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January 22nd, 2010
09:35 AM ET

Independents: Who are they and what do they want?

Independent voters are credited with launching Scott Brown to his stunning victory in Massachusetts this week.

Yesterday we wondered, just what is an independent voter? And what do they want? We got some great responses, so we're bringing the question back. Are you an independent voter? What presses your buttons? Leave your comments below. Tony Harris may use some of them on CNN NewsRoom, in the noon ET hour.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Im a republican quickly turning into an independent im sick and tired of republicans and democrat's fighting each other and not coming together on issues we need quick results without a bunch of stalling on decisions we cant be spending so much time on just one bill .

    January 21, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  2. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    Your right Michael but the republicans and democrats also make laws to help big business and forget about the little guy all the while profiting from lobbyists and big business which are the people who should help with our economy not their special interest!

    January 21, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  3. Leslie

    We simply want to be able to earn a decent living, have quality affordable healthcare and contribute to our community and our nation to make this a great place to live for everyone.

    The new Senator of Mass said 98% of Mass has healthcare so we don't want to pay taxes for the rest of the country's healthcare problem. He said let each state handle its own. WHAT???. What happen to one nation under God? What happened to all for one and one for all? Yes he is suppose to represent his state but he is a US senator now. What about working for the greater good of the entire nation? What about the 2% in your own state that don't have healthcare?

    I don't see the problem of having a public option. Yes it will cost something but so does everything else that is worth something. It sad but our true colors are showing. Other countries think America is greety and selfish. Why are we proving them right? These same senators will drop $60K-$100k for a new car, millions on huge homes, the lastest and greatest technology for each child but oh no we can't pay for others who are not as fortunate to have quality healthcare. So what are we leaving our children? Debt? That can be reduced over time. A messed up value system? This we pass on forever.

    Is Obama perfect? No of course not. But for God sakes, work with the man. Whether you like it or not he is our president for the next 3 years. If either side keeps focusing on party ideals rather than people, they will both be guilty of just wasting time.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  4. John Tyler Pa

    I think that many Democrats and Republicans are becoming disillusioned with their party. So to show that frustration we are changing to Independents. Now the Democrat and Republican candidates will have to start coming up with some real substance instead of vague campaign promises. They can no longer depend on a large faithful following. This may be the only way the American voter can get business as usual changed. This may become the silent political revolution.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  5. Pamela Epps

    The men and women of Capital Hill live in a whole different world than the people of the US. They get free health care and free perks and they have no Idea what it is to wonder what your next monthly income will be or can you afford health care coverage. I could care less about the Republican PARTY or the Dem. PARTY. They have no meaning other than conservative or liberal. I vote for the Person and hope perhaps they will not let the pollution of surrealism cloud their vision once they get to Capital Hill.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  6. Diane Sidwell-Takayama

    For SOOO long now, I have been appalled at the direction our electeds take in solving ANY issue. There is no cohesiveness between parties and votes are bought and sold by industry and unions. The mechanics of how our country was founded have long been obscured by congress itself as well as special interests. There should be term limits, Tort reform, a public fund for election campaigns divided amongst the canidates, no more special interest or corporate funding for ad campaigns to muddle the facts and confuse the debates. Just raw facts from Congress itself. By the way that money could be used for the very purpose they are using it to mislead and confound the American public about the issues! How patriotic is that? We must get results in the issues that need to be addressed. The quality of life for our citizens has declined while we are fighting foriegn wars, helping every country in some way in the world and we can't even help our own people. It is very dissappointing and makes me very sad and disillusioned that we will never again have the country that inspired the pioneers and immigrants that came here from everywhere to build this country and make it what it was but no longer is. Scary for our future generations.
    Diane Sidwell-Takayama

    January 21, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  7. Christen

    I am an independent because I am trying to make the statement that I don't agree with either party. I believe the parties are not representing the people, but powerful forces pushing the agendas of large and/or rich individuals and corporations.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  8. Emily Wood

    I take offense to your comments on air that independent voters are anything less than what the title implies. We are not a secret coalition, and one definition will not fit every voter. We simply do not subscribe to a singular political party but rather pride ourselves in assessing the situations and mandates of the time rather than voting on party lines. The two-party system in America cannot clearly represent the views of all the people; we recognize that.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  9. Claire Taylor

