At the March 22 independent caucus at the Glenwood Springs Library, organizer Randy Fricke said what many of us have known for some time.
“We are no longer a democracy,” Fricke declared,”We are an oligarchy, governed by corporations, super PAC’s, and the wealthy.”
All this is supported by the U.S. Supreme Court’s outrageous 2010 Citizen’s United decision which, essentially, put our government up for sale.
Fricke proposes we independents form into a group that chooses its own candidates or endorses candidates from the two major parties. They can identify issues that are important to them. Fricke is not suggesting independents organize a third party.
Now that independents can vote in the primaries, their votes will be highly sought after by Democratic and Republican primary candidates, Fricke said. Forty-seven percent of the nation’s voters identify themselves as independent. Colorado is about a third independent and Garfield County has more independents than either Democrats or Republicans.
If an independent candidate were elected to a legislature, Fricke said they would have a great deal of clout as both parties would need their votes to pass legislation.
Along with big money in politics, gerrymandering, and the Electoral College, the two-party system has invalidated our democracy. That’s how we get choices like Clinton or Trump, the bad or the absolutely horrible and the travesty that has ensued.
I have never voted for a major party candidate in my life. It started with Eugene McCarthy in 1972 and in 2016, Jill Stein.
“All you did was help Nixon and Trump win,” my true blue friends say. Or, “You threw your vote away.” I’m not sure my vote would’ve swung those elections, but my vote was a protest vote.
That is the conundrum, however. For example, Diane Mitsch-Bush is the leading Democratic candidate to run against Scott Tipton in the Third Congressional District, but I find her weak on climate issues.
Mitsch-Bush’s website reads she will not take money from the oil and gas industry and that’s good, but I see no plan for combating climate change. At a meet and greet at the Third Street Center, Mitsch-Bush never mentioned climate change and the fact that she is from Routt County, coal country, makes me suspicious.
On the other hand, Arn Menconi is strong on climate change and a member of the Green Party even though he’s running for the Democratic nomination for congress. However, he’s a late-comer to the race and his name recognition isn’t nearly what Mitsch-Bush’s is.
Tipton is a classic example of a politician who’s bought and paid for. He must go. What to do.
Fred Malo Jr.