As The Nation pointed out this week, the Economist ran a cover story earlier in August called "Is America Turning Left?" "The American people seem to be reacting to conservative overreach by turning left," says Katrina vanden Heuvel, but she seems to be nervous about the Dems being able to make hay while the Repub barn rots.
Andrew Kohut and Carroll Doherty wrote this week in a special to The Washington Post: "Leading this nationwide left turn are independents, who've always been the pivotal voting bloc."
Fred Newman commented this week, "Well, in a two party system, in a two party situation, you can't separate out what moves this country to the right from the failure to move to the left." He says the "new left" has been centrist and even "wishy washy", setting the stage for Clintonism and opening the door to Karl Rove's "compassionate conservative" Bush presidency...
Independents "turned left "(most pundits talk/explain things in terms of ideology, but whether left/center/right ideology has any bearing on what the American people think and do is questionable...) on the issue of the war in Iraq. It was independents who moved against the war leading up to the 2006 midterm elections that put the Dems in control of Congress. Now grassroots Dems are taking credit for that shift... And while the certain difference between grassroots Dems and party elites is the subject of another post, grassroots Dems are Dems nonetheless, and one of the parties will always try to co-opt the issues raised by independents and try to turn those issues into votes.
Significant public figures from Michael Bloomberg to Cindy Sheehan to many local candidates, as well as just regular people are increasingly leaving the parties to become independent.
Is America becoming independent? We don't know. I hope so.