NJ: Declare Your Independence from the Democratic-Republican Culture of Corruption

In an opinion pice for EIN News, Joe Rothstein points out that independent voters have little to no representation in the US Congress or in state government and asks: "Isn't it time to change that?" Rothstein begins:
More Americans declare themselves as independents and no-party voters than opt for either the Democratic or Republican parties. Nationally speaking, if Independents were an organized party the registration line-up would look roughly like this: Independents 40%, Democrats 35%, Republicans 25%. Despite their numbers, independents have virtually no voice in Congress or in most state legislatures. If they did, we would be seeing an entirely different political landscape in the U.S. than the tough terrain now inhabited almost exclusively by Democrats and Republicans.
Rothstein concludes with a number of suggestions for reform, and makes a case for open primaries, redistricting reform and proportional representation, among other things. However, he fails to mention the simplest, most direct and arguably most efficient way for independents to ensure that they are represented in government, which is to cease voting for Democrats and Republicans, and to support independent and third party candidates for office.

This realization is beginning to dawn on voters in New Jersey. As Ross Levin writes at Independent Political Report, independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett is picking up momentum in the Garden State:
He has polled as high as 17 percent, and if this pattern continues - with more debates and media coverage in the month or so before the election - his poll numbers should increase even more.
Indeed, this past weekend Daggett picked up the endorsement of New Jersey's largest newspaper, the Star Ledger, while the Philadelphia Enquirer noted that "voters are starting to listen to the independent candidate for governor." This is not surprising, Daggett has been talking to voters at street fairs and local haunts for weeks. Today, Politico reports:
in recent weeks online donations to his campaign have spiked from a paltry three a day to about 20; the number of calls to his office from news media outlets around the state have more than tripled.
His success is beginning to rile partisans of the two-party political status quo. In a post at Save Jersey, a front for the Republican Party's establishmentarian stooge, Chris Christie, we read:
Rather than attempt to educate their readership about the failed economic and governmental policies responsible for our statewide economic collapse, the Ledger decided to cook-up an inarticulate and contextually inappropriate critique of the ancient two-party system.
Reading this, I could not help but laugh. Is it possible that partisan dead-enders of the Democratic-Republican two-party state think the people do not realize that it is precisely the leaders and representatives of the Democratic and Republican Parties, and by extension the duopoly system itself, that are responsible for political and economic collapse at local, state and national levels? At The Confluence, riverdaughter writes:

As the Star-Ledger says, here’s the way to take back your government. What our current crop of politicians need right now is discipline and for the voters to hold them accountable for their bad behavior. With the election of people like Daggett, we are capable of issuing the parties a warning. Shape up or it’s four years on the Naughty Step. And then we keep putting them back on that step until they get the message and do what we tell them to do. All we lack is the courage and determination to carry through on our warnings.

If we end up with better politicians in the meantime, so much the better. If you want to help send shockwaves around NJ and the rest of the country, you can contribute to Daggett’s campaign here. The next debate for Governor will be October 16 and will be broadcast on October 18.

Yet, Daggett is only one example of an independent challenging the political status quo in New Jersey. In a column for Mediaite, Anthony De Rosa profiles Daggett alongside an independent candidate for state assembly, Sean Dunne, who points out the advantages of having representatives who are independent of the Democratic-Republican graft machine:

I don’t answer to any party interest or bosses. I only answer to people that have supported me through their votes. It is so frustrating to see the same mistakes repeated, and so I felt that people have to challenge both parties . . . I associate corruption not only with the people that are involved in bribes, but I think many of the legalized practices of how the government operates are corrupt. The lack of truly democratic structures to our state government are key concerns.

We should not forget to mention, in this context, the campaign of Gene Baldassari, who is running for the New Jersey State Assembly as a member of the Modern Whig Party. Baldassari has also endorsed Daggett, writing:

As I meet citizens of the 14th District, I hear it more and more. They are starting to believe that the political parties represent bad Government in NJ. They are starting to recognize the apparent collusion between the political parties and how they have worked closely to make it impossible to fix the problems of NJ . . . I have not looked into all of his [i.e. Daggett's] ideas. But it is not necessary. Even if we disagree on some issues, we agree on the most important need for New Jersey. An Independent Governor would be independent enough to break the monopolistic stranglehold that’s preventing good ideas from penetrating the walls of the State House. Until we cure that disease, there is little profit in looking at any other issues. That is enough for me to consider him as a viable choice for Governor.

Anyone interested in keeping up on media coverage of Daggett's campaign and the never-ending tide of polls on the race should be sure to check out The Thirds, who have been following this one pretty closely.

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