June 28 is the official publication date of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, by Matt Welch and me.
Talk about yer good timing! Not only are we about four decades into eroding market share of Democrats and Republicans, it seems as if every goddamned poll that's coming out these days is talking up independents or the need to get "Beyond Red vs. Blue," as a new Pew Research Center report documents. Check it out:
…a growing number of Americans are choosing not to identify with either political party, and the center of the political spectrum is increasingly diverse. Rather than being moderate, many of these independents hold extremely strong ideological positions on issues such as the role of government, immigration, the environment and social issues. But they combine these views in ways that defy liberal or conservative orthodoxy.
And then there's the first quarterly Reason Foundation-Rupe Poll which found:
Eighty percent [of respondents] say they will or may consider voting for a third-party or independent presidential candidate in 2012. And an even higher number of independents (89 percent) and GOP voters (86 percent) say they will or may consider candidates outside of the two major political parties.
The willingness to look beyond Democrats and Republicans stems, in part, from voters' lack of trust in them. When asked which political party they trust to govern responsibly, the leading answer was "neither," at 35 percent, followed by Democrats at 31 percent and Republicans at 23 percent.
In 2010, Gallup found that Dems were at a 22-year low point in voter self-identification (at 31 percent) and Republicans came in at just 29 percent, while Independents made up 38 percent of the electorate. A 2009 Harris Poll (the latest available in the series) found that since 1969, self-identified Democrats had declined by 13 points and Republicans by 6 points while Independents had grown by 12 points.
If you're among the plurality of voters in various polls who identify as independent, welcome home! If you're among the right-wing/left-wing, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democratic dead-enders, it's been nice knowing you (yes, your parties will live on, but under very different conditions). In any case, read The Declaration of Independents to learn why:
- Political independents are the largest voting bloc in America and will determine the 2012 election—and whether the country goes belly up.
- We need independence not just in politics, but from politics. We can't pursue happiness if our federal, state, and local governments are bankrupt—and controlling every aspect of our lives.
- Innovators in everything from air travel to craft beer to pop music show how individuals can be trusted to come up with exciting and fun new ways of radically improving living standards.
- The three areas of our lives most controlled by politics—education, health care, and retirement—are the most broken, and can't be fixed simply by spending more money and exerting more top-down control.
- Our potential future is so bright we'll have to wear shades. But it can only happen if we make it happen by banishing politics from the center of our lives and replacing them with the pursuit of happiness, not cheap partisan advantage.
And check back soon for a list of events related to the book. We'll be hiting the road and already have dates set up for New York, Philadelpia, Washington (DC), San Francisco, and Los Angeles. More details and dates to come.