Could 2017 Be the Year of Independents?
2016 has seen elevated amounts of political participation – with Republicans flocking to Trump and Democrats flocking to Bernie – but what happens after November could be an emergence of a new political party. There’s been a shift in American politics over the past 40 years where whole spectrum has moved to the right. The bases of both parties have been alienated and they are left feeling frustrated and angry because they feel voiceless. Independents, or anyone that doesn’t subscribe to either parties’ establishment ideas, have effectively been left out of many political processes, leaving the most extreme party members to do the lawmaking.
[Image Credit: Fellowship of the Minds]
Regardless of who emerges as the president-elect in November, America is about to see a major shift in party demographics. There are now more Independents than Republicans and Democrats and it’s only a matter of time until they come together and form their own politically active party.
In January of 2015, a shocking Gallup poll found that 43% of Americans identify as Independents. This is a warning sign for old party faithfuls. Republicans are dying off, “literally,” as Politico so eloquently stated. Democrats have alienated half of its base. Many registered Democrats are done with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after this election year. The DNC will probably lose about half of its base due to its unbearable corruption.
[Image Description: June 2015 report on US political makeup; Image Credit: MSNBC]
How is this playing out in the presidential election?
Trump and Clinton have already started their general election pivots and they’re both going to pass each other just to end up on the opposite side. This will show much the two billionaires have in common. “Trump vs Clinton” represents the damning lack of choice Americans face. For many Americans, it will come down to writing in Bernie Sanders, voting for Jill Stein, or voting for Trump because they are so sick of establishment politics.
Could an Independent actually win a presidential election? (Note: this is not the Independent party like that of California, US, which has Conservative roots)
Maybe. Maybe the time is ripe for an Independent. To be clear, if Trump or Clinton win, there won’t be much change.
But what happens if Trump or Clinton wins?
If Trump wins, it adds fuel to the Progressive fire and many Republicans will be voted out of Congress. If Clinton wins, there will be 4-8 years of neoliberal incremental change. Under both Trump and Clinton, the rich will get richer, endless wars will ensue, and both will likely face threats of impeachment.
Where does that leave the rest of us?
We’re somewhere to the “left” of both of the parties. Millennials are now old enough to vote and neither of the bases’ ineffective conservative policies or neoliberal incremental change excites us anymore. We’re breaking up with the two-party system because we deserve better.
Independent/Progressive change is already coming to fruition at a state level. If Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn’t rig the Florida race, Tim Canova, a Progressive, will sit in the Senate. It’s time for Debbie to go. She’s one of the main reasons Democrats will leave the party after this election. As an ’08 Clinton campaign manager and head of the DNC, Debbie lied, stole, and cheated her way through the Democratic primary. Tim Canova has a difficult fight ahead but it’s possible for him to win.
This is a good start but it won’t stop there. Bernie Sanders recently endorsed Canova and excited many new voters about Canova’s race. If Sanders doesn’t win the presidency, or even if he does, there will be a sea of previously voiceless citizens ready and willing to vote non-establishment candidates into office.
There’s a new political wave about to hit America. Hold on to your hats.