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The rise of independence

in Opinion by

Democracy has been the stable foundation of this country for hundreds of years, and the party system has been the driving force behind that. We, as the people, select a party to back and then vote for politicians from that party for office. However, it seems that people are abandoning this system and deciding to cast their vote based on what individual politicians they agree with. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, as of 2014, 39 percent of registered voters identify as independent voters.

Although this may seem incredibly odd because we’ve been using the party system for so long, there’s a reason why people are doing this. At it’s core, identifying as an independent voter means that you aren’t locked into voting for one of your party’s representatives. In recent history, with the party system in place, people have been forced into a kind of black or white outlook on politics. Until the recent years, many people have voted based on almost party alone. If you had more traditional, economically conservative ideals, you voted republican. And if you had more progressive views you voted democrat.

But young people, or millennials, have been drifting away from this system and voting based on which individual politician they want to support rather than party affiliation. In my opinion, I think this will move our country forward and allow the people of this country to take down some on the politicians who have cemented themselves in seats of power with little to no opposition. Voting based on the individual and not the party will help combat the group thinking mentality of this country.