It was in George Washington’s Farewell Address that he warned political parties would be “potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.”
This is exactly what’s happened as both parties serve moneyed interests rather than the will and the common good of the American people.
According to Pew Research, in the 2000 Presidential election cycle, 29 percent of voters were Independent. Gallup’s most recent poll brings that percentage up to a stunning 42 percent, compared to 26 percent Republicans and 29 percent Democrats.
Fear Driven Voting
Citing dissatisfaction with government as the primary driver of defection, affiliation with the two political parties is the weakest Gallup has ever recorded. Egocentric infighting has rendered both parties essentially ineffective and unsustainable — one more so than the other.
Since 2000, fear-mongering has conveniently championed the mantra that votes that stray outside the two majors are wasted votes. Essentially, you are being warned that voting for the “lesser of two evils” rather than voting your values is the only way to keep you “safe.”
The WikiLeaks data dump exposed the Democratic National Convention’s Clinton nomination setup. Nominees from both major parties are financially supported at levels that average Americans can’t touch. Where is our representation?
Fast forward to Presidential Election 2016: Never has it been so self-evident that Super PAC mega-donors, six monster-sized media corporations, rigged electoral maps, and continued voter suppression are hard at work steering voters toward candidates chosen for you by the two-party political machine.
Bernie Sanders was the only candidate to have come close to breaking down barriers to become a true grassroots funded and supported candidate. Whether or not Trump is an Independent candidate in disguise or a steering mechanism gone rogue won’t be fully revealed until after the election.
What does this mean for the American people this November? It means, Independent voters, that your 42 percent has an incredible opportunity to reshape American politics — even the direction of this country if you are willing to claim the power you’ve handed yourselves.
Though true Independents number around 5 percent, meaning the other 38 percent tends to lean left or right, your rejection of the status quo is your calling card that you are ready to be part of a functional and sustainable political structure. Moreover, you’ve already impacted the political landscape more than you realize.
Independent voter courage and intelligence is the foundation and the engine for the emergence of a new cooperation-over-competition political paradigm. Knowing what doesn’t work, Independent voters have an opportunity to come together to find necessary middle ground in a new and dynamic way.
Independents are the new partyless party that works for the common good of all to forge a path of least resistance to what does work free of special interest. In the next stage of human evolution (and politics), we transcend petty divisiveness, taking responsibility and ownership of our inherent authority as sovereign beings.
Now the real work begins.
If a major party candidate wins, it won’t be from third party votes. It will be from the expected 100 million voters who continue to give away control of their lives to others by not voting. Your vote belongs to you. Where do you start?
Do your due diligence. Research third-party candidates such as Jill Stein/Baraka who put “people, peace and the planet over profit.” Two former two-term Governors — Gary Johnson/Weld — have teamed up to “bring proven leadership to the White House.”
Organize discussion groups within your communities. Contribute articles to your local paper. Call radio stations to ask they feature independent candidates. Request debates include independent candidates. Use social media to connect with positive support groups. Responsibly vote.
Embracing diversity rather than fearing it, we rise as awakening leaders to collectively do what no generation before us ever believed was possible. It’s our time to thrive!