Often, when I am petitioning, I am asked “What are you?” This is a general question with many interpretations. It really is a grab bag politically, but it really boils down to whether I am liberal or conservative, or whether I am Republican or Democrat. The citizen wants to know where I stand politically. Am I on the left, or the right?
I tell them, “I am driving in the middle of the road”. Then I ask them if they want to hear my position on any particular issue. There are so many issues with complicated positions. Am I for open carry of long guns? Do I think we should teach Creationism in schools? Should the minimum wage stay at 8.25$ per hour?
Most of the time they want to know what party I am in. The answer is always simple — you are either Republican or Democrat. This is because our country is bi-partisan — every election comes down to a choice between two candidates, between two parties.
The party gives a candidate so much. Legitimacy, that you are “real”. People to meet you in each district. People to work the phones, people to knock on doors. Donors are used to giving money to a party, to a candidate of a party.
I don’t have that. It’s just me.
Then what is keeping me going? Because I believe in this iteration of the political cycle, both parties need reform. Both parties are guilty of huge excess. And I don’t believe that reform can easily occur from within. I am running because I hear that the people want to send a message.
The Republicans have been poisoned by Trump hijacking their party. My evidence is January Sixth. Just about everyone I talk to agrees that was shameful. As George Washington said The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. The prevailing faction here is the Republican party, and the individual is Donald Trump.
In my opinion, the Democrats are better, and I thought about running as a Democrat. But I am not a progressive. I am skeptical of huge legislation whose main purpose seems to be giving jobs, and union jobs preferably. The Progressives talk about the evil of the One Percenters. Anything big is evil — that means Big Pharma, Big Tech. The only exception seems to be Big Government. To the Democrats, Big Government is the answer.
George Washington said in his farewell speech in 1796, “the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.” The small but artful minority here are the Progressives.
But truth be told, much of what I believe is Republican, and much is Democratic. What separates the parties turns out not be issues, but the fact of the parties themselves. Once you sign up to a party, you are ceding the control to that party. I don’t fit in. I am running without a party, an Unknown with a non-partisan campaign.
Added 11/13. Another word for non-partisan is apartisan.