After seeing a banner advertisement on the Washington Times web site, I found a group called Independent Voters of America. A whole variety of “AstroTurf” like phoney groups have become quite fashionable this year, including moderate groups, independent voters, the “no labels” groups, and the failed Americans Elect project. They are almost always top-down groups created by a few elitists who want to convince what they believe is the “vast majority in the center” to support their agenda of not having much of an agenda.
Independent Voters of America posts a “manifesto” on their web site, captured in the photo accompanying this article. The manifesto is a statement in favor of citizen participation and voting in the electoral process, and identifying as independent voters not affiliated with an organized party. And that is it. They endorse voting for candidates and not political parties. But they cite no purpose for this activity otherwise. They have no real agenda.
Independent Voters of America doesn't call for any kind of candidate who stands for something, nor do they even state what they stand for other than participation and independence. The group doesn't support more government, or less government, or even the all too easy to support notion of more efficient or fiscally conservative government. They don't advocate freedom, most would support that concept. This group doesn't claim to be for legalized abortion or Pro Life either. They don't have any proposals for reforming education or keeping Iran from getting the nuclear bomb. They don't take any stands on any issues of the day. Independent Voters of America seems to have fallen victim to the cliche, that says if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. They fall for anyone who favors independence and participation.
The last truly influential third party effort, even though it was an “AstroTurf” movement created by H. Ross Perot and his millions of dollars, was the Reform Party. It succeeded in having some real influence because it stood for something. It recognized that federal spending was out of control and the deficit and national debt were huge problems being mostly ignored by Democrats and Republicans at the time. After Perot got 19 percent in the 1992 election, and Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, the Congress and President Clinton achieved deficit reduction and spending control far more effective than had happened in decades.
But this latest independent voters group can't possibly hope to influence anything because it has no agenda. They don't stand for anything that will inspire any real political change.