In the arena of American politics — a space where establishment gatekeepers often put up barriers to entry and stifle alternative voices — the 2024 elections present a pivotal opportunity for voters.
This year, the call to consider voting for independent candidates, particularly in local elections, is increasingly urgent. It isn't just about straying from the well-worn path of the establishment; it's also about reinvigorating democracy with fresh perspectives and unshackled representation.
At its core, the independent movement is about transcending the traditional two-party system. It advocates for candidates who aren't tethered to the agendas of the major political parties, and who can think and act independently in the interest of the people they were elected to serve rather than corporate donors.
Independents owe their allegiance only to the people who voted them into office.
Independents champion a politics of pragmatism, inclusivity, progress, and often, reformative zeal. They serve as a conduit for the voices that are often marginalized or overlooked in the binary political divide of partisanship.
Since 1991, the number of unaffiliated voters has steadily increased to outpace the growth of registered Democrats and Republicans. As of 2023, they now outnumber certified members of both major political parties.
Although the percentage of voters who now identify as independent is at the highest level of any recent election season since 2014, more than half of all independents lean toward the general ideologies of one of the two major parties. This demonstrates the difficulty of going against the grain, but it also underscores a shifting political landscape as voters struggle to find alternatives to the conventional two-party system.
Demographically, independents tend to be younger. Sixty-three percent of independent voters are under the age of 50, including a sizable portion of the 41 million individuals from Generation Z who will be eligible to vote in the 2024 elections.
But, regardless of who they are and how they lean politically, the one thing that ties all independents together is a collective yearning for accountability and diverse political representation. This sentiment points towards a future where independent candidates could play decisive roles in shaping policies at various levels of governance.
In the upcoming presidential election, independent voters will face the call to swing the national vote toward one side or the other of the establishment candidates. This is despite the progress of rising third-party contenders from political entities like the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and No Labels.
While the presidential race often steals the limelight, the reality is that the decisions affecting our daily lives are predominantly made by those holding office at a local level. City council members, mayors, county supervisors, and school board officials play a pivotal role in shaping the policies that directly impact our neighborhoods, schools, and public services.
Ultimately, they’re the elections that determine the quality of our roads, the efficacy of our local law enforcement, the integrity of our education systems, and much more.
Independent candidates bring a distinct flavor to the political landscape. Unbound by party lines, they are often driven by a genuine passion for serving their community, rather than climbing the political ladder. These individuals are your neighbors, local business owners, teachers, and community activists who understand the pulse of your community because they’re a part of it.
Most independents are in it for the chance to genuinely serve the place they call home, not for the power or promise of wealth down the road.
Here are 10 reasons you should consider supporting local independent candidates in 2024:
Democrats and Republicans are frequently criticized for their reliance on substantial financial backing from corporate interests and wealthy donors. Independent candidates, in contrast, often run grassroots campaigns. This allows them to prioritize the interests of ordinary citizens over those of the rich and well-connected.
One of the most significant advantages of independent candidates at the local level is their proximity to the community's needs. Independent candidates have the liberty to prioritize their community's needs without the constraints of party agendas.
This community-first approach ensures that local issues receive the attention they deserve.
With no strict party lines to adhere to, independent candidates can emerge from among a spectrum of political beliefs. This diversity allows voters to choose representatives whose views and priorities align more closely with their own. This is an essential ingredient for creating a more representative democracy.
The way we build a fairer electoral system is from the ground up, and that means voting for independent candidates in every race for a seat in the executive state houses, governorships, mayoral races, city councils, and school boards.
Many independents, particularly those certified by groups like Good Party, are vocal advocates for electoral reform and anti-corruption measures. Their commitment to enhancing the integrity of the political process offers a refreshing change from the status quo.
Accurately or not, independent voters are often seen as swing voters who merely help establishment candidates get into office. However, putting an independent politician in office instead empowers them to act as mediators in a polarized political landscape. Once there, they can work across party lines to forge consensus and effective policy-making.
Unfortunately, politics is too often a game of immediate gratification. Establishment politicians make promises to constituents on the campaign trail and make deals with Big Money donors behind the scenes. They delay progress in order to kick the can down the road, putting off taking a stand on issues that their voters want but donors don’t.
Free from the pressures of financial strings and party politics, independents are more likely to focus on sustainable, long-term solutions rather than short-term, politically expedient fixes.
The presence of independent candidates can invigorate the electorate, encouraging participation from those disillusioned by the two-party system. Imagine being able to vote for candidates you’re inspired to support rather than checking out of the process or holding your nose to cast a vote for the lesser of two evils.
Supporting independent candidates can reinvigorate political engagement and participation at the grassroots level. When people see candidates who reflect their values and priorities, and who are part of their community, it encourages a greater sense of involvement.
Unrestricted by party ideologies, independents can bring innovative and creative approaches to policy challenges. This allows them to blend the best ideas from across the political spectrum and create unique, inclusive solutions.
The independent movement is about reclaiming the democratic process and making it more inclusive and representative of the community’s actual needs and makeup. Without party allegiances, independents are solely accountable to their constituents. This makes our elected officials more accessible to voters while enhancing the responsibility — and responsiveness — of elected officials.
Supporting independents introduces healthy competition into elections. This allows unaffiliated politicians and their supporters to challenge the complacency that can arise in a two-party system and promote a higher quality of political discourse and decision-making.
The two-party system can, at times, feel like a tennis match where barbs and blame are volleyed back and forth while the constituents watch from the sidelines. Such a system supports a political climate where elected representatives are more interested in scoring points against each other and less able to find common ground to create policies that strengthen our country and improve our quality of life.
Independent candidates offer an alternative to this binary choice. They can bring forward innovative ideas and solutions that are not restricted by party ideologies. Supporting independents is a way to infuse fresh perspectives into our governance, challenge the status quo, and ensure that diverse voices are represented.
If any of these reasons resonate with you, support your local independent candidates in the next election!
Voting independently isn't just a symbolic act of defiance against the two-party system; it's a realistic choice for those seeking more nuanced, community-focused, and accountable governance.
In the 2024 elections, let's think globally but act locally. It’s not just about a political party but the promise of a more dynamic, inclusive, and effective democracy that works for all of us.
Want to learn more? Consider joining the Good Party community. We’re not a political party; instead, we represent a growing movement toward independent thought and action that prioritizes the common good.