Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mary Pitt: "Who leads the Independents?"

Mary Pitt

As we go into this pivotal new year, the politicos are beginning to realize that a startling number of voters have become registered under name of "Independent" and none of the party leaders appear to understand the reasons. In some cases, people have changed their registration to "Undeclared" or "Unaffiliated" but they are all bundled together under the "Independent" category in numbers that are becoming frightening to those who try to read the electoral mind. We have watched as the Green Party struggled to become relevant for many years but this appears to be something quite different. It is beginning to mystify the pundits and bedevil the "king-makers" of both parties.

And this is as it should be. For the first time in a hundred years, the people are demanding that they be consulted on the policies of our government and there are few who have any claim to leadership or any one solid plank in a political platform that seems to satisfy them. CNN pundit, Lou Dobbs, who has encouraged this mass change in registration, may think that he is the leader but I propose that his opinions are not quite the entire answer. His advocacy of port and border security fit in well with most of the Independent opinions that we hear expressed where Independents congregate but the problem is greater than that.

On Saturday, November 12, the C-Span call-in program featurred Dominic Carter of NY!'s "Inside City Hall" who discussed the possible campaign of Mayor Bloomberg to corner "the middle of the road" and buy the presidency from the hands of both parties. When questioned about the Independent movement which Lou Dobbs claims, Mr. Carter replied, "Bloomberg has so much money that he doesn't have to care" about that. So, at least one prospective candidate thinks that the Independents, if bombarded with enough advertising will swing to "the middle of the road" and accept a little of this and not quite enough of that, cast their little ballots and sweep a billionaire into the highest office in the land.

I would like to think that the policies that are at issue here are too important to be claimed, bought, or sold to anybody or by anybody, at any price. From inside the Independent movement, it is obvious that we are much like the old Democratic Party and as diverse in our views as they used to be. True, some are middle-of-the-roaders, some are end-timers, not for religious reasons but out of despair that anything is going to stop the imminent crash of the American economy, while others are simply disgusted with both the mainstream parties. We are as diverse as American herself and, as yet, simply leaderless and watching to see if there is anybody who can meet our standards and, to date, no real leader has yet arisen. Some tend to support Dennis Kucinich while others find a great deal of appeal in Ron Paul but there is no concesensus. Most could accept John Edwards as his personal policies progress, but he is not quite there yet.

For the edification of the pundits, the thing that Independents have in common is that they want a total change in the political thinking of the candidates. These are people who believe in the Constitution and in the tenet of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. For too long we have seen a Washington government that gives the people just enough to prevent them from coalescing into a real rebellion, just doing whatever seems like a good idea at the time to increase their own status in the office and accumulating enough votes to retain their seats. The Republicans cling to their minority which is just enough to bluff the majority Democrats with filibuster or veto and the Democrats cannot seem to muster the courage to fight back.

No, my friends, the "change" of Obama is not enough. The "change" of having a woman President is not enough, nor is having a Mormon or a Southern Baptist preacher in the White House. We don't care about your color, your sex, or your faith; this is truly about your proposed actions in government. The "change" that we desire is one from the inside out and upside-down to what we have had for the past half century. It is no longer enough for them to "feel our pain". Before the Independent Progressive movement is satisfed, they will SHARE our pain! If not recognized and dealt with, our dissatisfaction will have as large an impact on the nation as did the Civil Rights movement a half century ago.

This is a movement for the right to self-government in fact, not in purely lip service. Our allegiance is to our country, not to the mountebanks who have seized power over us in their quest for world domination. We are the poor who are tired of poverty and desire productive work which will allow us to support ourselves and our families; we are the middle class who find ourselves falling further down the financial ladder, losing our jobs and our homes as our standard of living descends into the pits; and we are the true patriots who see the welfare of our citizens being bartered abroad for the enrichment of the moneyed class.

Is there one politician with the intestinal fortitude to stand with us and lead us to the rescue of our democracy? We have yet to see such a person and are greatly given to discuss those whom we think might be acceptable but there is yet nobody who can truly claim leadership. That's why they are worried. We can go to the polls and, by our very numbers, swing a national election in one way or another or, by our absence from the polls, just sit back and watch the crash and then try to pick up the pieces. Perhaps the "king-makers" should take a longer look at that!

The author is a very "with-it" old lady who aspires to bring a bit of truth, justice, and common sense to a nation that has lost touch with its humanity in the search for societal "perfection."

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