By Sherry Larson
In politics is there is much talk about fighting. There was former President Donald Trump’s January 6 “Fight like hell” speech. President Joe Biden’s campaign slogan – was “Fighting for the Soul of America.” And while some partisans are clashing left and right, many voters opt out of either fight club.
America has been experiencing polarization for years. The disparity in ideas and opinions has led individuals away from the center and towards ideological extremes. Conversely, many voters are wary of the blue and red conflict. They are tired of politics altogether, primarily due to the “ugly” behavior it can perpetuate. Ezra Klein, author of Why We’re Polarized, states, “Once a political party has decided the path to governing is retaking the majority, not working with the existing majority, the incentives transform. Instead of cultivating a good relationship with your colleagues across the aisle, you need to destroy them because you need to convince the voters to destroy them, too.”
Today, more Americans are increasingly identifying as Independent voters. In a 2021 article by Geoffrey Skelley on fivethirtyeight.com, he reports in the 1980s, a third of Americans identified as either Democrat, Republican, or Independent. He states, “Now 40 percent or more identify as Independent while the share who identify as Democrat or Republican has fallen to around 30 percent or lower.” Recent data from Gallup Polls show a growing trend since 2004 of voters choosing the Independent party and representing the majority.
Control in the US House of Representatives and Senate has flip-flopped with fluidity. Newsgallop.com states, “This is partly because neither party can claim a very high share of core supporters – as the largest portion of Americans identifies initially as political independents.” In an August 2021 article on cronkitenewsazpbs.org, Jason Rose, a Republican political consultant, stated, “Both the Democrat and Republican parties are doing a remarkable job at turning off prospective voters.” He continued, “The Democratic Party is now the party of Bernie Sanders, and we know who the face of the Republican party is.” Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, supposes, “There’s simple or general distrust with institutions, including official political parties.”
A March 2022 PEW Research Center analysis shows Democrats and Republicans are farther apart ideologically today than in the past 50 years. 35% of Americans under the age of 30 are Independent or unaffiliated, according to a 2020 Harvard Youth Poll. VOANews.com reports on a group called Independent Voting that connects independent voters. Jackie Salit, the President, stated that Independent voters wish to cast their vote saying, “for the person, not the party. They want to be involved in the issue, not the ideology.”
Skelley claims that while people register for the Independent party, they generally still lean left or right in voting. He states, “Independents are still voting largely for one of the two major parties; they’re just refusing to affiliate with them publicly.”
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
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