    I consider myself independant. In the past I have voted for both dem and rep candidates. Who we are: those who have worked hard all of our lives to get an education and support our families. We do not ask the govermnent for anything. We pay property tax, sales tax, income tax and any other hidden tax that the govt wants to levy on those who make money. Then, they give it to those who don't make money. We are tired of WASHINGTON spending our money on stupid projects just to buy votes. We think that less government is better and that the private sector does a fine job of employing the masses. Good workers are kept and lazy ones are fired. I think that all people should get basic healthcare. BUT, they should pay for it through Health Savings Accounts. Then they can choose the doctor they want and drive down costs. CLASS ACTION suits should be outlawed. If one is a victim, then sue....don't just pay lawyers via class actions. We do not trust the govermnent. We think they are corrupt and lie to us while having their own agenda. How many relatives of politicians are primed for the "green" legislation and will make millions through their contacts.
    The current dems and reps will find out this fall just how angry we are with huge government and politicians who are out of touch with the people. Just wait. This movement IS NOT based on party or race. We are mad as hell at the gall of the politician that they know better than we do what should be done with OUR money.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  10. Phil

    I am a former Democratic school teacher nearing retirement age. I became an independant 2 years ago because I didn't like the party lines of either party, but liked parts of each. My biggest dissapointment with our government is the way Congress has been working, or better yet not working. Republicans refusing to support, even appear to work with anything that Obama proposes. I'm especially dissapointed with the Democrats pushing health care reform so quickly, with most of the work behind closed doors. The earmarking and padding by Democrats on the proposed health care bills and especially the economy recovery bills really disturbs me. People don't trust Congress because they can put almost anything in their thosand page bills.and often do.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  11. Mark

    I hate labels and resist having one applied to me. My thoughts on issues are governed strictly by the force of logic. Sometimes they are in synch with Democrats, sometimes with Republicans, and sometimes with neither. I wish there were a Pragmatist party.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  12. Scott

    Simple really FISCAL RESPONSABILITY! I have to balance my budget every day. Sure there's a list a mile long of things I dream about having. Guess what I can't afford it. Why is it that every citizen of this great country lives under these same guidelines, then we're asked to pay into a system of government that can spend all they want no matter what the people they represent want. Republican, democrat it doesn't mattter.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  13. Jerry Daniel

    As an independent voter, I want to see our Senators and Representatives stop playing politics and start listening to their constituents (not just the special interest groups). I am sick to death of career politicians – I'm for term limits (two terms for senators and four terms for representatives). I would like the federal government to downsize and return the power to the states. Above all, I would love to see true common sense (that means a lot less lawyers in Congress) return to the halls of power.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  14. Joshua

    I'm a veteran turned college student and a long time independent. I believe in limited government and more personal freedoms. I don't think either of the major political parties fit the mindset of many Americans these days. Both major political parties have similar stance on most issues, but the parties don't like to agree with each other. More Americans need to take a look at the moral values of the party they support and ask themselves if the support those values.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  15. Angie

    I am an independent because the world is colored in shades of grey. There is no party that has it all right. Labels such as democrat and republican assume the world is black and white. Those people who cling to their parties, no matter what have it all wrong. Parties and politicians are constantly contradicting themselves. I vote for what is right and what makes sense.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  16. Chad

    Seriously Tony? Why the need for Sarcasm? A feather in the wind? What side of the bed? That's not it as all, independents think things out. When change needs to be made, we are adaptable and change course. For instance, we don't decide that universal health care is our "platform" and make fools of ourselves forcing it on people. We support good ideas, and may change our minds when there is a better idea. It's called intelligence, we are not trained dogs following a master.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  17. Carol Balderas

    I am an Independent voter because I vote on how a candidate handles ISSUES, not because of the PARTY he belongs to. Some issues require more hands-on GOV't., and some require less.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  18. Milburn

    I a black indenpendant! I live in Florida and all ivteally want a decision to be made about this Healthcare bill! It feels like high schhol all over again who more popular! Rather than the important issues as the people ! We just need change! Forget all the other bs our ! I just want proper healthcare when I get older in this great land we call Home!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  19. Mort Kahn

    What most in Washington do not truly understand is that with the challenges we face today, we do not necessarily send a democrat or republican into office, we send a person who represents the values and goals we desire. The challenge is, we currently only have a two party system to accomplish this. What does this mean in the long run? It means NO ONE is safe within Washington if they keep wasting our time and money! Next year, I am writing in Yogi Bear in as our Texas senator. Who know, if Yogi wins, he can’t do any worse that any of these self focused people who are in the senate now!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  20. John Prater

    I consider myself an independent voter. I consider myself independent because I always want to vote for the best candidate, no matter what side of the isle he/she comes from. I don't want to be in the pocket of any one party. I think this does not serve the best interest for all Americans to be such. An Independent voter should always be vested in non-partisanship. An independent voter thinks for him/herself and does his/her own research as best as possible concerning a candidate for public office. He/she should be at the least, open minded.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  21. Mike P.

