Friday, May 24, 2013
The news media continue to help perpetrate the myth that a voter not affiliated with an organized party is an "independent." In truth, they are dependent on those of us in parties to provide candidates for them to choose between.
Former Gov. Angus King is the subject of several readers’ letters.
Staff file photo
However, some duplicitous candidates have figured out that since 40 percent of the voters are unaffiliated, if they call themselves "independents," then the 40 percent of the people the media call "independent" will think they have values in common. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that many have in common is that they are not affiliated with a party.
Where do "independents" stand on the major issues of our time? Do they favor Obamacare, high debt for job creation, a welfare state? Are they "right to life" or "right to choose"?
There are no "independent" positions, since "independents" come from all parties and all sides of issues. So don't be fooled by candidates who claim to be "independents." They just want your vote without taking a stand on the issues that you care about. Look at candidates' records to find out how they will vote.
Former Gov. Angus King proclaimed his moderate positions (and even wrote a book about it) before he was elected. In eight years he doubled the state's spending and left his predecessor with a billion-dollar shortfall.
Look at his record. In college he was a liberal. He has made his money on businesses funded with government subsidies. His track record as governor screams "big-spending liberal." Is that what we want and need in the U.S. Senate representing Maine? Not me! I am voting for Charlie Summers for Senate.
We know where he stands, and his record is clear. Don't be fooled by an unaffiliated candidate.
It feels very fitting that our former governor is running as an independent for Olympia Snowe's seat – the seat she retired from because of the "atmosphere of polarization" in our government institutions.
As a college intern for the Angus King for U.S. Senate campaign, I truly believe I am working for a candidate who has the ability to refine our frustratingly partisan system. As we were marching in Boothbay's Independence Day parade, people unfamiliar with King often asked us just one question: "Which party is he affiliated with?" Instead of asking, "What's his background?" or "Does he support fixing x, y, and z?"
His party affiliation seemed to be of utmost importance. This is evidence of a flawed system, a system where people's party alignment determines which policies they support and whose name they'll bubble in come Election Day. Such an adversarial setup fosters an atmosphere where people disagree for the sake of disagreeing and expend energy bickering that could be put to better use compromising.
There is constantly too much focus on who won and who lost in Washington. However, this is not intended as a pessimistic observation. In fact, volunteering for this campaign has made me ever so optimistic because the catalyst for change we are desperate for is right here in front of us.
And I am far from the only hopeful here at the campaign headquarters. The amount of energy, enthusiasm and dedication is unbelievable. From the constant flow of supporters into the office to seeing the entire staff gathered around one TV listening to Obama's response to the latest Supreme Court decision to our triathlon team composed of interns, I never forget I am surrounded by people who know what's best for this state and best for this country.
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