Four Truths Your Independent Voter Friends Need To Know Before They Vote
The outcome of the 2022 election will come down to the choices of our friends who call themselves “Independent Voters”. According to a January Gallup poll, these mysterious middle-grounders make up 42 percent of all voters this cycle—up from 38 percent in 2018. While independents are unaligned with either party, the vast majority lean toward one party or the other. If trends since the Trump era hold, the majority of Independents will lean toward the Democratic party, while a shrinking set will have no leaning at all this election season. That said, the non-leaning 7% of the electorate has the power to determine our nation’s future. The GOP only needs to net one seat to reclaim the Senate. Plus, many critical 2022 races up and down the ballot will be decided by 1-2 percentage points. So, the non-leaning Independent vote will decide America’s future.
Here is a quick cheat sheet on the Top 4 truths your Independent voter friends need to know before they vote.
Independent Votes Matters Like Never Before in This Election.
More so than in any election in American history, the votes of our Independent-minded friends in the 2022 Election will determine the future of our nation. Every election has consequences. Generally speaking, American elections used to be choices between ways of doing democracy—between ways of achieving a flourishing nation where individuals are able to pay their bills, send their children to good schools, and thrive. While one party trumpeted the virtues of business to build wealth, the other party hailed anti-poverty programs and public education to lift the vulnerable out of poverty. But, political scientists and journalists have noted a clear break from norms within one of America’s two political parties. The GOP is trumpeting a new commitment across the country: to dismantle democracy, itself. For real. Here’s how they have told us they will do it:
They will deny election results, if they don’t win. Denying election results is itself an attack against democracy. Democratic processes (voting, recounts, electors who affirm the will of voters) and structures (the courts) ensure the integrity of elections. If we deny the integrity and authority of these processes and structures, then we deny the integrity and authority of democracy itself.
They will appoint Secretaries of State who will “correct” the people’s vote to the satisfaction of their party’s interest. Think about that. That means no one’s vote will matter: that includes Independents.
If the GOP wins the Senate, they will continue to fill America’s Federal benches with unqualified activist judges, groomed and championed by dark money interests committed to changing America. This will ensure they can continue to act with impunity.
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Democracy is the Only Form of Government That Ensures The Independent Voice Matters.
The alternative to democracy is not republicanism. Republicanism is a form of democracy. It is a form of government that is supposed to represent the people’s will and interests. America is a democratic republic. In other words, we vote for representatives to represent our will and interests. And in our democratic republic, the American people vote directly for our President—one person, one vote. Plus, we have the ability, in many states, to bypass the legislature all together and place measures directly on the ballot.
The current alternative tempting Americans away from democracy is fascism through autocracy, oligarchy and/or theocracy. All of these alternatives erase the voice and the will of the people—including independent people. Fascism is an authoritarian form of government characterized by nationalism, militarism, belief in inherent social hierarchy, suppression of individual interests and oppression of dissidents. In an autocracy, all the power is retained by the leader. In oligarchy, all the power is controlled among a few uber rich business leaders. In theocracy, all power is focused on one religious leader. In each case, the will of the people is erased. Government happens to the people, for the interests of the ruler; not by the people, not for the interests of the people. In each of these alternatives the rule of law is replaced with the rule of the leader. What the leader says, goes. The law and the courts are manipulated to offer cover for the evil deeds of the leader. Thus, as Sharon McMahon stated during one of our discussions on The Ally Tour 2022: in every autocratic, oligarchic, or theocratic government in the history of the world, the law and the courts have been used to jail dissenters or they have died.
The End of the Rule of Law Equals a Failed Economy
If democracy dies, you can forget that affordable gallon of milk you now take for granted. Count it a distant memory. Economies thrive in stable, predictable environments. The rule of law provides stability because it does not change on the whim of an individual leader—or even, with the ebb and flow of political party rule. Like the sun in the solar system, the law is the center-point, around which economies orbit in a democracy. Stable rule of law provides space for strong economies to grow. Like plants in a garden need good soil, sunlight, and water to flourish; economies need the triumvirate of stability, safety, and regulation to flourish. Stability helps investors to predict and plan future growth, physical safety helps commerce to take place in the public square, and regulations protect both workers and consumers from exploitation; unleashing consumer buying power within the economy. No stability, no safety, no regulation equals unstable economy and higher prices of both a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas.
Consider Britain's Brexit: Since Prime Minister David Cameron placed the choice for the United Kingdom to leave the EU on the ballot and the British people took him up on his proposal in 2015, Britain’s government and economy has been thrown into a tailspin. The nation has seen five Prime Ministers over the last six years. Laws regulating trade have undergone multiple changes and prices have skyrocketed. Economists believe Brexit’s unstable governance is a greater cause of rising prices than the pandemic.
Any Vote for a GOP Candidate in This Election is a Vote Against Democracy
The GOP has made it clear: they have a dream for America. That dream is that they stay in power and they are working to make their dream a reality: They colluded to overturn the 2020 election. They are actively suppressing the vote. They are packing the federal courts with white Christian nationalists. They have packed the ballots with election deniers and have even begun to openly question whether America is a democracy, at all.
Your independent friend may like a GOP candidate, but in this particular election a vote for a GOP candidate, will mean a vote against democracy. Dismantling democracy is the commitment of the current party. No matter how nice the candidate is or how good their ideas may be, they are using GOP money to run their campaigns. As a result, they will be beholden to the will of their party and the dark money that funds it when push comes to shove. Seemingly benign candidates will be under extreme pressure to vote to dismantle democracy, when those moments arise.
The truth is, this GOP is not your grandpa’s GOP. It is a direct threat to American democracy itself. It is a direct threat to the American economy and to the flourishing of all Americans: all of us. It places in peril your friend’s bank account, their mortgage, and the long-term survival of their business or job security. It is also a quick and easy way to block their own ability to cast an independent vote that matters in any election ever again.
I know this feels like an overstatement. It is not. It is our well-documented and widely accepted current reality—a reality we must respond to before it is too late. We have seven days. We need Independent voters to meet this challenge and defend America now.
Lisa Sharon Harper is author of critically acclaimed book, Fortune: How Race Broke My Family And The World—And How To Repair It All.