I was watching CNN's* post debate discussion this evening and was struck by a realization...
But first, a little background. Five or six years ago, I decide to change my political affiliation from Democrat to Independent/Unaffiliated. People said it was foolish, since I would lose a chance to vote in primaries. However, I was disgusted with the political machinations of the Democrats and was tired of being associated with the party. (Friends who happen to be Democrats are fine, of course, it's the behavior encouraged by the party that I disliked.) So, I changed my affiliation. I said that instead of making a "protest vote," I would make my registration a protest.
Now, things have turned on their head. I've always been a proponent for a multi-party political system (yes, there are nominally more than two parties, but we all know it's Dems vs. Reps) but have been told it's pretty much impossible at this point. Tonight, listening to the pundits, I suddenly realized that we ARE moving away from the two party system, in a way that's even better than having three or more major parties. I, as an Independent, have become part of a nebulous third group that defies stereotyping. We don't have many representatives in Senate, and we're not going to have an Independent president, but we ARE a force to be considered and reckoned with. There are enough of us that politicians are starting to have to pay attention to what concerns us (or at least pretend to). Pundits are biting their nails trying to figure out "what will the Independents do?"
I, who have never felt like I had a voice in politics, feel like someone's listening. Maybe I and my fellow Independents might actually change things around here.
MORE ISSUES! LESS MUDSLINGING!
* PS - CNN deliberately avoided "The Spin Room," saying "what's the point?" Bravo, CNN! Thanks for realizing how stupid it is to hear partisans parrot their party's talking points.