Confessions of an Independent Voter


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.

~Groucho Marx

If you’re like me and you live in the US, you’re probably already sick of the pre-election cycle. The problem is, between now and November 6th, you’re going to get exposed to a lot of political ads that don’t serve much purpose other than mild annoyance. They are on the radio, on TV, on your phone. And many studies suggest that these ads don’t make much difference in voting preference at all. They are targeted to people who sit on the fence…and unfortunately it is always these people who seem to make the difference in major elections. They are the so-called “battleground” states, the places where smiling candidates go to schmooze and pretend not to be corporate-bought billionaires for a change. Personally I’ve had enough of it.

It’s not that I don’t care about current events (quite the contrary, thanks to my beloved history and government teacher in high school). What I don’t care about is having to continually choose between one major party which has been bought and paid for by special interests and its opponent. As columnist Lars-Erik Nelson put it, the enemy is neither conservatism nor liberalism, but plain BS. As a country we have forgotten the art of compromise. We lay aside civil discourse, and the greater good of the country, in favor of talking heads shouting at one another like preschoolers fighting in a sandbox.

I feel like I’m the kind of person those ads are trying to reach. I’m youngish, female…and a true independent. I don’t fully relate to either major party and have never voted that way. In all things I choose a candidate, not a party. I’ve voted for third parties in presidential elections. I’ve even considered running as a third party candidate in local elections. If I didn’t win, at least I will have said things others don’t dare to say.

Some people, my parents included, are snarky about my Independent streak. They argue that voting independent is akin to “a vote for the wrong person,” or accuse me of being one of those dreaded Moderates. Personally I’d rather be moderate than too extreme on either side of the aisle. I can see wisdom in both major party platforms. How is that so bad? To both my conservative and liberal friends, I am an enigma. Is it possible for me to get news from both the Drudge Report and Huffington Post and still be objective? You bet. In fact, I believe it’s essential to being an educated citizen to understand all points of view…not just our own.

Some of my Independent friends have stopped voting altogether. They argue that it doesn’t really make a difference; that nothing they do has any effect on the increasingly gridlocked and hostile environment in Washington. I have to disagree. I vote because it is a privilege to do so, a privilege much of the world’s population does not have. I am speaking my mind when I vote no matter which candidate I choose. Considering little more than half the voting-age population has cast a ballot in recent elections, I’m proud to be among that group.

The candidates can target me with all the political ads they want. I will be voting in November, and when I do, it will be with the best interests of my country in mind. If that means an independent candidate, I won’t consider it throwing my vote away. A vote for the lesser of two evils is still relatively evil.

Are you one of the mythical Independent voters? How do you feel about the never-ending campaign cycle in the US?

Coming up very soon: the semifinals of the Fictional Character Hunger Games! Stay tuned!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 28, 2012.

7 Responses to “Confessions of an Independent Voter”

  1. I am an independent voter and you basically just said exactly what I think . I have respected friends on both ends of the political spectrum and all of them write me off when I tell them that I’m independent. I voted third party in the election and I intend on doing the same this year. I hate the old “lesser evil” vote – besides, how can you figure out which one is less evil when they are both using constant lies and propaganda?

  2. I am independent and have to be “sold” on the candidate. I have to say that I have not been swept off my feet by either one in this election….It should be interesting!

  3. I am independent, but lean heavily on the side of libertarians. And I love that you’re not afraid to vote who you really think will do the best job, and not voting for the lesser of two evils. I’ll probably vote for Ron Paul, because he’s the best libertarian option.

  4. I applaud your independence. Political parties ultimately put themselves ahead of our nation, and George Washington had some strong words warning us about them in his Farewell Address.

    I am also an independent. However, unlike disillusioned independents, I always vote. I can’t help but think of the people around the globe who are beaten, killed, or dismembered (fingers cut off) when they try to exercise voting rights. I also think of all of the suffragettes who fought for my right to pick my poison. Even if I have no respect for the candidates, which is usually the case, I have profound respect and gratitude for those who suffered to make sure I have the right to vote.

    Bottom line: our right to vote was bought with blood, and our first and most important duty as Americans is to vote as intelligently as possible.

  5. […] Howlin’ Mad Heather has escaped from the psychiatric ward again. She has taken with her everyone’s left shoe, a […]

  6. As an Aussie, I obviously don’t vote in the US, but we get some of same things here. We HAVE to vote, which is good – everybody has a say whether they like it or not. But our two major parties are so similar that I’d actually prefer to vote for an independent and wish there were more of them.

  7. I’m with you on being an independent voter. I would so much rather see a candidate like Ron Paul, whose voting record matches the words that come out of his mouth… I would rather have an honest doctor, who delivered over 4,000 babies, than a lawyer who is constantly trying to lie and cover their true intentions.

    However, when voting, I would consider it a throwaway vote to choose someone with no chance of winning, as the race has always been dominated by the 2 party, broken way of doing things. My concern between the two candidates at this point in the race, is who will do the least amount of harm… And after living among the Mormons in their capital of Salt Lake City for a decade, has given me great insight on why NOT to vote for Romney… I’m not an Obama fan (I voted for Paul in ’08), but I would rather have 4 more years of struggle, than 8 possible years of a delusional person, who believes in “Magic Underwear” and the teachings of a “prophet” who was a known Con-Man. Would you vote for someone that believes they will be a “God” over their own planet in the afterlife, if they serve the Mormon church on Earth? I wouldn’t.

    I’m an atheist, and an Aspie… I have a problem with putting “faith” into anything, instead wanting “fact” that can be confirmed with evidence. I have made it a point to get to know the religions of the world in my 34 years on Earth, and they have their purpose in shaping a society as a whole. They teach us some good moral lessons, and at the same time, stifle critical thinking skills, which are required in a “leader” of any type. What bothers me though, is that these politicians that make these decisions for you, are making a lot of those decisions based on what their choice of deity says is best for you… Obviously, Obama has not been a very religious person in the eyes of the US public, or else people of Christian faith wouldn’t be trying to label him as a closet muslim, etc… He claims to be a Christian, but doesn’t seem to subscribe to the narrow-minded Christian views in the US, that the guys like Romney do, placing less value on those who do not believe the same as they do.

    However, Romney has stated quite clearly about what he thinks when it comes to religion…it’s hard not to, when you are a Mormon Bishop. Baptising the dead, magic underwear, 3 tiers of heaven, becoming a god of another planet, women as subservient beings, are all things this Moron (oops, Mormon) believes… If he would believe that garbage, I wonder what else he believes is right for this country. I just can’t get behind someone like that, especially when he has shown that all he cares about are Rich, White People.

    Being a poor white person with Autism, I am kind of screwed in a Romney presidency, where he is stupid enough to have a running mate that believes the Vagina can protect you from getting pregnant in a “legitimate” rape… And if we are stupid enough to think that Romney has a grasp on how to make our country better economically, need to go look at his history in business….

    I’m just hoping that 4 more of Obama is a means towards a decent replacement, since one is not being offered at this point, that we can actually elect into office… I just wish we could have Bill Clinton back again…I lived really well during that presidency πŸ™‚

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