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Thu Aug 30, 2018, 08:12 AM

Serious question (not trying to bait anyone). What do you make of the rise of Independents? [View all]

I don't mean candidates specifically, I mean non affiliated voters. What are the implications of the fact that a plurality of Americans now actively choose NOT to register as members of any political party, even though that often prevents them from voting in primaries that choose the most viable candidates in General Elections? We here on DU pretty much have a consensus that there are major differences between the two major political parties, so why does an increasing percentage of Americans see no reason to affiliate with one over the other?

I used to not think about this much, falling back on the old cliche that non affiliated voters were "swing voters" balanced at the center of our political spectrum. But true swing voters have always been a pretty small percentage of the electorate, certainly not a larger percentage of voters than those who choose to identify as Democrats. Personally I have always seen strong advantages in belonging to a political party, and I am active in our local Democratic Party. But it is getting near impossible for us to "recruit" anyone below 50 into becoming active in the Democratic Party as an institution.

Millennials are even less likely to register as members of a political party than is the population as a whole. It doesn't take fortune telling ability to understand the progression of that trend line. I'll state one firm opinion here; lecturing people on why the should be Democrats clearly isn't working, whether or not one in fact believes that they should indeed be Democrats.

How much meaning does party loyalty, or even identification, still have in a society where most citizens reject the very concept of belonging to any political party?

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Reply Serious question (not trying to bait anyone). What do you make of the rise of Independents? [View all]
Tom Rinaldo Aug 2018 OP
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