I was a registered Republican in my younger days, when it seemed to me that the party was kinder and gentler. I left the party, disgusted with Bush ll’s war games, and wanted to register as Independent, so on the voter registration card, checked Independence Party.
The Independence Party in New York is not THE Independent Party, which I have come to learn. Many others have also been fooled into joining because we thought they were. The Independence Party is a “party” founded in 1991 by a Rochester, New York-based group, now run out of Suffolk County. My observation is that they are more conservative than progressive and are more interested in where they can wield the most power to serve their own egos, rather than following an ideological position.
In the past, they have endorsed several Democratic candidates for state and federal government, including Andrew Cuomo. Our own New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele is a member of the Independence Party, which gave the party legitimacy for me.
But in 2018, the Independence Party endorsed Trump puppet Republican Congressman Lee Zelden from NY-CD1 and that was the last straw for me. I re-registered as “Blank”, which in-and-of-itself, is insulting to any one of us who won’t register “R” or “D”.
After all, who wants to be known as “BLANK”?
Why did I not register as a Democrat? Even though my social and political views align more closely with the Dems, they have not earned my trust, respect and allegiance.
The shenanigans with Hillary and Bernie in 2016 resulted in our current president getting elected.
The existence of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democratic members of the New York State Senate who caucused separately from other Democratic members of the State Senate — appearing on the ballot as Democrats but allied with Senate Republicans throughout its existence, giving the minority Republicans control of the New York State Senate. Supposedly, the IDC has been disbanded (I’ll believe it when I see it).
Another reason I will not register as a Democrat is there are currently several high profile Suffolk County Democrats who support the Immigration and Customs Enforcement use of unconstitutional “administrative warrants” to capture (kidnap) and deport immigrants in Suffolk County. Based upon all of these reasons, I’d rather be a “blank”, thank you.
Independent voters make up 40 percent of the voters in America, yet have no representation in government. It’s either Democratic or Republican…there is no Independent Party! Why not, with 40 percent of Americans seeing themselves a being “Independent”? We have become so partisan, as defined by “party” — meaning Democratic or Republican — that we have become dysfunctional.
The two party system is entrenched in polar opposites, something an Independent Party would help balance out. Many countries throughout the world have several political parties that help them balance power and form coalitions that prevent the large pendulum swings from progressive to conservative agendas that Americans experience as we sway between the two party system: Healthcare for all vs. healthcare for none. Women’s rights vs. white patriarchal supremacy, voters rights vs. no voters rights, and housing to only those who can afford it.
Our politicians can’t hear the people because they are so engrossed in the snake oil lobbyists. Money in politics is a cancer. Citizens United doubled down on money in politics and took the people out of it.
The existence of an Independent Party would immediately serve as a keel, which would keep our boat more even and lessen the impact of money in politics. But what is the path to establishing a true Independent Party?
“Sixty-one percent of Americans tell Gallup they like the idea of a third major party,” writes Micah L. Sifry from The New Republic. “The hard reality is that if we ever get a major new political party, it won’t be built by think tank denizens. It will be built first in states like New York, Connecticut, and Oregon, where minor parties don’t have to risk “spoiling” the election because they can endorse candidates from another party, or cities like Minneapolis and San Francisco where ranked-choice voting (where you can assign your vote to a series of candidates in order of preference) eliminates that barrier. And then it will move to power in a few states and maybe a few congressional seats. The presidency will be its final prize, not its first.”
So, let’s form a true Independent Party! Who’s going to jump on board and help get it started? The fight, the march, the battle.. the thing we need to accomplish is an true Independent Party.
The two party system has failed us…we must march on for recognition and political balance.
Be a YIMBY!
Michael Daly is an East Ender and regular contributor to The Beacon on community issues he cares passionately about. He can be reached at 631.525.6000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org