January 10, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Observation of the Day: Independent Voters Aren’t So Independent
I have a dirty little secret, I’m registered Republican. Say what? Yes, it’s true. But no, I’m not trying to perpetrate some kind of sadistic fraud on Left Call readers. I’m most definitely a liberal, but I’ve been registered Republican since I was old enough to be registered to vote. My entire family, with a few exceptions, are Republicans, which I’ve previously talked about. For someone who at the time was not politically active (or even aware), registering as a Republican just seemed like the obvious choice. After all, your family is always correct about these things, right?
Being registered as a Republican can have it’s perks, like voting for the underdog in the Republican primary just for the sake of feeling like you’ve screwed with the system. I’ll admit I’ve been tempted to do that just for the hell of it. And the reason I haven’t changed my party registration is that I don’t like political parties, so I’m not sure what I would change it to. And if I don’t change it to the Democratic Party, that means I definitely won’t be voting in primary elections because Pennsylvania, the state I live in, doesn’t allow you to vote outside your party in primaries, which I think is a stupid rule that only serves to increase political polarization.
So I guess the fact that I don’t like political parties and I don’t know what I would change my registration to makes me an independent by default. Only, I don’t like that label either, because I feel like “independent” is a label for people who think they are above the fray. Independent is a label for someone who hates the political polarization in Washington, and therefore believes they are not part of that polarization, even though they still vote a straight party ticket, every time.
That’s the problem with independents, they aren’t really independent. Most independents favor one party or the other, but remain registered as independents for reasons of self-importance, or so it seems. “Look at me, I’m an independent. Don’t put me in a box!”
So yeah, it appears I’m no closer to figuring out what to change my registration to.