“Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party,” Palin said. “Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’.”
To be honest, my first reaction was irritation.
I have never been registered as anything but independent. Never. Both parties have some goals and positions I find it impossible to support. Also, I'm an independent-minded, ornery creature by nature, and I have always tried to resist being pigeonholed into any "category". I have never once voted a straight party line - but the same time, I have never thrown away my vote on a third party candidate. (Although I got such an enormous kick out of Perot's antics, that might have been a near thing... )
So I was really annoyed with Sarah Palin.
But I've also been spending more time looking at the people who would like my vote this November. From the "D-Team", I have the known factor of Blue Dog Jason Altmire. From the "R-Team" however, the option isn't set until the primary. While I'm still learning about the people who will be vying for the nomination, I've already found one I just can't stomach at all and one who looks like I could probably get behind him. And then there's Specter to deal with...
Unfortunately, my state does not offer open primaries... This means that once again, I'll have to choose between candidates that others have decided on for me. Right?
Wrong. I've had it. And this election, I'm putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak.
This morning, my change of voter registration went in the mail. With all due apologies to Sarah Palin (not that she heard me grumbling about her anyway...), I've picked a side.
I'm now a registered Republican.
My mind is still independent. I'll probably continue to piss off conservatives with my libertarian streak and ideas - because "R" or no "R", I still refuse to back some of their positions. And I know I'll continue to choose candidates individually, rather than vote a party line... But the next few elections are gearing up to be a fight over the very definition of America.
I've chosen a side, and I'm ready to fight.