Last night, while we waited for friends to show up at our house, I was listening to NPR. The local station was doing a hour and a half special on the candidates for governor- giving each a half-hour to answer questions from a diverse panel. First up was the Libertarian candidate, the only candidate I got to hear at all.
I hadn't even given a thought to the Libertarian candidate for governor (or President, or any position for that matter). Listening to him, though I didn't agree with all that he was saying, was fascinating, because he was coming at the issues from a different angle than the two major parties do, in a way I hadn't thought of them before. Another angle in the discussion is so valuable.
I read We The Purple: Faith, Politics, and the Independent Voter by Marcia Ford earlier this summer, and had much of the same reaction. She came at the political system outside of the constructs of "Democrat" or "Republican," bringing up issues that neither of the major parties talk about. She argued for the importance of the third-party and independent voters, and convinced me. Voting laws in many states are skewed to benefit the major parties. Independent candidates are written off too quickly by the media and the voting public. I am very guilty of this. Reading this book opened my eyes to legal issues like voter registration, barriers to getting on the ballot, and third-party options I didn't know existed. More importantly, as a Christian, I realized I must be independent- my loyalty is not to a political party but to the purposes of God in this world, which neither party represents (even if they claim to).
Last night, I answered the phone when a pollster called the house. I proudly answered that I was independent, and that I would be voting a split ticket this fall. Thanks to We The Purple, I felt like that was a confident, rather than cop-out answer.
Marcia Ford blogs at We the Purple and is a contributor at God's Politics