The Neo-Independent Magazine

adj. 1 of, or pertaining to, the movement of independent voters for political recognition and popular power _n. an independent voter in the post-Perot era, without traditional ideological attachments, seeking the overthrow of bipartisan political corruption _adj. 2 of, or pertaining to, an independent political force styling itself as a postmodern progressive counterweight to neo-conservatism, or the neo-cons.

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Is this the Rainbow We’ve Been Waiting For?

The culture of the independent movement has not permeated the American mainstream in the way, for example, that SpongeBob or Brangelina have. Not to worry. Avant-garde theatre, music and fashion first appear in out-of-the-way performance spaces or on the streets, often taking decades to filter through to Broadway or Dancing with the Stars. Likewise, the independent movement is creating its own outside-the-box culture in a variety of venues as we develop into a mainstream force. There is probably no more edgy American political/cultural performance than wearing a tee shirt. We had some great ones this political season. In South Dakota, which held one of the final primaries in the Democratic line-up, independents were barred from voting but wanted to make a point. Kim Wright of South Dakota Voice of Independents and family members put their plight out there in plain English.

George Washington Sheds a Tear

By the time you read this note, the 2008 presidential primary and caucus season will have begun. What a relief! Finally, the election is in the hands of the voters. So perhaps this is a good moment to pause and think about our election process and some much needed reforms which have been blocked or stalled at the borders of the partisan political domain. Oh no, you may be thinking. Not that again! Of course we need political reform – everyone knows that. But these issues just aren’t sexy! They have no glamour, no drama, no emotion. Political reform is dry. It’s not like money, sex and war, which excite our passions and compel our senses. Let’s be frank. Political reform? It’s a snore.

Barack Obama Real Deal or Just Another Democrat?

There is a lot of talk these days about the possibility of a major independent presidential candidacy in 2008. The speculation about such a run by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, for example, is a favorite topic for political writers and prognosticators, and I don’t exclude myself from that list. I even bought several domain names including www.mikebloombergindependentforpresident.or. I figure that if he does decide to run, he’ll have to call me to claim his website. We don’t talk much since my independent friends and I got him elected. Some days the talk is about Mike. Some days it’s about Senator Chuck Hagel. And some days it’s about an undeclared fusion ticket made up of a disillusioned (moderate) Democrat and a disillusioned (moderate) Republican who team up as independents to organize all the disillusioned people in America – albeit in a moderate way. Call me simple-minded, but I’m one of those people who find it hard to believe that a major disruption of the two-party paradigm could be construed as moderate under any circumstances: it would be far too radical a departure from the status quo.

The Saturated Center

I was busy reading the results of exit polls from the November 7th elections and glanced up at the TV. The story of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation was breaking and I put down my papers to digest the news. It certainly wasn’t a shock. A day earlier Americans had repudiated the Iraq war policy and given Bush and the Republicans, to use W.’s own term, a thumping. To save his presidency — and his party’s chances of holding the White House in 2008 — Bush had to show Rumsfeld the door. Everyone knew that, especially the politicians who’d lined up to call for Rummy’s head weeks earlier. It was an open secret that a thumping would lead immediately to a dumping.