Are you there, Republicans? It’s me, an Independent

Candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination attend a 2011 Republican debate at Saint Anslem College in Manchester, N.H. on June 13. (AP Photo)

So as most of us who go to the College know, the presidential election of 2008 was a big deal. A record number of young voters turned out and the country elected its first black president. On both sides of the political coin, you had engaging candidates. Both were senators — one a community activist talking about hope and change, and one a maverick conservative. Throw in the little-known female vice presidential candidate from Alaska and you have yourselves a presidential race for the ages.

Now, as a registered Independent, I feel that on social and economic issues I sometimes agree with liberals, and sometimes with conservatives. My vote isn’t automatically set even before the candidate opens their mouth to speak. I do not ride party lines, and I am no one’s voter base.

It seems that so many people today who are interested in politics are automatically swayed to one side due to family ties or the way they were brought up. They will support a candidate based on the idea of conservative or liberal philosophy without considering what the person is actually saying. We are responsible for electing the most important politician in the nation.

This brings me to a dilemma with the Republican primary race for the next election. With Obama, I know what I’m getting. He has been president for almost four years now, and I can remember his promises and ambitions when he was running. No matter how they have changed, I know what I’m getting with our current president. He has been on the news every day since 2007.

Now, with the Republican race being so chock-full of contenders, I wanted to do as much research into each of them as I can. If there is someone out there who will make a better president than Barack Obama, I would like to give that person a listen.

So far, with the research I have done, I haven’t really found anyone worth backing.

As an independant voter, I don’t usually go to FOX News or MSNBC to find out things about certain candidates, for the same reasons any journalist would know. I usually check out CNN and John Stewart The Daily Show for an update on the race. What I have seen hasn’t really impressed me. None of the candidates seem to be focusing on the independent voters or people who aren’t extremely conservative.

The only talk I hear is of Michele Bachmann refusing to talk about her previous anti-homosexual stance. I read an article in Rolling Stone about her winning America back for Christians, though i’m not sure that will go over too well with everyone else.

Rick Perry reminds me a lot of George Bush (sorry, it’s the whole Texas governor/ cowboy thing).

I can’t tell Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum apart. Luckily for me, Pawlenty dropped out of the race.

Ron Paul’s ideas are apparently so insane that the media actually jokes about not getting footage of his speeches for broadcast. They don’t really mention him too much, even though he finished second in the Iowa Straw Poll, something Republicans take very seriously. Check out the John Stewart piece on the media and Ron Paul — it’s fantastic.

I do, however, know that Mitt Romney will never raise taxes on the top 2 percent of earners in the U.S. and thinks “corporations are people.” I can see where his allegences lie.

Most of these candidates are still pandering to their voter base — the religious right and tea party conservatives.

I’m just wondering when these candidates will start to talk about issues that weigh heavily on the minds of independent voters and not just the easy topics that their voter base will automatically agree with. I understand that only registered Republicans can vote in the primaries, but I feel like I don’t even exist to someone who could potentially be president of the United States one day. Maybe this will change next year. I can only hope.


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