    An independent voter, in my humble opinion, is someone who finds themselves in between the people that are far too left in the Democratic Party and those that are far too right in the Republican Party and are tired of the two-partys system. I am an independent voter and if their is a viable candidate in the next election, they will probably get my vote!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  22. Robert

    I'm an independent. Tony, this means that I do not fit into the neat little description of "Democrat" or "Republican". I am pro-choice, so I should be a Democrat. But I also believe in a voucher system for public schools, so I should be a
    Republican. I don't vote in the primary elections, so I am not limited to voting for one party or another. As an Independent, I can think for myself, I don't need a party to tell me how to think.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  23. Barry F. Keaveney

    It's documented over and over again. Although we may hear 56% like Obama (this week) or 52% in Mass. oppose health care the dominant, consistent statistic that should be mentioned all the time is: An overwhelming majority of Americans think Congress sucks. (To put it bluntly). I read it's been below 20% (!) for some time now.

    We're Independent. We feel stuck in a game that's fixed. It's hard to work a way out.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  24. Brent Dow

    I am a firm independent and have been all my voting life. As much grief as I get from this I refuse to pick a side. The reason for this is because I am not interested in "party lines", only getting the job done right. The Dems and Reps spend so much time trying to "gain control" of the government they loose sight of the JOB they are their to do. I could care less which party has control of what because both sides are failing this country.

    The Reps think it's ok to legislate their moral beliefs into law wasting valuable time and resources on things like Gay Marriage instead of solving the problem of millions of Americans w/o health insurance. The Dems make promise of big change but in order not to rock the political boat they tap dance around everything getting virtually nothing done. And both sides have lost my favor by allowing ANY lobbyist organization to not only funnel them money but also actually listening to these SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS. Groups that are NOT interested in what's best for America but only their gain. That's why healthcare is such a mess in this country. We have allowed corporations to have more say than we the people.

    This is why I am an independent. Because both sides have lost sight of what their jobs are all about.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  25. sally jasuta

    I am tired of "democrats"&"republicans"not working together for the people.The repubs only say NO.We as independents want small goverment that works for the people not their political gains. So all politicians should be nervous,it won't matter which party is in, the other will be voted in.It is time to b honest and actually care about the voters and their needs and not what is in the best interest of the politician.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  26. Leon Beddingfield

    I am an Independent affiliate as of yesterday. I am 58 years old and have been a life long democrat. I changed my affilation because I am so done with the Dems. and their majority that could do nothing but flinch under pressure. The loss of Kennedy's seat hits me as undescribable. So long.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  27. Jeff

    I have to say that i like the democrats when it comes to social issues such as healthcare... if the republicans want to be the party that appears to want to help people and hide behind their bogus morals then how could they not want to expand healthcare? The thing i dont like about democrats is government regulation in business... i think capitalism should run its course and things will even out (except for the banks because they have implications for a whole lot more). In short, social conservatism is what holds this country back from advances in technology such as stem cells but government regulation takes away from personal freedoms.

    p.s. Wake up republicans... we already pay a lot for healthcare in our taxes already so that pretty much is a void argument

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  28. Mother of 3

    It is simple, we are looking for SMART people with a clear agenda. This is why I voted for Obama and probably why people voted for Scott Brown. We want our representatives to have an open mind and not get stuck with the core values of one party. Just do the right thing...

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  29. Patrick McGowan

    I guess as I get older I see different sides to to peoples views. Even if I'm strongly against a politian for say one view I dont write off a canidate. The tag of republican or democrat means much less to then it used to.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  30. Jene Moseley

    We Independent are distinguished by the fact that we don't subscribe to extremism in our political views or blindly follow either part's agenda completely. As Independents, we may lean left or right, but we aren't either Rush Limbaugh or Al Sharpton. Most Independents want common sense in government and get frustrated with corruption and radical partisanship. Our attitude is, basically, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it is, get out the hammer, screwdriver, pliers and get to work. Repairs will be forthcoming".

