The idea has been swimming around my head for some time, and it’s usually how I respond if someone I don’t know well asks which party I support.
The decision also backs my belief that the major parties—both democrat and republican—have far too much power. I would like to see the political party system disappear and candidates run on the issues alone—even though that is not likely to happen. Politics, these days, is more about the party and being loyal to the party than the candidate who is running for office.
Party support also changes the way a candidate campaigns. You often hear that candidates are going to skip certain states or counties because they feel confident about getting the vote. They know that the majority of people vote according to party. If independents grow to the majority, the practice of candidates skipping campaign stops would likely stop. Candidates won’t want to miss an opportunity to campaign to the “swing voter”, as many independents are known because they often decide an election.
The theory behind the super delegates, unique to the democrat party — and the majority of which are loyal to Hillary Clinton — is the perfect example of a party having too much power. Clinton has won a few states in the primary by a tiny margin and suffered a huge loss in New Hampshire, but the electoral votes needed to win, place her far ahead of Bernie Sanders. Sure, super delegates could change their minds before selecting a candidate, especially if Sanders keeps gaining momentum. Clinton had the same super delegate support in 2008 but then they switched their votes after President Obama began winning the majority of the states.
The government is supposed to be by the people and for the people, meaning we all have an equal voice should we exercise it. So, why does the vote of Bill Clinton, Harry Reid or any other person the DNC deems a “distinguished voter” have more power than yours or mine? The super delegate rule was created in 1968 for the sole purpose of controlling who receives the nomination should the DNC need to step in at the last minute. They’ve never used it to overturn an election, but could this be the year they do if Sanders begins taking more states?
I’ll bet the republicans wish they had a similar rule right about now. The RNC has publicly stated they will support whoever wins the nomination, even if it’s Donald Trump, and they are likely worried that he’ll win. Both Trump and Sanders continue to poll surprisingly well, and neither candidate’s party is happy about it. Many people agree that their success is proof that voters are tired of Washington politics and demand change. Could it be the beginning of the downfall of the party?
As for my choice to go independent, I only wish I could change immediately. However, in Pennsylvania, independents can only vote in general elections. This practice isn’t widespread across the U.S., and only 10 other states share the same policy. Not being able to participate in a primary election unless you are affiliated with either the democrat or republican party is another example of having far too much power.