My vote may not have counted in the recent primary. While I'm concerned about it, I'm not quite upset. See, the very reason it may not have counted was because I'm an independent. That's right--not Republican, not Democrat--no party affiliation at all.

I'm a libby-hippie-artist-type, so I definitely lean left, but I do have conservative beliefs, too, and consider myself a fairly strict Constitutionalist (I carry a copy of the US Constitution with me). So, you can see why I am an indy. It's also why I'm not too mad about not getting my vote counted. I'm lucky to live in a state where the Democrats care what an indy like me even thinks. While it's lame that my vote isn't counted, it's not that big a deal to me since this is about parties' candidates, not who the next president will be.

That said, I'm actually pretty much against the party system. I feel like the parties do a rotten job of selecting good candidates and while we do have other candidates to choose from in November, the fact of the matter is that we have only two choices in November.

I don't understand why we need parties and all they seem to do is cloud the issues. I know someone who has always been a hardcore Republican. However, she's voting for Obama this year. Did she re-register as a Dem? Of course not--she likes where he stands on conservative issues more than McCain and Hillary. She's doing the smart thing and voting on the issues.

That's what we should all be doing--voting on the issues, not the parties. It's the party system that limits our choices. Imagine if everyone who started running for the nomination of their party, instead just ran as independent candidates.

Just imagine how wide open the field would be! We might actually be able to vote for someone who ISN'T a party-stooge! :)

Dennis Kucinich is a Washington "insider" who actually wants to pull out of Iraq and would have already done it if he had the support of Congress. Of course, I can't vote for him because he failed to get enough support from his own party. So, thanks to what the Democrat party says, I can't vote for the dude who wants us out of Iraq.

So, in the end, I think the parties are hurting America and not helping it at all. They are just like the "crowds" in high school (as in, the "In-Crowd" or the "AV geeks"). Sure, it was possible to get things done without the support of a "party" but it was soooo much easier to be accepted than out there doing it on your own. Of course, if everyone could be forced to run without a party, it would be much more fair, in my mind, anyway.

Just my 2¥, of course.
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