Has anyone out there noticed that when partisan politics becomes a topic of discussion, you always have an Independent sitting there with his or her arms out as if to say "Don't look at me. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat" completely exempt from responsibility? The label "Independent" has been confused with independent thinking. Independents are now people who are just fed up with the party they used to belong to. Does that change their core beliefs? Doubt it. Previously, you voted on the basis of either Conservative or Liberal principles. Suddenly becoming Independent does not alter those core principles. Those beliefs stayed the same. Being an Independent does not make you an unbiased source.
Being an Independent is the new way to be trendy. It's the loophole for those who like to criticize government without facing any criticism themselves. There is a certain smugness about it all. I know the smug reputation is a typical stereotype placed on the so called "Liberal elites," but the Independents are looking more and more smug these days.
Being an Independent does not mean your shit doesn't stink. On the whole, you still vote one way or the other and in that regard, you can be held accountable. You give off the sense that you are somehow not the least bit partisan, yet I have seen multiple examples of Conservative leaning Independents who flat out hate anyone who is a Liberal. I'm sorry, but that puts you on the other side of the fence and nowhere near anything Independent. To me, an Independent is someone who should, in all aspects, resemble a moderate voter. Instead, we have people on the far left and far right who also make themselves Independents. Those Independents are a far cry from being mediators between opposing sides. Take Lou Dobbs for example. As a self professed registered Independent, he fans the flame of partisan politics on a daily basis.
Do you know that here in the state of Louisiana, registered Independents cannot vote in certain elections? Your voice is not heard when primaries are held, for example. You are not involved in the political process. Is that your idea of being an Independent?
The new Independent voter is nothing more than someone who likes the spiffy new iron-on badge they added to their jacket. In any election, Independent voters are given credence just like partisan voters. Each side is going to try and play to the Independent voters to pull ahead. This notion is somewhat of a fallacy. As I've already pointed out, an Independent is ideally someone who sits in the middle and could sway in either direction. These new Independents are nothing of the sort.
Watch for these key phrases and be skeptical towards anyone who uses them.
I'm so glad I'm an Independent.
That's why I'm an Independent.
You can trust my opinion because I'm neither a Republican nor a Democrat.
You can't blame me. I'm an Independent.
Don't look at me. I'm an Independent.
Let me give another example. Let's say you are generally liberally leaning on most issues. You want tax cuts for the middle class and understand taxes are necessary, so those who can afford to pay a little more, do. You like the idea of social programs and helping the poor. You support gay marriage. The only issue holding you back is abortion. You consider yourself pro-life. That one issue is not enough to consider yourself an Independent. That one issue does not put you in the gray area. One or two issues should not decide the party you are registered with.
If you are a politician running as an Independent, you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. Joe Lieberman would be a perfect example. You are not Independent. You just play each side against the other and hedge your bets. Lieberman is not a symbol of bipartisan progress.
If you are a voter who believes a little bit of both and sits more towards the middle, you are more than welcome to be Independent. You don't let one issue decide your vote. If you lean one way over the other, but are fed up with your own party, refuse to take any blame for your political choices, or use the label in an obstinate manner with the intent of being right all the time, you are nothing but a pretentious ass.
Why is this so important?
In every recent election, the politicians have been forced to cater to these people. They end up deciding the election. The fate of many rests in the decisions of the few.