11 votes

Why Are There Virtually No Independent Members Of Congress?

I can't find any in the House and only 2 in the Senate (although Bernie Sanders calls himself a "Democratic Socialist" so he doesn't count).

Political parties have RUINED this nation.

That's because blind loyalty to party causes voters to look past the mischief their elected officials (in their party of choice) get away with.

As long as "their man' or "their woman" holds office, they are mum on issues.

Just listen to the rat talking heads like Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Levin, Beck and the like.

Under Bush we lost more liberties than since FDR. But not a WORD about it by the right wing media because "their man" was the president.

Same with Obama. Where was all the anti-war outrage on the left when he upped the troop levels in Afghanistan and attacked Lybia?

WE NEED INDEPENDENTS - not affiliated with ANY party to run for office.

I'm not talking about Libertarians, or Green Party, or ANY other political party because they all will devolve into party-first, country-second organizations.

How about NO PARTY ala George Washington???

~~~JESSE VENTURA 2016~~~




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Because

independent is not a group, it's the absence of a group. From the second you tell people that you are running for office, people will start to try to befriend, buy or manipulate you. "Hi I'm the head of the local green energy group, we have 5000 members. Come stop by our offices I think we can help you." or "myself and the head of dick and dick associates will be stopping for dinner and drinks tonight, come by if you're around". Being an R or a D gives you instant access to a group and their friends. As you gain support from other certain groups, your political "beliefs" will have to shift slightly to accommodate them. As you do this other groups will see who you affiliate yourself with and either join in or not and so goes your political career. Accessing the leader of a group gives you access to their members and their votes which is much faster than accessing individuals. This is why we need to form liberty groups so that we can give the politicians a choice that they may believe in to align themselves with. Many libertarians don't understand this for some reason and work to tear down our own groups as soon as they gain traction in the name of purity so we're forever herding cats. Every time we start to attract another group "we're being co-opted!". Giving speeches can also give you access to groups but you have to first become someone who can attract a crowd to talk to.

Dr Paul knows this and is forming groups and giving speeches as well as starting media outlets.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

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"How about NO PARTY ala George Washington???"

I used to bring this up every so often, only to get lectured by people who think that joining the GOP or the LP is literally a life or death matter.

A signature used to be here!

Heated discussions

Yes, there have been some heated discussions on the DP concerning support for third parties vs. reforming the Republican Party.

7 ways 2 party system undermines intent of the Founders

This is from a group that is forming to do what the chapter on "Political Parties" in Localism, a Philosophy of Government" suggests.. http://www.amazon.com/Localism-A-Philosophy-Government-ebook...

Specifically, here are the problematic features of our current candidate selection system which undermine our system of government as originally envisioned by the Founders….

1) Candidates for state and federal officers are members of the same political clubs, undermining the original intent of the Founders that the state and federal governments would serve as a check and a balance on one another. Instead, they collude together to centralize power on behalf of those who run their respective hierarchies.
2) Members of the legislative branch of government are part of the same political club as the Governor or President who heads the Executive Branch, undermining the intent of the Founders that the branches of government serve as a check and a balance on one another. The Legislature in particular is meant to be the “People’s Branch” and representative of the people, not the head of whatever political club they are a member of.
3) The “first past the post” method of determining the winner for all state and federal offices artificially restricts people’s choices to two parties. Citizens are afraid that if they vote their conscience it will “split the vote” resulting in the election of their least preferred choice. But this method of determining the winner is not in the interest of the people. It is only in the interests of the two parties who don’t have to provide a product that people want- they only have to be less repulsive to voters than the one alternative. The parties do not use this method to select their own candidates, or elect their own officers- they have run offs. In addition, we have run-off elections for city and county offices already. Why not for state legislative races (at the least) as well?
4) The present system maximizes the influence and leverage of special interests against the influence of the folks back home. Under the present system, since all candidate choice comes through one of two political hierarchies, lobbyists need not convince each legislator as an individual of the merits of a bill, they need only get the party or party leaders behind it and the rest tend to fall into line. Not only that but….
5) Some special interests, such as big banking, have bought their way into influence in both major parties, meaning that the people who think the banks have been given too much don’t have a party to vote for on this issue. It is even worse at the federal level, where both parties push for global solutions to all issues, and only quibble about whose friends get the most money first.
