This is the third in a three part series that discusses the differences between Liberal, Conservative and Independent voters and the implications as we head towards the 2020 presidential election.
The battle lines have been drawn. Both sides are entrenched in their support. While the advantages of incumbency favor Conservatives, the weight of multiple missteps, allegations of wrongdoing and highly questionable practices by this administration favors Liberals.
So, with both sides so diametrically in opposition to each other, the answer lies in who can attract more independent voters.
Make no mistake, it has been proven time and again that, due to Russian interference, independent voters were the ones targeted to tip the election in Trump’s favor. This administration has stated that it is doing nothing to prevent this from happening in future elections. Why should it, when the result could lead to another victory?
But who are the Independents?
Are they political neophytes who are too dense to understand the political process? Are they stubborn idealists who cling to the notion of fairness? Or, are they simply people who don’t want to be pinned down to strict adherence to one party or the other?
The answer is: All of the Above.
Independents remain stubbornly unwavering in their refusal to be slotted into a specific ideology. Instead, they choose to elect a candidate based on merits, regardless of party affiliation. A problem with this is that many states refuse to allow anyone not affiliated with either party to vote in primaries, giving independents a weaker voice in the political process. Nevertheless, independents refuse to be categorized as supporting one side or the other.
Because of this, independents also hold tremendous political clout.
Candidates need these undecided voters to win. The key states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were tipped in Trump’s favor as much by independents who voted as it was those who stayed home because they were influenced by Russian social media and internet trolls. If more independents had voted, the results probably would have gone in Hillary’s favor, given that many had previously supported President Obama.
Have no doubt, while the battle will be between Liberals and Conservatives in 2020, it will be the Independents who once again determine the outcome of the election, one of the most important in the history of our nation.
CJ Waldron is a retired English teacher from upstate New York. An adjunct instructor at Horry Georgetown Technical College, he lives in Conway, SC with his wife, Donna.