A Declaration For Independents

Independent voters are supposedly the key to American politics.  The Democrat and Republican bases are thoughtlessly set in their ways, so a crucial population of swing voters decides national elections.  Win over those free-thinking independents, while using carefully coded appeals to your base that won’t scare the indies away, and victory is yours.

The rising number of registered independents is taken as a measure of our political health.  Politics is all about persuasion, so a hearty population of persuadable voters means the big races will become spirited contests.  We’re told to take comfort from knowing that a presidential candidate can’t dominate the country with nothing but appeals to his loyal base.

What do these independent voters imagine they are “independent” from, as citizens?

Barack Obama won the White House with plenty of independent support in 2008.  Now your right to choose your own health insurance is gone, perhaps forever.  It died in the middle of the night, with the passage of ObamaCare. 

If the independent voters of 2008 were counting on the courts to rein in the worst excesses of a health-care power grab, they have been thus far disappointed.  Four courts have been willing to manufacture absurd decisions that suggest the Commerce Clause gives Congress nearly limitless power to compel citizens to make purchases in certain “essential” markets, which we enter by merely living. 

If independents thought their Congressional representatives would contribute to shaping a health-insurance takeover that served the best interests of all Americans, they were played for fools.  Those “representatives” were bought off with backroom deals.  Crucial votes were purchased from Congressmen that most Americans will never have a chance to vote for, or against. 

The only way to become “independent” from ObamaCare is to secure one of those priceless waivers, awarded to favored companies and unions through a permanent bureaucracy that never faces judgment from the voters.  Good luck with that.

If you voted for Obama in 2008, you threw your independence away.  It doesn’t matter what you call yourself, or how liberated you pretend your intellect is.  There will be no more appeals to your fine non-partisan judgment in the matter of health insurance, because the takeover is complete, and your opinion doesn’t matter very much now.  It will be courted again, very briefly, when ObamaCare’s mounting failure leads to calls for single-payer socialized medicine… and then you will never be consulted again, until the entire system collapses, and you are left with the task of building something from the ruins.

If you want your independence back, you must burn Obama and the Democrats out of Congress in 2012, in the kind of historic landslide that produces entire chapters in the history books of the future. 

It’s good to make the Republicans earn your vote.  By all means, play hard to get.  It is appropriate to approach all candidates with suspicion, and make them win your trust.  In the end, however, if you leave government in the hands of Democrats, more of your “independence” will be consumed.  They have promised as much.  They claim it will be for your own good.  They will require you to ignore years of devastating failure to trust them again, because the purity of their intentions eclipses all practical considerations. 

How can you entertain the appeals of a party that promotes government control, and dependence, as a virtue… but still posture as an “independent” voter?

In a nutshell, you have one party that has often broken its promises, and diminished your freedom… versus one party that takes your freedom away when it keeps its promises.  The freedom-devouring type of promise is always easier for politicians to keep.  People keep forgetting that.

Transform the Republicans with your uncompromising demands for independence, and you’ll eventually transform the Democrats, too.  It will be difficult, but not impossible.  Liberty lives in the space between “difficult” and “impossible.”

It’s a shame things have come to this.  You should have two – or more! – choices who make serious appeal to people with independent minds, as we select the leadership of a government that respects our liberty, no matter how the election turns out.  But that is not the choice before you now, and pretending otherwise is foolish and destructive.

Independent voters are a fraud, unless they are also independent citizens.  Such a citizen accepts the possibility of failure, because risk is impossible without it, and only children live without risk.  He embraces uncertainty, provided he has the freedom to meet it, for opportunity does not exist in the presence of absolute certainty.  He looks for wealth in the free market, because wealth requires choice, and true choice is a product of competition. 

A free-thinking citizen accepts the State as a necessary expense, but recoils when the process of funding the state through taxation is used as an instrument to shape the population.  Any politician who describes the tax code as a machine to engineer “fairness” should instantly disqualify himself from consideration by independent voters.  What “independent” person is willing to accept someone else’s notion of “fairness,” imposed by force?

The independent citizen rejects the concept of “entitlement,” for entitlements are claims against the liberty of others.  He does not wish to live in a maze of subsidies and penalties, because these things replace the judgment of free citizens with the agenda of government.  He does not live off crumbs of freedom hidden within thousands of pages of laws, which few citizens understand. 

He doesn’t tolerate an activist government which targets other citizens as enemies, not just because he knows that one day, he might become the target… but because he is not interested in becoming a conscript to ideological warfare. 

An independent citizen tolerates government, but demands freedom.  No one should be allowed to pretend we are poised halfway between liberty and dependence, with both courses equally open before us.  It is time to either declare your independence, or stop talking about it.