Most recent polls show that 43 percent of all voters label themselves ‘Independent.’ That’s a little misleading. Nearly half of that number already know which party they will vote for, or are at least leaning that way. However, Independent voters are growing in numbers, and will likely decide the 2016 election. Distrust and disdain for the non-actions of both parties are driving party loyalists from their ranks.
Some presidents or presidential candidates are responsible for increased registration along party lines. This was the case in 2000 and 2004, and again in 2012. These elections inspired votes against the other party’s candidates, and not primarily in favor of their own.
The best reason for being an Independent voter is intelligence. Sadly there are increasing numbers of voters who have no interest about who is the most qualified candidate; this is the reason we have far too many unqualified legislators in Washington. Many of our Congressmen and Senators sought election purely for personal gain. Voting for any candidate purely along party lines demonstrates pure stupidity. Having an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to a name should not be the sole reason they receive your vote.
There are additional dangers looming in the voting system. When the Supreme Court upheld Citizens United, it authorized the purchasing of elections by the wealthiest Americans. The extreme right wing Koch brothers plan to spend $900,000 million during the 2016 campaign. They will spend more money than either the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee.
The greatest injustice for the American people is the Electoral College. In order for your vote to count in a presidential election, the majority of that state in which you reside must have voted for your choice. Simply put, this means that if your candidate fails to carry your state, your vote will have no meaning. A fair election would be decided by the popular vote; he or she who receives the most votes from all or our nation’s citizens should win. ‘Red and blue’ states must be removed from the map for elections to actually have national significance.
In order to receive our votes a candidate should be committed to his or her principals and beliefs. If we agree with that individual, that person should receive our vote; the party that a candidate aligns his or herself with should not be a consideration. Unfortunately the majority of politicians lie all of the time; they simply want your vote; and this fact is not party specific.
Then there are those who change their position on the issues midstream to ‘go with the flow.’ They will pander to voters in a brazen attempt to steal votes.
One example is Rand Paul. He will undoubtedly be seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
He changed positions on key issues. He was originally in favor of eliminating aid to Israel; now he favors foreign aid for the Jewish State. He joined other TEA Party members in plans to eliminate Medicare; now he’s telling us that he is reconsidering. Paul was against the construction of more fences along our southern border; the cost was too high, and he doubted their effectiveness. Now he wants a double fence. He was against same-sex marriage. Although his religious beliefs remain constant, that it remains immoral, he stated that Republicans must cease obsessing about the issue.
This is not intended to single out Mr. Paul; he was recently in the news and asked questions about these issues. He is merely a clone of politicians from both parties; he is simply seeking his party’s nomination. We have no idea what he truly believes in.
There have been many opinions about political parties throughout our nation’s history; too numerous to mention. George Washington warned against them in his farewell address. This happens to be my favorite quote from John Arbuthnot, a Scottish Physicist: “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.”
Commentary by James Turnage