Monday, March 10, 2008

Live-blogging Declaring Independence by Doug Schoen: Proudly Defying Traditional Political Labels

I've recently been reading a book called Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Pary System by Douglas E. Schoen.

I am mostly reading this book on the subway to and from work, and although I haven't "finished" it (are these things ever "finished"?), I must say it's a real delight so far. It's a little like what it might be like to read a biography of my political self.
In fact, I actually feel a little subversive every morning on the E train -- if I get a seat and can read for a few minutes -- when I submit to some unadulterated independent-talk!
If for no other reason, I recommend this book and in fact, I like this book so much I posted a video at the top of The Hankster.
The jacket cover says "America is at a political crossroads."
Not everyone sees that.
Doug Schoen does. Doug Schoen has really paid his dues as a campaign consultant for more than 30 years. But more importantly, he has recognized the importance of the independent voter. I particulary like Chapter 6, "How Campaign Organizing Has Changed".
Although Schoen didn't interview The Hankster, I think he got the picture: "A number of websites seek to lure the independent voters who are looking for alternatives to the two-pary system. These voters aren't "swing voters" who exist to be wooed and swayed by one or the other major parties. These are people who have stongly held beliefs about how partisanship and ideological labeling are corruption and constraining progress. They proudly defy traditional political labels; what they share is a genuine concern that we need major reforms of the electoral process." (page 108)
Schoen did, however, interview Jackie Salit of independentvoting.org, who is a premier spokesperson for the now prominent independent movement. He also spoke with a number of local independent activists around the country, like Betty Ward of New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice, a critical voice in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Salit and Ward are leaders in a national movement of independent voters who are asserting an independent voice into our sadly partisan and divisive political culture.
Declaring Independents: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System is a real good read.
Get it. Do it. It's the beginning of a beautiful end!
I'll keep you posted. And let me know what you think.
-NH

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