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  31. Nicole

    Independents, at least those from Mass,in the eyes of this bitter Dem. Are ridiculous! They are willing to throw the rest of the country under the bus for a man whose views on the future are completely unclear. It seems to me that independents are part of the reason nothing ever gets accomplished! They change their mind like their socks and are unwilling to give change a chance! Thanks a lot Mass... Love, the rest of the country!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  32. Susan Larmour

    I consider myself an independent voter because I believe we are our brothers' keeper but believe we the people can take care of each other without government intervention, and I am fiscally and socially conservative. In some ways I would vote Democrat, if the Democratic Party wasn't so socially liberal.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  33. Michael from NYC

    I became an Independent after Hillary Clinton lost the race to Obama. I was still skeptical but voted for Obama only because of her endorsement. I am content with my vote for him so far, although I have to say the problems brought on by the Bush administration were probably far too destructive to be salvaged by any one party. That being said, my primary reason for switching from Democrat to independent was my overall disgust of the party system in general, and how it has failed the masses. I believe both have become too jaded by politics, and that the only safe ground for voters is the Independent party, because it CAN NOT be defined...nor do I want it to be. I think it is good for the country for there to be alternatives; it may just keep the politicians on their toes if they don't have neat little boxes to cram us into as voters. If you are looking for a common belief system as Independents, I would really have to say that the mutual thread is probably only individualism. I know, from speaking to other Independents, that their views, policies & agendas can be vastly different from one another, which is a healthy breeding ground for debate. I do not want to be labeled any longer, and if the term "Independent" started to become contrived as a result of someone else's definitions, then I would probably change to another party.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  34. Don

    I am an independent voter because I think for myself. I don't automatically believe what I hear on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, etc. I check it out and decide for myself.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  35. Pagan

    I cant speak for the rest and I know some wont like this, but I look at it this way. Every single person in our government lies at one time or another.So it comes down to picking the best lier I guess. Now thats not to say that is the only way I chose who I vote for. The more they seem to want to work for the people. The real people excluding the rich. He or she is the one I will listion to most. Health care reform is at the top of my list at this time, 2nd is the job market and 3rd the war.
    We do need health care but they really need to go back and tweek the package.We need a cost cap so it wont increase, and if you dont want it or cant aford to carry it then there should be NO FEE for that, they will break us even more in our pocket books. WE NEED MORE JOBS, is all I can say. Our boys need to come home already. You cant help a country that really dont want to help themselves. There is always someone new moving up to take over for the one that was killed. Pack up and get out.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  36. Jeff Peless

    I am a born again Christian that finds faults with the Republican and Democratic parties. Neither of the parties can profess true Christian leadership based on the gospel, therefore I vote for the individual, not the party based on their own beliefs..making me an Independant to most.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  37. Lea

    We don't want irresponsible big government spreading like cancer in to our healthcare and finances. Why don't you start with regulating pharmaceutical companies, malpractice insurance and outrageous insurance charges first. Let's see how responsible you can be with that first. How about not bailing out those that "stick it" to the hardworking American people at the American people's expense! How about not letting the decision makers exempt themselves from the very laws and ideas they are trying to push on the backs of the already burdened working man or women. I don't want a hand out, I want a hand up...and if big government would stop stepping on me I would probably be just fine.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  38. Nick

    Independents look at both sides of an election/issue and choose what makes sense for us on an individual level. I don't want to be a Democrat or Republican who is pressured by his party to blindly support every partisan decision, no matter how stupid.

    We choose the best candidates and best solutions, ignoring party affiliations and focusing only on who or what is better suited to help the American people.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  39. Alex Kent

    I think your question has been answered fairly well through the coverage of Anderson Cooper's panel last night. People are beginning to realize that continuous failed execution of false promises combined with the fact that they don't feel strongly bound to the core principles of their respective political parties, and throw into the mix the utter melt down we've had. The size and consumption of government continues to grow without successful performance or accountability.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  40. Bruce Voss

    I am an 52 year old independant voter now. I have been both a registered republican and a registered democrat over the years. I realized over time that politians maintain their power by being able to count on 'sheep' voters that will vote for their party regardless of personal feelings. I refuse to be a sheep and am an independant thinking person and therefore an independant voter. If all voters were registered independants, we would have more Masssachusette results where politians are elected that will actually represent what we want.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  41. Steve

    I am an independent since neither existing party is representative of the people as our forefathers initially intended. Washington politics and politics in general is a private club of millionaires out of touch with the general populist. A move in the right direction would be term limits where representatives act as public servants.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  42. Edric Hernandez

    I have been an independent voter since I have been able to vote. When I go behind the curtain and decide who in want to be elected; there is one key element I look for. "who is the best person for a particular position". If more people voted and chose a candidate without becomeing baised based on a political party; we could have real change in Washington. I am pro- choice, I am against gun control, I want stem cell research, but believe in pro active military action. More so, I understand that no candidate will have all the qualities I want all the time. Hence why I say I will vote for the person and not a candidates party.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  43. EJ

    I am an independant.
    I feel strongly about upholding the 2nd amendment. (right to bear arms)
    I feel marijuana should be legalized. (With restrictions like alcohol)
    I believe health care should be treated as a public service and less like a buisness.
    I believe small buisnesses are the key to strengthening the economy.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  44. kimi sabour

    I am an independent voter, you asked why? becasue I beleive in what Scott Brown said "This is the People's seat". Democrats considered the late Senator Ted Kennedy's seat as their own, and they have had 12 months of free regin in the congress, and they have not been able to do one thing for the people. Where is the "Change" that I was promissed when I voted for President Obama? Lobyists are still running the congress and influencing our lives. I hope Scott Brown will remember what happened here and will stay true to his belief, THIS IS THE PEOPLE'S SEAT. They will put you there and remove you from there, Don't Forget, I am watching you.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  45. Stephanie Chapin

    I am an independent voter. I vote for candidates in the democratic, and republican parties as well as for "others". I am becomining less inclined to vote for a democrat or a republican because many vote as the party directs. If all democrats or all republicans are going to vote one way, then why waste money to pay all those politicians to be there? All of the money used on pork, the money used by companies to influence legislation and campaigns could be used to help "the people". Instead I pay more for goods and taxes because it is going towards government either directly or indirectly. I suggest it be like NASCAR, you recieve a little money from a organization, a little patch on your suit. You receive a lot of money form an organization a big patch...then we all would know who the politician actually represents. Start a web site, make those records public!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  46. Helio

    We need efficiency from our government officials which mandates that they will focus 100% of their efforts towards providing for the needs of our nation and not fighting and endless and wasteful partisan war.

    We pay for their salaries and want value in return!!!

    Let's put an end to the political party positioning shenanigan that wastes our tax dollars.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  47. Bob

    Political Parties do not represent the people's interests; they represent only their own. As an Independent voter, I vote for the individual who most reflects my views on the issues, regardless of the party he/she belongs to. A two-party system simply does not provide enough choice.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  48. Sheryl Harnas

    I do not identify with a party because their core beliefs do not reflect mine. I'm an environmentalist that believes in personal responsibility, as well as choice. Where human tendency is to destroy for short term gain, I believe in conservation for the sake of quality of life. I do not have a "human centric" view of the world. Where is the "NO MORE SPECIAL INTEREST" party? I'll sign up. The Nelson deal, as well as the sell out to Labor unions was infuriating evidence of business as usual.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  49. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Everyone in political parties today and over the last 50 years are nothing more then mindless flunkies, they just go along just to get along, they have thrown-out the simple task of looking at what other are proposing to do. Parties are about being emotional not about thinking thing through or coming up with new ideas. This is why we as a people are going though atrification why those on the right spend all their time telling us that we are enable to do anything anymore! We as a country have lost out drive our Mojo! We lost our wonder our ability to push through any problem, because many believe that we have to settle for what we have and never dream of anything that is better!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  50. Andrea Schadewitz

    I use to be a republican. I now consider myself an independent because of the fact that we have lost so many jobs overseas to mega corporations. We have been too busy looking in the backyard of others while neglecting the interests of our homeland. I believe our heart as American's is still a good one in terms of giving and disasters and I hope that never changes. Illiteracy is still on the climb and financially things look very bad. The root cause is greed. Republicans and Democrats have made no impact and say yes to everything. I believe an independent keeps an honest balance book and it as American's corporately the same practice needs to apply. We need to pay cash and quit funding lobbyist agendas via corporations and credit cards. We need to self support and limit the power of D.C. who panders to outside interests via a global banking system. Debt free is where we need to go and it's going to take tough sacrifice we just need to believe we can do it.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  51. Santwan Barksdale

    America's political landscape has been dominated primarily by a two party system that has attempted to capture the people's point of views and represent them in legislature to some extent. However, it has proved to be unsuccessful in this regard..both parties have abandoned a loyalty to represent the people in exchange for primarily serving the special interest constituency and then, only as an afterthought,.merging the will of the people around that premise (if and only if the people's will reflects tolerance to a lrage degree).

    Both parties selfishly inspired agendas play a key role in fueling an independent move in the country, a movement that places party loyalty behind purposes of value and a undergirds a more successful future for the United States of America.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  52. Terry Tyson

    Independent voters are just everyday people who are sick and tired of back room deals, secret meetings, arrogant politicians both Democrat and Republican. Independent voters understand that America got to be great through free enterprise, capitalism, freedom to own property and strong values. They believe that America is not great because of Big Government but in spite of it. Incumbents better wake up to these facts or they will continue to be replaced. Incumbents also need to keep in their minds the statement that Scott Brown said during his victory speech, "The seats belong to the people not the politician."

    January 21, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  53. Dan Wood ( Independant )

    I am 39 year old from ohio 5 children 2 car payments and house payment,Independants realize Dem,nor Rep,can get the job done.9trillion in fed stimulus,seniors on fixed incomes cannot afford food over meds,unemployment out of control and forclosure not slowing down.Mainstreet needs a true voice instead of being used in fancy campaign speeches,we need bailed out 308 million or so in the US give everyone 1 million pay their houses off get out of debt and stimulate our economy from the bottom up this will work and be alot less money than what they are spending now,our clash for clunkers cost more,I would like to run for Ohio Govenor and have our voice in the congress.Thanxs from the Buckeye State 🙂

    January 21, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  54. Larry Z

    I am an independent voter. Why? Because what is most important to me is electing honest, effective politicians, whether they are blue, red, purple or green. It seems silly to me, especially today, to vote strictly on party lines. Democrats and Republicans both have their share of corrupt, dishonest, and ineffective politicians. I think the American public at large is simply tired of it. Tired of broken promises. Tired of pork barrel legislation. Tired of closed door negotiations with special interest groups. Tired of being promised change, and then getting "politics as usual".

    As the number of independent voters grow, no politician will get a free ride. If you don't live up to your campaign hype, you will be voted out.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  55. Steve Fletcher

    I don't believe in political parties. They served a purpose many years ago but have become something of a joke. The only thing the members of the parties seem to believe now is that the other party is wrong, that the other party is the enemy. Even if congress came up with what would be considered (by Republican AND Democratic constituents) a good healthcare plan, one party or the other would fight it. I am Independent because I vote for the best man. I need someone to listen to his or her constituents and perform their job accordingly. I don't need someone that just follows the leader of their particular party. There is much more to it than that but I hope you understand the basis of my belief. Thank you.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  56. Michael

    I'm a Democrat turned Independent. All I want is a government that works, which Pelosi and Reid are incapable of delivering. I left the party because they've abandoned the progressive agenda in favor of the pursuit of power. As for Coakley-Brown, Independents are obviously angry at the Dems. for failing to deliver on their promises and trying to push a useless, watered-down and completely unacceptable health care bill and that definitely played a part in this, but the bottom line is that Coakley was a terrible candidate who coasted on her party's power in Mass. but stumbled at the one yard line. For all this talk of a disaster for Democrats, no one seems to get that if the election had been held two weeks earlier, Coakley probably would've won by a large, or at least comfortable, margin and Haiti would be the lone top story today. Obama's failures contributed to this, but the ultimate failure is Martha Coakley's.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  57. Walt

    Here in Delaware, we've lost jobs at two auto manufacturing plants, a refinery and other facilities. Plus, our state employees have taken pay cuts and we have reduced state services because vacant jobs have been eliminated. What does Congress do? They give federal employees a pay raise, propose a health care bill that will cost us more and continue to raise the national debt.

    Congress has gotten totally out of touch with the voters. Small wonder that oters in MA elected someone from a different party. Now that was a real Tea Party!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  58. John Fitzgerald from Boston

    Hi Tony, per your request to hear from independents, I'm an independent from Boston. I initially voted for Martha Cokeley in the primary, but as we moved closer tho the final election, I learned that she was campaigning to fully support the healthcare plan. FULLY SUPPORT IT??? She had not even described its basic elements of the healthcare plan in her campaign. The press has been informing us of all these back-room deals to get all the Democratic votes to "rush" it through. How will it affect small businesses, the lifeline of the American economy? Sounds like an awfully risky experiment that could have catastrophic effects if not planned carefully and well thought out. Scott Brown pointed this out....very clearly. He said that it needed to be stopped and re-examined, with the promise of transparency put back on the table. I simply felt that Scott Brown understood and shared my frustration. I decided to vote in favor of Scott and what he stood for.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  59. Jacob Tennessen

