Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why I Am an Independent Voter

Two reasons, anyway. One has to do with my background as a journalist. At some point, and I have no idea when this was, I began registering as an independent in part because as a journalist, I had tried mightily to be objective in my reporting. As a consequence, I felt—and still do feel—that I needed to be politically independent. People who are cynical about the media may consider that to be bogus reasoning. And I understand why, because I'm cynical about the media as well. But unless you've lived inside my head, with this powerful conscience that never lets me rest, you can't begin to understand how seriously I take journalistic ethics. (Don't even bother calling that an oxymoron. I do get the irony.)

But a far more important reason is the fact that I am a person of faith—the Christian faith, to be precise. And long ago I grew weary of being identified with right-wing fundamentalists who only care about abortion and gay marriage or left-wing liberals who only care about poverty and social justice. Thank the good Lord, I'm a whole lot more complex than that. All of us are more complex than that. But when people of faith reduce their political focus to one or two issues, we all lose. Because the problems we face as a nation are bigger than a few hot-button issues that politicians use to try to divide us neatly into Democratic and Republican camps and thereby keep us in line.

I stepped out of line a long time ago. And I'm not going back. My all-powerful conscience wouldn't let me even if I tried.

There are many other reasons why I'm an independent. But I suspect that when I get around to listing them all—which I warn you, I eventually will do—I'll be able to trace every single reason back to the one thing that drives my life, determines every decision I make, and informs my worldview—my faith and hope in God.


John Michael De Marco said...

Love what you say about being stereotyped with the right wing because of our faith. I was registered as no-party for many years, switched to the GOP in the mid-90s and am thinking of switching back to NP or Indy. I'm just so tired of the whole charade--yet I know I need to care, because so much is at stake economically, socially, internationally, etc.

Marcia Ford said...

That's why I've stepped away from the charade. I feel as if I can make more of a difference as an independent—especially now that politicians are taking us more seriously. They simply can't continue to ignore us. In many ways, we're more important to them than the party faithful are.