Consider this recent Gallup poll showing America’s political allegiances – independent 38%, Democrat 31%, Republican 29%. With such an overwhelming majority, how many U.S. Presidents have been ‘independent’? How many Senators? Congressmen? According to the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, there are 2 independent Senators – Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). And in the House of Representatives, out of 435 members, there are ZERO independents. How can that be when independents represent 40% of the population?
One look at CUIP’s literature, as well as Jackie Salit’s itinerary for this year’s conference, makes it somewhat obvious. New York independents have been encouraging the rest of us to campaign and volunteer for Democrats and Republicans over their own independents for years. In fact, highlighting the conference is Salit’s documentary praising independents for organizing and delivering for the Democratic nominee for President, Barak Obama.
One could argue that it’s a blatant and organized act of sabotage against independents nationwide if the formula didn’t work so well in New York with their election rules. Independent mayor Bloomberg is evidence enough. Bloomberg is a past Democrat, then Republican, now independent. However, that formula doesn’t work throughout the other 49 states where the rest of the nations’ independents are up against the very same two parties the NY independents love to support. It’s a matter of philosophy, not betrayal. . . . . The other half of the American independent movement has a different strategy. They wish to start a legitimate national political party . . . .
Following the CUIP's National Conference of Independents earlier this month, I provided a roundup of some of the immediate reaction in the third party and independent blogosphere, a good deal of which was highly positive in character. But there has also been a fair amount of criticism as well, notably, from those who support independent opposition to the two-party state as opposed to a strategy of working within the apparatus that sustains the misrule of the reigning parties. This has been a long-standing tension within the growing independent movement, and it was apparent at the conference itself (I, for one, argued for political independence from the Democratic and Republican parties during the conference's open forum). Reflecting on the conference, Mark Wachtler makes the independent case for political independence in a lengthy article at The Examiner. Excerpt: