Letter: Related myths of the independent and the undecided voter

Bob Fliegel
St. Augustine

Dear Historic City News editor:

We are going to be hearing a lot about the “independent voter” and the “undecided voter” in the coming months. They are related myths.

About 97% of these voters, plus or minus 3%, so identify because:

  1. they don’t want to reveal their true political inclinations or affiliations even to pollsters
  2. they regard both major parties as tainted due to the behavior of fringe elements, and so no longer want to be publicly associated with either
  3. they do not want to be targeted by party fund raisers and other well-meaning activists
  4. they do not feel comfortable having to defend their true ideology or voting intentions in response to questions from friends, acquaintances, neighbors, workplace cohorts, and sometimes even from family members.

Some would contend that it is patriotic, admirable, and just plain honest to be in-your-face about one’s politics, while others more prudently see such combative engagement as reinforcing the shirts-and-skins polarization currently infecting our nation.

As someone who is registered as having No Party Affiliation (NPA), I am in the (2) camp.

As for those (4) voters, they are either weary of having to mount such defenses or they feel unable to articulate a coherent argument for their candidate.

But what of the remaining 3%, those who eschew party affiliation for other reasons?  Yes, they exist, but I believe they comprise a negligible minority.