6) The party system means that even the good legislators who are in the system face pressure to cover for bad ideas which have the favor of the party. When another legislator in their party is not telling the truth, they can’t call them out on it without facing blow-back from the group. The system retards meaningful dialogue between legislators and their constituents when the legislator is pressured to stay “on message” and tow the party line rather than simply tell the folks back home what they are really thinking.
7) The present system strongly incentivizes ugly mud-slinging and non-issues focused campaigns. Since there is only one other realistic choice, each side knows that if they can scare people out of voting for the other person, voters have no where else to go other than to vote for them. If there were a third, fourth, or fifth choice, the mudslinger would be hurt almost as much as the person they fling mud at.

These are fundamental, systemic flaws to our political system which strongly serve to centralize power. And of course power tends to corrupt. None of these serious and endemic flaws can be fixed working within the two-party system, because all of these outcomes are by-products of a two party system.

The only way these problems can be addressed is if people quit putting 100% of their political eggs in a two-party basket model that has consistently failed. We at neighbors want to be a network of community groups who recruit good people to run for state and local offices as Independents. If candidates we recruit are elected, they will not owe their election to a party label managed in Washington. They will not owe their election to some distant political machine, but to members of their own community, as well as their own personal reputations.

Once this approach catches on, we believe the state will move quickly to institute run-off elections for legislative offices, allowing people to vote their conscience instead of their fears. We believe that this more organic, more localized, more decentralized approach to electing the legislative branch will make it the People’s Branch that the Founders intended.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

The Short Answer

Key players in the establishment (i.e., mainstream media and politicians) have perpetuated a two-party system that brainwashes, indoctrinates, and polarizes people with an illusory freedom of choice.

They have a monopoly on the elections, and the government

Both parties have been supporters and enablers of big government, they have it figured out.
It's interesting that many of the conservative talk show hosts are quick to point out that they are registered "independents".

As the parties mesmerize the voting public with arguments about left/right politics, they are both there to loot the treasury. At this point in our history the corruption is so entrenched by laws supportive of the two party system, nothing short of a huge public outcry will change it.

The simple answer is that it

The simple answer is that it is very difficult to win as an independent.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

True, but...

Is this something we have to begrudgingly accept, or is it something we can change?

A little history, for starters:

http://understand-america.blogspot.com/2009/04/beginning-of-...

I think it is a natural part

I think it is a natural part of the system where we have; the winner-take-all system. Because when you have multiple parties in a winner-take-all system, eventually, #2 and #3 and maybe more will form a coaltion and will be able to get more votes than #1. The former #1 then combines with others to win, etc. etc.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

But, what if...

Madison and Washington had prevailed, and put down any attempts by Hamilton and Jefferson to start political factions? What if in writing the Constitution, the Founders had prohibited the forming of factions, as factions had become a thorn in the side of all governments worldwide? Of course, we can only speculate on what our political discourse would be like today if the role of Independent representative meant looking out for the good of one's constituents and not the power inherent in banding together with others of the same political ideology.

Didn't we have political

Didn't we have political factions at the start? Federalist and Anti-federalists, neither of whom was exactly satisfied with the Constitution....

Look, ultimately, the government/politics is subject to market forces. Political parties formed because that is what people wanted.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Because nearly all politicians are...

Because nearly all politicians are owned...and they have to vote the way their masters tell them to vote...or the benefits are cut off.

"Villains wear many masks, but none as dangerous as the mask of virtue." - Washington Irvin

Do you think the foxes

who guard the hen house are going to let any squawking chickens ruin their party?

From my experience

There were 38 Third Parties in the USA when Ralph Nader made his Independent runs for president. I worked on three of his campaigns in two states. We needed eight third parties to get ballot access in 49 states, and we could never get OK. We won dozens of law suits in dozens of states, and lost everyone that wasn't dismissed because the two major parties worked together to close ballot access and debates.

I was registered "Decline to state party", which was originally designed for those who worked in the government no matter who was president, and no party affiliation was needed. Then the states changed that, so everyone had to re-register NO PARTY PREFERENCE (NPP) in CA.