    I am uncomfortable with either party having too much power. I am uncomfortable adding more entitlements when the ones we have are poorly managed and on the verge of bankruptcy. I am uncomfortable with so much power centralized in Washington. I am uncomfortable with radical swings to the left and right. And lastly, I am uncomfortable with the perpetual election of career politicians and elites and their disdain for liberty and the constitution.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  60. Reed B Hart

    Reed Hart American Democracy used to support capitalism...capitalism supports feudalism. Neither party can see or smell beyond the scent of money. I seek a system and statesman that REALLY grasps the principle of ..1 man-1 vote

    January 21, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  61. kacapa

    We,the people here in MA, are really stunned by the dramatic change of president Obama. After he campaigned against back-door dealings, he end up to be the master of it. He was strong critic of special interest groups influence, but he stunned us by what he did to Nebraska, pharmaceutical companies and finally the deal with the UNIONS. How come Obama come to MA and tell us to vote for his bill that force us to subsidize Nebraska and the unions? For all of my family and close friends, the vote was against OBAMA. btw, for most Ma voters, Martha was just part of a democrats machine that has nothing special to offer. Finally, i would like to remind Senator Kerry that this week's election is not only against Coakley and Obama, but also a message for him. Wake up Sen. Kerry!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  62. peter kestenbaum

    I am more politically homeless then independent... Tell me where I belong.. Hate Republicans... Gun lobby ( right to bear arms means a wacko can (and does own ) an Uzi.. Evangelists ( hear the devil caused the earthquake ) .. Green house denial ( claimed the earth was flat in another generation).. Abortion foes ( thats personal .. whether you agree or disagree thats not the governments business- come to think of this- isn't this the party of less gov???) and of course any group that can support someone who can't answer basic questions like the north vs south Korea, the bush doctrine, or even where russia is... At the same time I use to consider myself a liberal from the north east but funding illegals with my money to go to school, forgiveness for illegals, out of control unions- ( every company I know is cutting back and our local teacher unions in a nearby town are holding out for a raise, refusing to go along with copays like the rest of the world, and while others are enjoying pensions as they take 2nd jobs) ...Hey a cop might get killed- a teacher? their biggest risk is a broken arm while in summer day camp. and good professional teachers who differentiate themselves- I know several- need to be compensated and recognized as such
    We need medical reform.. how does that square with Nebraska getting a payoff to vote for it? or taxes on cadillac plans except for union contracts? I make a very good living but is a 28 year old I know in my town worth a 8-10M wall street bonus? I have two kids a doctor and lawyer– 2 years apart in school – multiple times apart in salary–
    somethings broke someplace- where is pay for value?? much more but little time

    January 21, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  63. Amanda Hartzler

    Why must you refer to independents with that condescending & disbelieving tone? "Independent", according to Webster's, means "not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct." Therefore, anyone who does her own research and votes her own conscience, rather than blindly believe in the platform of a certain political party (or family or church or cable news network, etc.) is an independent. Don't attempt to define what our platform is & don't joke that we're just voting willy nilly based on what side of the bed we got up on. As an independent voter, I generally do much more research on a candidate or issue before entering the polls than a straight-ticket voter.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  64. Scott Stodden

    An independent voter is a voter who doesn't just vote Republican or Democrat but always for the better person who is fit or more qualified to do the job, that's my definition of independent. Voters are tired of politics and Washington cronniyism as usual so there now turning towards who's the best canidate to do the job. Im only 33 yrs old and have only voted in 3 presidential elections and some local and state elections as well but I've always voted Democratic and Im a registered Democrat, come 2012 however, I may be one liberal Democrat who votes Republican only and I repeat only if Mitt Romney runs for President. I always said all through 2008 and 2009 that President Obama does not have the experience to handle the job of the Presidency especially given the situations we're dealing with now.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 21, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  65. Rich Cunningham

    Just as the "invisible hand" associated with aggregate individual self-interest moves economies forward better than any centralized planning could ever hope to do, the aggregate voting of independent voters yields a better result than the blind partisan ideology that supports our recent special-interest governments. What we want are good decisions that lead to good results and better lives for our citizens and better opportunities for the rest of the world as well. We face huge challenges today. We need to elect leaders who will read all bills before they vote on them; we need leaders who will do what is right for our future, regardless of personal consequences/chances for reelection...

