Independents and Hyperpartisanship

In a post at The Real World contemplating recent results from Gallup Polls showing that self-identified conservatives outnumber liberals by a margin of two to one, 'the Historian' argues that the United States is 'an anti-left nation.' He emphasizes that Americans are more likely to identify themselves as conservatives, moderates or liberals, than Republicans or Democrats, but argues that there is no need for a third party in American politics:
The days of pure party loyalty have been fading fast, and none too soon. Each and every day finds fewer party agenda kool aid drinkers on either side of the political divide. That works, not to mention that there is no need for a third party. Or better put, there already is a third party: the nonpartisans. And it is growing. To win, the party types will have to attract large numbers of the non-affiliated while at the same time holding on to their party base.
The number of self-identified unaffiliated voters is certainly on the rise, however, they do not constitute a third party and they are not non-partisan. Under the right conditions, that is, given a strong candidate and an effective organizational strategy, this group could form the base of a viable third party or independent campaign. But the fact that they do not support actual third parties in large numbers demonstrates they they have not yet overcome their misplaced loyalty to the duopoly parties. On the other hand, their political independence does not imply that they are non-partisan. The idea that the unaffiliated voter is non-partisan is one of the many conceits of duopoly ideology. Whereas partisan Democrats stand in opposition to Republicans, and partisan Republicans stand in opposition to Democrats, independents and the unaffiliated oppose both the Republican and Democratic Parties. It would not be incorrect to label such a position hyper-partisan. The fact that it is considered non-partisan reveals the agency of an ideological fantasy central to the duopolist mentality, namely, that of the ideologically pure and virtually a-political citizen and voter.

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