The PROBLEM for the Indy are many. As a voter you have no representation, so you vote for who others put on your ballot, or you write in, but you will never win an election, so why vote? Fact is, no one cares about your "protest" except as a spoiler or a statistic.

As a candidate, you have no network. There are no committees, no conventions, no national or statewide support, and no matter how great your idea, MSM isn't interested. At best, you may find someone from a party wanting to use you as a spoiler for the other.

So this is why you will not see Indy's get elected into federal office. Once in, they may change to Indy, but they are on their way out, because the people who voted for them based on the letter behind their name (D), (R), resent the change while once in office.

This is why Ron Paul refused to go Indy, though it's the fastest growing group of voters. The message is, "I don't like either party", but the results are, "Keep things exactly as they are, I'd rather marginalize myself with no representation".

Politicians listen to those who financially support them. Those who paid big bucks to have a breakfast, lunch or dinner with Ron Paul KNOW exactly what I'm talking about. Those big bucks did not mean you even got to talk to him, but it got you the chance.

Now that I'm in the GOP, it's the same thing.. you got to pay to play, so this is why the saying, "American Government is the best government money can buy", is true.

I still think Ron Paul's invitation into the GOP was brilliant. Hundreds of folks like me would have never gone there. I spent decades waving signs, writing letters, rallying, protesting, and now I see, I was just a pawn. And that's why I hate to see so many people here snub the GOP as if the GOP was anything but a shell. If you like the GOP as it is, go Indy. If you actually want to change the GOP, get in and change it. Being an Indy is a tide pool and the tide is out.

From my experience

There were 38 Third Parties in the USA when Ralph Nader made his Independent runs for president. I worked on three of his campaigns in two states. We needed eight third parties to get ballot access in 49 states, and we could never get OK. We won dozens of law suits in dozens of states, and lost everyone that wasn't dismissed because the two major parties worked together to close ballot access and debates.

I was registered "Decline to state party", which was originally designed for those who worked in the government no matter who was president, and no party affiliation was needed. Then the states changed that, so everyone had to re-register NO PARTY PREFERENCE (NPP) in CA.

The PROBLEM for the Indy are many. As a voter you have no representation, so you vote for who others put on your ballot, or you write in, but you will never win an election, so why vote? Fact is, no one cares about your "protest" except as a spoiler or a statistic.

As a candidate, you have no network. There are no committees, no conventions, no national or statewide support, and no matter how great your idea, MSM isn't interested. At best, you may find someone from a party wanting to use you as a spoiler for the other.

So this is why you will not see Indy's get elected into federal office. Once in, they may change to Indy, but they are on their way out, because the people who voted for them based on the letter behind their name (D), (R), resent the change while once in office.

This is why Ron Paul refused to go Indy, though it's the fastest growing group of voters. The message is, "I don't like either party", but the results are, "Keep things exactly as they are, I'd rather marginalize myself with no representation".

Politicians listen to those who financially support them. Those who paid big bucks to have a breakfast, lunch or dinner with Ron Paul KNOW exactly what I'm talking about. Those big bucks did not mean you even got to talk to him, but it got you the chance.

Now that I'm in the GOP, it's the same thing.. you got to pay to play, so this is why the saying, "American Government is the best government money can buy", is true.

I still think Ron Paul's invitation into the GOP was brilliant. Hundreds of folks like me would have never gone there. I spent decades waving signs, writing letters, rallying, protesting, and now I see, I was just a pawn. And that's why I hate to see so many people here snub the GOP as if the GOP was anything but a shell. If you like the GOP as it is, go Indy. If you actually want to change the GOP, get in and change it. Being an Indy is a tide pool and the tide is out.

I want to share this website.

This is a site we need to have on hand when we are trying to get rid of the trash in D.C. for their horrid voting records. Showing and sharing their voting records will help!
http://www.thenewamerican.com/freedomindex/

Formerly rprevolutionist

It's an excellent site. But I can't believe Lyndsey Graham...

...is even close to being right 63% of the time.

And McCain at 64%.

These 2 are worse than a lot of democrats.

But I'll take the site at its word because I don't hear about everything these 2 rats vote on.

But I sure see a lot of the 37% of the damage they do.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Accidentally Constitutional Obstructionists

Keep in mind when ever the other party is in power a politician suddenly becomes an obstructionist. A lot of the Red Team are accidentally constitutional just to piss off Obama and the Blue Team and score some points with voters. Angry Bird McCain from 2009-2013 (Blue POTUS) has a score of 75%, but from 2001-2008 (Red POTUS) had a score of 48.75%, while 1999-2000 (Blue POTUS) his score was 68%.

See also: Antiwar Left

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!
http://andrewnapolitano.com/index

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77