New York, NY – During his pre-Tonight Show days of comedy, Jay Leno often used the line: “Do you know what sticks in my craw?” Then there was the late Rodney Dangerfield who’d say: “I don’t get no respect.”
Many independent voters, independent voter activists (yes they most assuredly DO exist), and small independent voter parties these days sound bit like Leno and Dangerfield. There’s a lot that sticks in the craw of independent voters, the largest and fastest growing part of America’s electorate. And they insist they’re getting no political and legal respect. These feelings – and the determination to do something about it – were in full display at the Committee for a Unified Independent Party’s national conference of independent voters titled “Can Independents Reform America?” held here last weekend.
It sticks in their craw that the two major political parties have rigged the political system so that independent voters are perpetually asked to be “realistic” and hold their noses and vote for the less smelly of the two political parties. It sticks in their craw that there are constraints and biases built into the American system – including judges who belong to the two parties and allegedly issue biased decisions – to keep falsely suggesting that voters only have two choices when polls in fact show a large chunk of America is independent and wants a third choice, too.
It sticks in their craw that when an issue oriented Republican or Democrat wins office he or she is often under enormous pressure to follow a party line. So much so that some of them later ran as independents and then lost. Some of those now belong to what is being called “the movement” and attended the conference.
They also feel they “don’t get no respect” from new and old media, political partisans on each side — and even they-should-know-better academics who have in some cases attacked independents as people who seemingly can’t make up their minds.
Read the rest HERE.
UPDATE: Also be sure to read this.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.