The 4th of July is a good time for a Declaration of Independence. To clarify, I count myself among the second largest group of registered voters in Kansas, those who are Independent of any political party (also known as unaffiliated). Incidentally, in comparing voter registration numbers in Kansas for the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, […]

The 4th of July is a good time for a Declaration of Independence. To clarify, I count myself among the second largest group of registered voters in Kansas, those who are Independent of any political party (also known as unaffiliated).
Incidentally, in comparing voter registration numbers in Kansas for the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, Independent voters increased in number by a larger percentage, 2.3%, than either of the two major political parties.
Why am I an Independent? Perhaps it's because of the failure of the two major political parties to work together for the good of our country. It seems that party politics and internal squabbling take precedence these days over legislating in the best interest of America.
Still though, I believe that government has an essential role to play in the lives of Americans. I am definitely not a libertarian or an anarchist. I see that some government regulation is essential, since the people would likely not regulate themselves otherwise.
To illustrate: I used to live in Gillette, Wyoming, which is in the middle of a major coal mining area known as the Powder River Basin. I took a coal mining tour or two while I lived in Gillette and was impressed with how the coal companies restored the land, as closely as possible, to its natural state following completion of open pit mining of an area. On one tour, I learned that there are federal regulations requiring such reclamation work be done. It probably wouldn't have happened otherwise.
Call me an environmentalist (I won't shrink from that label), but I want America to have clean land, air, and water. It's scary to see what we're pumping into the earth, knowing that without good, clean, unpolluted water we're in serious trouble. Thank goodness there have been regulations in place to clean up America's air. Many of you likely recall the problems with air pollution and acid rain that many of our major cities had in the 1970s, 80s, and even 90s.
Republicans often take a pro-business stance at the expense of the environment. That's why I'm an Independent.
On the other hand, Democrats generally support two platforms with which I do not agree: abortion and gay marriage. I know that we have no right to end a life which has already begun. I'm not going to discuss when life begins. That would be a never ending debate. With apologies to friends who have same gender attraction, I do not support marriage between two persons of the same gender. My faith and the Holy Bible both teach me that marriage is intended to be between a man and a woman. In this, I align with many Republicans. At the same time, I believe that laws or practices which discriminate against persons because of sexual orientation should be exposed and abolished.
It is no easy road remaining true to your political beliefs in today's world. Nevertheless, I strive to do so and typically register as a Republican (although sometimes as a Democrat) long enough to vote in Primary elections. This way, I am able to support good people who I believe will legislate in the best interest of Kansas and America (and also vote against candidates who scare me).
That's why I'll be registering as a Republican this year to vote in the August 7 Primary. Perhaps one day Kansas will have an open primary, allowing unaffiliated voters to cast a ballot in the Primary elections for one of the two major political parties. Until that day arrives, I'll just keep switching my registration back and forth between Independent and Republican or Democrat.