Unpopular Partnerships

I turned 50 last January. Many friends and colleagues got together and gave me a wild birthday gift— this magazine. They thought it was time for the independent movement to be part of the political conversation in America. Although the size of the independent voter bloc is huge — 35% of the electorate — its voice is small, diminished by the prejudice that independents are simply voters who can’t make up their minds. Nothing could be further from the truth. Independents have made up their minds about something very important. They’re independent! In spite of the overwhelming dominance of the two parties, a plurality of Americans — with very diverse views — choose to align with neither. That disalignment says something rather profound about how inhibiting and anachronistic traditional partisan politics has become, circa 2004.