Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Nov. 4: Independents’ Day (LETTER to Denver Post)
It was at about this point in the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign that the fear-mongering began, and now it would appear the GOP is taking it one step further, from fear-mongering to hate-mongering. Recent attacks and name-calling, coupled with the usage of Barack Obama’s middle name in John McCain and Sarah Palin appearances have escalated the ugliness, calling upon the very core of people’s racial, religious and cultural prejudices. While the McCain campaign issued a statement saying they “don’t condone inappropriate rhetoric,” let’s not fall prey to the notion that they are innocent bystanders in all of this, for such rhetoric began there.

If the polls are right, it seems this Nov. 4 will be “Independents’ Day” in America, as non-party-affiliated voters will become the deciding factor in this presidential campaign. I urge independent voters to speak loudly and with one voice against those who perpetuate racial, religious and cultural intolerance. We cannot move forward as a country in these changing global times while clinging to the ignorances of the past.

Lynne Smithpeter, Lakewood

  • Open Oregon's primaries (by The Oregonian Editorial Board) Party leaders tend to love closed primaries. It's cheaper and easier for them, because they don't have to appeal to as many voters. They've forgotten one risk of clinging to a closed primary. Eventually, a critical mass of voters will either feel frozen out of the system or weary of partisan politics.
  • Kate Brown for Secretary of State (by The Oregonian Editorial Board) Her opponents this fall are Pacific Green Party candidate Seth Woolley, a software engineer from Portland, and Republican Rick Dancer, a former television news anchorman from the Eugene area. We agree with Dancer on several points, including his desire to make the office nonpartisan and his support for Measure 65, which would open the state primaries to independent voters using a "top-two" system similar to Washington state's.

  • Florida independent voters likely to have the last word (South Florida Sun Sentinel) Registered Florida voters who did not belong to either major party amounted to about one of every 12 voters in 1994. Just two years later, they amounted to about one of every eight voters. This year, through August, nearly one of every five Florida voters was neither a Republican nor a Democrat. About 18.5 percent had no party affiliation.
  • Professor: 'W.' film aimed at independent voters (Raw Story)
  • Colorado Poll: John McCain 42%, Barack Obama 52%. (Transworld News)
  • Obama leads McCain 48 to 44 percent in latest poll (Naples News/Zogby International) Obama retains a substantial 17-point lead among independent voters, but that edge receded from 21 points Sunday..... Among those who consider themselves members of the investor class, McCain leads by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin....
  • Who's in control of McCain's campaign? (By: Roger Simon, Politico) To win, the Republican ticket must attract a significant number of independent voters, swing voters and even some Democrats. Do Sarah Palin’s attacks really help achieve that?

  • Will 2008 Be a Critical Election? (NeoConstant) In electoral politics, a new partisan era is said to have emerged when the coaltions supporting the parties become disrupted and voters realign their allegiances, with a new party becoming the hegemonic party for decades at the presidency and congressional levels.
  • Karl Rove's Broken Wings (Political Machine/AOL News outlet) Rove's Repubs cannot unite right and indies
  • Why I Believe McCain Will Lose (News By Us -from Boise ID)

NOTE: It cannot be stressed too much that being independent does NOT mean being "neutral", "middle-of-the-road" or "wishy-washy". Independents run the spectrum from left to center to right. I believe that the current independent movement has shifted significantly from a predominantly center-right to a more center-left movement, hence the critiques from the right (in the articles under Off the Beaten Path above) of the disconnect between the McCain campaign and independents. McCain has tried to straddle the chasm between the traditional right and independent voters. Apparently this is not such an easy task.

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