I need your help today… and perhaps a little understanding.
Since I have been writing this Republican-based blog, a number of people have felt an obligation to tell me that they are Independent voters (technically Unenrolled), and that they vote for the best person in an election, regardless of Party.
For all the emotion this seems to cause, being “independent” is hardly a big deal. After all, 51% of all registered voters have chosen to be registered as Unenrolled in Westborough, and in Massachusetts. However, it’s often the condescending manner in which they say it that is particularly amusing, as if there is something inherently superior about their being Unenrolled that is far better than my being affiliated with a political party – especially the Republican Party in Massachusetts.
You can understand, therefore, that I might occasionally wonder about Unenrolled voters – are they noble, naïve, or just not interested?
I can understand the noble part. Being a registered Democrat may create a sense of political angst attempting to rationalize the obligation to vote for Elizabeth Warren, the minority-in-her-mind, affirmative action poseur, for Senator. Being Unenrolled provides the freedom to vote for the candidate who has not already deceived her employers and the people. But let’s be fair – nobility goes both ways because there are many Republicans who are conflicted by Scott Brown’s frequent tendency to behave and vote like a Democrat. This is obviously not a problem for the Unenrolled who may actually see Brown’s bi-partisanship as a major positive.
However, even if Unenrolled voters feel a sense of elevated satisfaction by voting for the “best person” based on whatever their criteria, isn’t this thinking too simplistic and naïve? The Nation, and this State, are run by hierarchical political parties. With too few exceptions, “best candidates” rapidly devolve into Party followers, vote in political lockstep devoid of their alleged principles, and disllusion the people who voted for them. When challenged regarding their positions or votes, these “best candidates” typically become gobbledegooking hack rationalizers of the political process who feel the need to explain why you aren’t bright enough to understand “the way things really work in Washington/Boston.” Perhaps some of the Unenrolled who feel that their original trust has been rolled over should ask their Reps why their values had changed or why they are even needed if they are going to vote 98% of the time with the Party leadership.
But, then I wonder how many Unenrolled voters are just not interested in politics. After all, if they are receiving governmental free stuff, or are working for a government agency, or believe that America is and has been flawed, or simply do not care that adding unsustainable debt and yielding personal freedom and liberty will compromise future generations, or support income distribution or want America to be transformed, they would already be registered as a Democrat. Does that mean that being Unenrolled is synonymous with being apathetic, ambivalent, and don’t blame me? Certainly if measured by voter turnout. Despite being the majority of voters, only about 40% of the Unenrolled voted in Westborough in the 2008 election, and not even half that many in the 2010 special election. Apparently being unenrolled means not being that special.
Yet, incredibly, the candidates always seem most occupied in attracting the so-called “Independent swing vote.” This is why the ads are always so negative. They are made to mislead and persuade the vast Unenrolled voting block that is the least politically and issue-focused, but the most politically lazy and susceptible to believing the alleged garbage that pollutes our televisions every ten minutes during the election stretch runs. As they say, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
My advice to the Unenrolled majority is to remember that the political process applies to all of us – whether you actively participate or blindly ignore it. We the people own what we the people decide. And, there are significant consequences to these decisions, whether you are on the field and in the game, or in the stands watching and cheering … or choose to sit it out. Best to at least be in the stadium, even better to be in the game.
Therefore, you really need to begin thinking in terms of what the Political Parties stand for before voting. We all want to elect the “best candidate”, but If you are looking to preserve your freedoms and liberties and reduce the cost of government, or if you don’t believe that government is the answer to all our problems, yet you vote for a candidate with a different agenda because you somehow think they are the “best”, you have either supported the wrong principles or the wrong candidate. How about putting an end to voter malpractice?
If you want to learn more about the Parties, there are Town Committees that meet regularly and support their Party’s candidates. If you are interested in learning more about the Republican candidates – and meeting them in informal settings, please contact me.
I expect that some Unenrolled voters will be ready to assert the nobility of being independent. I look forward to hearing from you, just as I am eager to hear from those who have suffered voter’s remorse from naively supporting the wrong candidates, as well as from those who are just not interested in politics or politicians.
Perhaps we will all learn something from this.