is that you cannot participate in party primaries. However, when you look at the results of who Oklahoma Republicans chose in 2012 for President, that might not be such a bad thing.
So the question I pose is this. Can a political activist really change things from within one of the two parties while the leadership of the party continues to urge them to vote for “their” picks or are they better off just placing principle above party and leaving partisan politics completely?