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Why I'll (Probably) Never Join A Political Party

by Alex Gauthier, published

Like most Americans, I'm pretty selfish. I want to have my cake and I want to eat it too, but I also want it to be free, come with 4G coverage, and have all my friends on Facebook tell me how tasty it looks.

But I'm not so naive as to think that there's such a thing as a free lunch -- let alone dessert. Yet there's a pervasive line of thought that warrants rethinking when it comes to who's paying for our elections.

As a result of closed primary elections, many voters see no other choice than to join a party if they want to have their voice heard. Closed or semi-closed primaries permit only those affiliated with a party to vote, despite the fact they are paid for by everyone -- including nonaffiliated and minor party voters.

Thus, the Republican and Democratic parties are enjoying heightened constitutional protections as private entities (as well as unlimited 'free speech' in the form of political spending), but they can also dictate who does and doesn't participate in their elections which are paid for by all taxpayers.

I'm not interested in joining a party. Period. Exclamation point. Hashtag.

Why would I? Why join one of two terribly unpopular private corporations that appear to spend the majority of their time and resources advertising how awful the other has become?

"But that's just how it is," I can hear you saying. "Is it really that hard just to check the box and join the political party that aligns with your beliefs closest?"

Yes it is. If I'm not in agreement with the entire party platform, there's no reason for me to endorse something of which I believe to be counterproductive.

Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties have been serious about any of the issues I care about. Whether that be competent enforcement of reasonable financial regulations, or protecting my personal right to privacy or (and this is a big one) respecting my right to equally participate in elections as an individual American -- not a party member.

See, that is the whole point of remaining an 'independent.' I'm content choosing candidates, issues, and policy preferences for myself. In an age where access to information is cheaper, faster, and more voluminous than at any other time in history, I don't need a political party to help me decide what matters and what doesn't.

I'm not a corporation; I'm a voter. So how could a multi-billion dollar corporation represent my individual self-interest? Simply put, it can't.

Seeing as we're all Americans here, I can't say I blame the Republican and Democratic parties too much for wanting their cake and eating it too. But, a problem arises when everyone else is stuck with the bill.

Unfortunately for them, this is a country of, by, and for the people, not political parties.

So until a party called the 'American Alex Party' is formed (hence the 'probably' in the title), I'll keep my independence and I'll vote on it, too.

Image: Eteknix

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