A Case for Political Independence

A Case for Political Independence

James Mcnees, Staff Writer

If the current political climate in this country hasn’t strayed you towards political independence, I don’t know what will. Witnessing riots, slander, and corruption from both the right and left parties, the only viable option should be to become neutral. The tendency to take sides on something as serious as our government is dangerous. Just because you agree with a party on one issue, doesn’t mean you should agree with them on others.

Blindly adhering to a party is something most people will condemn, but not practice. Making decisions based on original thought, and not doing so because someone else told you to, is something foreign to a large number of us. This is very dangerous. Bingham High’s U.S. Government and World Civilizations teacher, Ms. Bridge explains why this can be so. “You get to the mindset that what your party does is always right, and so sometimes they’ll just say, ‘here’s a policy we want’ and you won’t even think about it or look into it.” This type of sheep mentality is arguably what causes major issues in the country. It begs the question, when have you been a sheep?

It’s not inherently close-minded to be on one side of the political system, but it is close-minded to base your decisions solely on the group you identify with. The concept some Americans tend to ignore is that humans in power are just as weak as everyday citizens. This means that they’re just as likely to make mistakes. No person is perfect, no candidate is perfect, and especially no party is perfect. If this is the case though, why aren’t we treating it so?

It would be unrealistic to expect people not to join a joint system in our government. 

Where smart people, like Ms. Bridge, think the problem lies, is in our priorities. When asked about the idealism of being independent, Ms. Bridge stated this. “In an idealistic way, yes. It is dangerous for us to split, but there’s no way that we wouldn’t have. You will always see us splitting, I think it’s just the idea that you identify as an American first, and then political ideology second.” The “split” of American politics into two political parties Bridge mentioned is something that is still in practice today.

This is one of the many arguments George Washington introduced when our government was first forming in the late 1700s. He argued against political parties. Washington’s spirit of disapproval of taking sides should be thought of when voting, much like Ms. Bridge stated.

Our goal as a collective in this country should only be for the betterment. While this isn’t 100% possible, I do believe a major change can be made. As of 2018, only 38% of our population considers themselves independent. While this number is relatively high, about 80% of these people still lean towards one party. That means 80% of the “independent population” still adheres to a party, but why? Doesn’t this go against being independent in the first place?

 By becoming self-aware and realizing that your opinions, as well as others, are flawed, you can come to more of an agreement among your peers and persons in power.

If anything, you should take a sense of individualism from this article. Thinking for oneself is the best way to improve our country. Pinpointing the imperfections in all parties and candidates is the best way to avoid issues in the future. This perspective is easiest to attain as a politically independent individual.