The writing of this essay occurred a little earlier than scheduled. While trying to introduce this web site to the wife of an acquaintance my friend made the comment "He's a liberal republican. I can beat him". The wife followed up with "at least he's a republican". This shouldn't have been as insulting as it felt. Before the sojourn into the rest of the country began, contemplation of an affiliation change happened nearly every year. Besides the original party affiliation was made primarily because of family tradition. Upbringing also predisposed an affiliation with unions, a preference for those that work over paper traders, a generosity toward those down on their luck and a sense that working for the betterment of society achieves more pleasure than individual accumulation of stuff. But starting a business was always a goal and idiotic concepts like minimum wage drive the cost of labor up so much any honest business can't compete with those willing to pay under the table. Add to this the democratic parties preference for giving money to loafers while ignoring those actually trying to contribute to society and you can see why someone might consider joining the republican party.
Every year an examination of the republican party - Every primary only one person per position on the ballot. Not that multiple people didn't want the jobs. There would always be a few people that made it known they wanted to be a candidate. Somehow come primary time the choice already was made and only one person ended up on the ballot. Why would anyone interested in participating in politics register with a party that never allows the party members to determine the nominees? It's hard to believe so many people allow a select few to dictate their choices for office. The only possible conclusion - republicans consist of a group of people not interest in politics or too stupid to realize they are the lap dogs for a select few. Now you can understand the insulting feeling experienced when someone mistakenly identified me as a republican. The last time I considered the republican party was the year Rep. Jack Kemp retired and my former high school teacher Jack Quinn was forced out of the race so "the powers that be" could run former Rep Paxon unopposed. As it turns out Rep Paxon turned out to be an independent thinker and lost his good standing with the power group. Notice the people never got the opportunity to embrace Paxon and the free thinking he displayed.
Of course, there are possibilities other than the republican party. The natural law party comes from two PhD Physicists. They've been around a few years now. You can visit their web site at http://natural-law.org/ You will be impressed by the way they evaluate problems. They state the problem, look at current policy, offer explanations and research why that policy doesn't work and then suggest transcendental meditation as the cure. The Reform Party my turn out to be the most important political organization of the next ten years. An established core still does not exist so there is a possibility the party may organize in a manner that forces the leadership to acknowledge the members. If they can establish an organized grass routes party they may become strong enough to rival the other two big political organizations. This depends on how involved the current membership stays with the party. They must not allow themselves to be pushed aside by one faction of the party. In fact, the strongest faction must force a structure where the weaker factions always have the chance of wrestling the power from the strongest. Then they must encourage dissent. A working dissent based on an ultimate goal of providing the best service to the public and not the malicious fighting that dominates the members of our current system.
A person can always chose to register as an independent. The problem with independents is they normally don't care to listen to other people. They know what's right and are quite willing to tell you but dam if they believe they can learn anything from you. Thus the reason they are independent. The world contains many independents but since they refuse to accept the capabilities of others they will languish at the fringes forever. tfm experienced this first hand. The web contains hundreds of people that believe they have something to say and launch independent runs at office. Finding them takes some effort and the counters on these sites indicate they don't receive much traffic. Yet if you ask these people to comment on your ideas or if you offer a rebuttal to one of the ideas presented on their page, you never get a response. Worse yet they ignore suggestions to pool resources or share experiences limiting even further the possibility of more exposure. Independent isn't the way to go either.