To my future self,
I am writing today, March 31, 2017, because I am truly wondering what the answer is to this question. Have we moved so far to the right or left that there is no room for the independent, middle thinking voter/candidate? I have been contemplating this idea for the past few weeks. You see, in December I filed paperwork to run for my local school board. I have always thought myself more democrat than republican. Saying that, if I look at the larger picture, I am currently staunchly in the middle. I agree with some aspects and ideas of both sides. This question stems from my struggles over the past few months to “win” endorsements. The local conservative group has thrown their support behind 4 other candidates, all of whom have spoken of more conservative ideas. The local liberal group has thrown their support behind these same 4 people. Which leaves me befuddled and wondering. I speak of having an educator’s background (so does 2 of the 4 that have support from these groups). I speak of owning my own small business and maintaining fiscal responsibility (as does the other 2 of the 4 that have support from these groups). I do not make knee-jerk reactions, or split second decisions. Instead I choose to view the world through discussion and experience. I choose to contemplate and listen to both sides of a discussion. I would think this would make me a stronger candidate. But when I find myself feeling like an outsider, seeing others endorsed for the same beliefs I hold, and watching “newspapers” print information that I know is completely false, because I am living my life and know what is true and not true, I begin to wonder exactly how this political process works. If the same 4 people are endorsed by far right and far left groups, has the narrative changed so much that there is no room for someone in the middle who is independent. Is this what a true “independent” has become? The election is April 4th. In the grand scheme of things, whether elected or not, I will still attend board meetings, I will still be active in my child’s school, I will still ask questions and choose discussion over reaction. I will take all that I have learned and apply it to my daily interactions. I have joined groups on Facebook to stay more apprised of current thoughts and ideas and I will attend their meetings because I see value in these groups. I see value in conservative ideas and liberal ideas. Yet I wonder. What will happen in the next few years? Does anyone else see value in an opposing viewpoint? Have we moved so far to the right or left that there is no room for the independent, middle thinking voter/candidate?
Sincerely and Thoughtfully yours,
Your current self