Third Party & Independents Archives

The Face of the New Independent

There are generally, but by no means limited to, three types of Independents. The first are voters who find no common ground with either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. They may be attracted to certain aspects of either party, but cannot bring themselves to fully support either party’s agenda and compromise their own. The second are voters who have become disenchanted with the Democrats or the Republicans. This usually happens when voters feel that party lines have been crossed and agendas compromised. The last are voters who are new voters with no particular party affiliations, but may decide to vote because of one particular issue, such as environmental concerns. These people haven’t been “charmed” by either major party and are usually more open to new ideas.

Currently, there are two major Independent parties that have managed to capture the “lime light” of politics: the Green Party and the Libertarians. The Green Party describes itself as “committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing.” The Libertarian Party describes itself as “committed to America's heritage of freedom: individual liberty and personal responsibility, a free-market economy of abundance and prosperity, and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade.” While both parties offer similar views, it is apparent that first is more liberal and progressive; whereas, the latter is more conservative and traditional.

One cannot, however, rule out the wide variety of Independent parties available today, everything from Socialist and Communist parties, to parties in favor of preserving the Constitution, Christian values, Patriotism, and Reform. Many of these parties deal with particulars such as Workers’ Rights or Christian values and feel that these particular topics get lost in the shuffle of the two major parties. For a complete list of all political parties in the US, please see the following website: The Keele Guide to US Political Parties.

So just what is the face of the new Independent? The new Independent is frustrated with the partisan non-compromises of the two party system, which generally result in issues that affect the voters being lost in red tape or enmeshed with other issues until the original causes are assimilated beyond recognition. The new Independent is usually disenchanted with what they see as a lack of preservation or improvements for the quality of life of the average voter by the two party system. When promises are made and then broken, these new Independents often feel that the two party system has let the whole of America down. Two of the biggest issues that drive the new Independents are the environment and health care. Although there are many other issues on Independent party agendas, they see environment and health care overlooked time and time again by the two party system. Since the events of September 11, 2001, security on the home front has also become a huge issue for most new Independents. Although many of them feel that war is not the answer, many do believe in a strong defense, but not at the expense of important issues affecting the lives of the American voters. Most new Independents are also discouraged by the role of corporations in politics, and this is why few of these new Independent parties will accept corporation contributions and prefer contributions from private citizens and affiliated organizations.

With all the stalemates that occur in Congress, mainly due to partisan politics, it is time for the face of the new Independent to rise up and make itself known. The two party system that is suffocating this country can only be stopped by more voters rejecting the old norms and taking a stand to ensure real changes are made. They need to stop voting for either Democrats or Republicans because it's what they have always done or because they feel that Independents do not stand a chance. When enough voters make their voices heard by turning to Independent parties, then perhaps the Democrats and the Republicans will finally understand that Americans are tired of “politics as usual” and deserve the unusual, the untraditional, the New Independent.

Posted by at October 19, 2003 3:41 PM