For a few years I was a UNA, a registered unaffiliated voter, and now I’m trying to remember why.
Maybe I wanted to vote in the opposing party’s primary to help get their weakest candidate into the general election. Then the candidate in my party would have a better chance to win.
This sounds naive to me now, because it would take a lot of UNA’s doing this to have an effect. They would have to organize, and that’s not likely.
But there are many other, perhaps better, reasons voters choose to be UNA rather than a Democrat or a Republican. In North Carolina, Unaffiliated is the fastest-growing group of voters, coming mostly from younger generations. Their views fall somewhere between Republican and Democrat, showing a true independence of opinion. And they vote!
I believe that someday we will have a strong third party, maybe a fourth, providing platforms for today’s two right- or left-leaning groups of UNA’s.
But for now.
For now, there is something afoot in America that far, far outweighs the UNA question. I propose that today the major political parties are not Democrat, Republican and, loosely, Unaffiliated. They are pro-democracy and anti-democracy. And today the pro-democracy party is the Democratic Party.
How can I say this when I know both parties claim to defend “democracy”? I say, look for yourself at the local, state and national legislation proposed by each major party, and decide.
Which party is defending the two-party system and which is working to eliminate the other party?
Which party almost unilaterally supports and which almost unilaterally opposes laws that support the rights of all citizens equally?
I call on UNA’s in our district to help strengthen the one party now fighting for American democracy by fully supporting their local Democrats.
Later there will be time to see how Unaffiliated voters can support our country more effectively than traditional Democrats and Republicans. That will be a valuable exercise, given rapid climate change, the global rise of autocracies, population growth and migration, the protection of clean air and water and of food and energy supplies.
UNA’s, we will need your independent thinking. I hope we get there.