I feel like I have to shout this every time someone brings up politics. I grew up with Republican parents. I’ve voted Democrat my whole life. As of the 2016 Presidential election, I’ve realized I am an Independent. The election proved to me that our two party system is dead. Or at least dying. We’ve reached a new low. Our two options for the election year were the lowest approval rated candidates in our history. It’s safe to say that the majority of Americans hated both our candidates.
People are getting fed up with the two party system. More and more people are identifying as independent. I’m actually in the majority but I feel stuck like most independents. The mass amount of people in this country are not being represented and we’re being forced to choose between republican an democrat. The Washington Post wrote a piece on this in Jan 2016 titled ‘The Growing Myth of the Independent Voter.’ Phillip Bump must be confused because the ‘Independent Voter’ is growing. We just don’t have any winning options! We have no third party representation in the House of Representatives and we’re lucky to have 2 Independents in the Senate (Angus King and Bernie Sanders). There are 435 members in the house of representatives. Bill Walker our Alaskan governor is the only third party governor in the country. We have 3 out of the 585 major political positions in the country. How does this make any sense?
The Independents still typically vote democrat or republican. It’s split nearly down the middle 15% Dem, 15% Rep, and the last 12% vote for another candidate according to Gallup data. Again, it’s because we have no other alternatives. Is it because the parties have too much money, power, prestige? Why are the Majority of American people not being represented?
Outside of the US the movement is spreading. In Great Britain Jeremy Corbin helped the Labour Party gain a net positive 34 seats. France even saw an outsider of their two main political parties win the election. Emmanuel Macron won 66% to 34%. Austria saw the same thing. This movement is consistent with the most recent elections in the modern “westernized” world.
We need more third party candidates to run at all levels of government. There has been a movement. A growing one. You will see many more candidates under third party banners for the decade representing more Americans like me who have felt abandoned by our Democracy.