Declaration of Independence
by Trey Rentz, Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 12:03:50 PM EDT
Consider, if you will ... the independent voter. In Florida, a state with a very large number of electoral votes, and the decisive state in the 2000 election - the number of self identified independents has increased seven hundred percent over the last few years or so, to an estimated total of 2.6 million voters.
The independent voter tends to agree with the Democratic part on social issues, such as healthcare, rights, and other positions reconciled against the landscape of their personal and religious belief - tempered by separation of church and state.
The independent voter wanted healthcare reform - real reform in the full cloth. And the democrats delivered a facsimile of reform, that requires him to purchase something from a private insurance agency. The independent voter watched without surprise as the corporations that pumped lobbyists full of money, received it all back from Wall Street the day the current healthcare reform package found passage - with many healthcare insurance related stocks jumping more than 20 percent in a single day.
The independent voter sees the electoral landscape in his or her state as a blend of annoying road signs that he or she knows will disappear soon after election day. He casually notes that senator bedfellow or congressman whatshisname will be speaking downtown next thursday at five. He may or may not attend.
But he utilizes the internet - and not just a google-bombed cache search of the internet. He makes a list. He checks off that list those that listened to lobbyists - and those that did not.
And since more money flowed to the Democrats this past year, than Republicans. He follows that money and eliminates from his list the people that he felt betrayed his vote. It should be no surprise therefore, that the Democrats are getting thrown out of office.
The independent voter was fed up with the Bush administration. He disliked Bush Republicanism - the lobbyist oriented, evangelical liberalism that took our country into endless expenditure of not only our political capital, international goodwill - but also cold hard cash. The end of the Bush Republican era was marked by one of the largest declines in the stock market , in history.
59 percent of Independent voters , now given the view that the Democrats are under the control of lobbyists - believe that both parties are deeply flawed and are in outright anger at the way the country is being run. In Massachusetts, and New Jersey - Independent voters , in a largely Democratic state - threw out the Democratic party from a senate seat, and a governship - respectively.
It is telling that Scott Brown was elected to the Senate, a Republican from what was considered deeply held Democratic Party territory. It is this selfsame senator's seat who was the loudest voice in the senate for real healthcare reform.
As an independent, and speaking just for myself - the fastest way to win me over as a voter - is to simply address the issue of healthcare. It might not poll with the same buzzword panache as 'jobs' or 'getting us back to work' but it works for me. It tells me where the candidate is coming from. Is he going to sell out, or is he going to do the right thing. I do agree with the Democratic party on many social issues, the most important of which is healthcare.
NPR is saying that independents, voting in the house races are 50 to 29 percent more likely to vote Republican this year. Big Lobby would love that. They want a split congress, and a split senate - so that the usual 'dealmaking' and 10,000 page bills can be stuffed with their earmarks, pork, and watered down legislation that has little if any real effect other than lining the pocket of the corporate interest that helped write them in committee.
What we need is a real declaration from the Democratic party, to be the party of smart government. And responsive government. Their continued insistence on dealing in the lobbyists flies in the face of everything that is happening in American electoral landscape - its Coakley vs. Brown all over again. And why? To an independent, it's because they're being paid off to do it. To a party loyalist, it would seem as if they are 'misguided' and 'lost'. But I do not think so. I think they're pretending to be lost.
While they slurp on mixed drinks with funny sparklers and chunks of pineapple in them. And hope no one is noticing.
For me, I will use the internet to dig deep on each candidate. I will find out their skeletons. No matter how deep their pages are hidden, I will find them. I will blog about them. I will make my choice by creating a list the day before election day. TV advertising means nothing to me. I already spend all my time on Netflix, if at all.
When I go to the poll, I will vote for whomever will take the proper position on legislation. And if I can't vote for a party. I will vote to reconcile the parties.
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