Not So Independent

Yesterday, primary elections were held in my state and I was determined to squeeze voting in between lunch and heading to piano practice. I enjoy my right to vote and no matter how big or small the election, I exercise my right. About 9 years ago, I changed my party affiliation to Independent. This was after I had left my job on Capitol Hill. You see, when you are in the belly of the beast, you see that more often than not, they are all the same. A horse of a different color is still a horse!

I’ll admit it, I was naive. I enjoyed my political science classes and knew that I wanted to do something in the political/public policy arena since I was about 14. So, I earned my Bachelor’s and then went forward to earn a Master’s in Public Administration. For my externships, I worked on the city and state level and after graduation, I happily headed off to a job in local government – yes, I was making change happen. Or was I? I stayed there long enough to feel that I that I needed to move to the next level and off to DC I went to serve as a Senior Legislative Assistant and then Legislative Director. Yes, the titles alone imply that I was making things happen, don’t they?

Seeing and being a part of the process were not all that I thought they were and I was quickly disabused of my idealistic notions. I left disenchanted, disheartened and disgusted. But you see, when that is what you know and how your bread is buttered, I couldn’t just go off and do something else, so I went to a non-profit where I thought my skills would help them secure funds to make things happen. There’s a lot of competition for funds and while we did get some and they did do some good, I am sure that more would have done more good.

I share all of that because those experiences are what led me to change my party affiliation. Yesterday, that came to bite me in the rear. Our primary was not an open primary, so I was only able to vote for a school board member. So much for being independent! I am now stuck with the choices that other voters (informed and uninformed) chose during the primary as we head into the general election. I was pleased with some of them but there were others that I couldn’t disagree with more. I only have myself to blame though because even though I pride myself on exercising my right to vote, if I am not aligned with a major party, my choices are and were limited. So, now I must choose a party….I really don’t want to but I must as my days as a registered independent are over.

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11 thoughts on “Not So Independent”

  1. My husband and I ran into that same difficulty being Independent in OK. I would like to see the policy changed. And yes to disillusioned and disappointed, but I am reminded daily that blessings are always coming. Good things do happen, despite the human condition. πŸ™‚

    1. CurtissAnn,

      Thanks for that reminder that yes good things can and will still happen. It’s so easy to become overly cynical in these days and times. πŸ™‚

  2. Funny you should mention the Independant voter issue. I was a registered Democrat for my entire life but in the last four general elections I have voted Republican. Not that any ‘man’ is perfect or close to it, but that party more closely aligns with my Father. (of course not all but Democrats are coloring WAAAAY outside the lines of TRUTH) So this year well in advance of the local primary elections, I am in the same vicinity as farmsteadlady, I decided to change my registration to Independent. Submitted the forms and then about a month ago I received a letter from the Board of Elections saying there is NO INDEPENDENT PARTY! I have to pick D, R or Liberitarian, huh?? What…. so consequently I could not force my hand to check the D box again so I registered Republican. Now that you shared your experience after registering Independent, I don’t feel so bad! p.s. Apparently Republicans have given up our area, NO MAILERS at all, no info and NO representation at the voting place, while tons of D lined the driveways and parking lot SCREAMING at us to vote for their candiate… Does that really work? One voter coming in said “Wow, that was really intense!”

    1. It is difficult aligning faith with politics and we can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. πŸ˜‰ I firmly believe that not all Democrats can be painted with the same broad social agenda spend-spend-spend brush and not all Republicans can be painted as evangelical Christians that love everyone because they love God. The neglect by the Republican party to actively court people of color isn’t an accident. Interestingly enough, when given the right to vote, many African-Americans identified with the Whig/Republican party because it was the party of Lincoln. I have voted across party lines in many of our recent elections and will continue to do so, just wish they would recognize our Independent status. πŸ™‚

  3. This is so true. I struggle with which party to affiliate with. I am certainly not as liberal as a lot of democrats, but I don’t feel that I should force by conservative views on others the way many Republicans do. What to do, what to do?!?

  4. I greatly appreciate your insights, as a Christian woman of color, regarding politics. I may not have had the “up close and personal” experience you had, but I felt the same thing you stated–the two major parties are truly not too different from one another.

    I am a quilter. If my quilting blog is not inspirational, then the blogs/links that you will find there may prove to be. http://LivelyStitches.blogspot.com.

    Blessings!

    1. Thanks Laurel! I love your blog and thanks for sharing. My hubby is convinced that I am craft ADHD. πŸ˜‰

  5. Yep! My husband and I were having this conversation (in some ways) over the issues of abortion and faith and politics. While I want to exercise my right to vote, I don’t know how comfortable I feel voting any more. Like another commenter said, I understand that no man is perfect. But I’m not sure I want to “sign my name” to any candidate, because I can’t seem to align my faith in Jesus with any platform.

    1. I think they key thing is remembering that God told us to pray for our leaders – he didn’t say only if we like them and agree with them. πŸ˜‰ Also, to give Caesar what is his, so I think that if we continue to pray, we can and will still see some amazing things happen but at least we are more keenly aware that it is through God’s hand that those things happened and the politicians were just tools to make it happen.

  6. I know this is an old post… but I wanted to say that I have toyed with the idea of going Independent, but Arizona has closed primaries, as well, and I would only get to vote for the unaffiliated races (like school board and water board — yes, Arizona has a water board).

    Are you involved in politics now?

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