Independence is priceless, but price of "Unaffiliated" is enormous

Merlin Klotz

You're an “Independent” (officially, you are “Unaffiliated”), proud, free, and unencumbered by party affiliation. In November, as a practical matter, any Coloradoan is free to vote for "the man" instead of the party. Even as a party-active Republican, I’ll admit to voting for H. Ross Perot and a few Democrats over the years. But don't revel to quickly in your undeclared status; the price of having the brag of “Independent” is enormous.

Your political indecision is no different than the person who always goes to the restaurant just before closing time when there will only be two entrées left because, by default, the choice is simplified. Sadly, by brandishing your independence, you actually lose some of it. You precluded yourself from voting in all but the November General Election--after the candidates are chosen for you. I hope, come November, you aren’t the one complaining about those bums on the ballot!

While you’re flaunting a mirage of “Independence,” your neighbor who has chosen a party affiliation has established the right to participate in the entire process and has true independence. With party affiliation, that neighbor is eligible to participate in your March 16th neighborhood precinct caucus. He or she is eligible to run for county and state party conventions and participate in selecting the best candidates. Eligibility to vote in the August 12th Primary where the party’s final candidates are selected for the November Ballot also is restricted to party membership.

As an “Undeclared,” registered voter, you have self eliminated yourself from caucuses and the right to be a delegate to and vote in County and State conventions. If you haven’t already registered your party affiliation, I’m sorry. That party election had to be made by January 19th to be fully involved from the outset. If you didn’t, you have disenfranchised yourself!

Look at it this way. Your first opportunity to vote was checking off the party with which you affiliate yourself as you registered to vote. If you checked “Unaffiliated”, you immediately elected to go with whichever bums those organized parties, that can nominate, will choose.

My wife’s rationalization for being “Unaffiliated” was that she didn’t want all those political phone calls. Let me share a little insider secret. Democrats phone banks call the “D” and “U” lists. Republicans phone banks call the “R” and “U” lists. Mrs. “Unaffiliated" unwittingly set herself up for twice as many robo calls as she would have received with a party affiliation.

You still have time to declare your party and participate in the August Primary by executing a form found at . Certainly, I encourage you to affiliate with my party. But, if you must, there are those others.

© Merlin Klotz, February 2010

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