    We are the silent majority; we believe in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."

    January 21, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  66. michael

    Wow, You really dislike independents or anything challenging the current course of action being taken. Your feelings about the election of Scott Brown were very evident. Also the arrogance in your voice and body language when speaking about independents also shows you really don't care. You are only interested now because you have to. Independent ,by its own defintion, should tell you everything you need to know.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  67. James Taylor MA

    I am an Independent because it is obvious that both of the major parties work for the same side – the corporations and special interests that are going to pay them the most. In a nation of nearly 400 million people there has to be more than two sides to every issue. We, as independents, represent some of those other facets of our American society. This two-party system does not work and has not worked for a very long time. Independents are forced to vote for one of the major parties even though they may not agree with many of the attitudes and policies of the person they have to vote for. Independents, if they want to vote for a candidate with a chance of winning, in most cases, have to vote for a member of one of the two major parties. We do not get to choose based on who will do the most good, but based on who will do the least harm. It is time that our government more accurately reflects the nation's diverse views.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  68. Pat P

    I am an independant voter from Ma. I beleive in lowering taxes for middle income people like myself and at the same time, the goverment spending my tax money more wisely. I beleive that we do need sensible heathcare reforms and consumer protection with regards to health insurers. I beleive in the rights garanteed by the second amendment. I also beleive that a woman has the right to decide her own reproductive issues. I beleive that the government needs to stop burdening people like me to pay for handouts and entitlements given to those who choose not to work hard for what they need.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  69. Beth Stannard

    I'm an independent voter because I vote on the issues rather than the basis of a political ideology or partisanship! What happened in Massachusettes is an example of a democratic party arrogance towards independents! There is an evolving organization of independents throughout the nation and we are fighting for inclusion and becoming an emerging power!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  70. Todd

    For many years, I was a registered Democrat. Recently, I adopted independent voting instead. My independent voting is a return to the ideas of the founders of our nation. George Washington said in his farewell address that political parties would be the downfall of our nation; at this time I believe that to be more true than ever. Politicians seem to hide behind their Party; rather than demonstrate real conscience and individual leadership. The independent is voting for the measure of the person running, not the party.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  71. josephbrazil

    an independent voter is someone who does not beleive in the democratic or republican ticket for instance i may like one person on a democratic ticket but no one else ilisten to the person instead of goin down the ticket joe from ri

    January 21, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  72. LA

    As an independent voter, if the democrats could not come together and pass and incorporate the two health care bills jointly, when they had the super majority, then the consequences will be paid with the elections. I would of supported the current bill if it was incorporated into law, but after a year and all the “back door dealings”, I would not support it. America needs unity and the Democrats could not provide or lead with a super majority within a year, so now with the loss of the senate seat in MA., Congress will be at stalemate. President Obama needs to step up and take charge of this Health care reform and bring both parties together and stop the childish bickering!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  73. Jerry Der (Versailles KY)

    Why am I an Independent? Because I believe in:

    – Strong national defense
    – Pro Life
    – Reduced government involvement
    – States' rights

    January 21, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  74. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, both parties are full of nothing more then mindless zombies! The Democrats try to over help people, and the Republicans don't care about people once they are born into this world! The Democrats want those who have superior ability not to show them so that everyone is equal, and the Republicans think that only they should have these abilities, and that they have the inherited right to be the leaders of us all!

    End the end they both holding us back the world is not equal and one group can not be the rulers of us all, we all have something to bring to the table. We are in trouble as a people because both sides keep us from going beyond how things are right now! We are only playing it safe on everything that we do!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  75. Anthony in Virginia

    I am an Independent voter and proud to be an American not programmed nor swayed by either political party and their war of empty words. I am interested in candidates who are not afraid to stand on strong moral convictions and are motivated by a commitment to encouraging Americans to be and become the best they can be, a commitment to our poor and inadequately educated and a commitment to bipartisan partnership across party lines so that things can actually get done in Washington. I'm looking forward to the day when this becomes a reality.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  76. Michael Jones

    Independent because both parties are owned by special interests via lobbyists. Had big hopes for Obama – promised change – but where is it? As everyone knows, the thieves at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, AIG et al were responsible for last years financial crisis due to incompetence and overarching greed. So why are the foxes still running the henhouse? What do they do at the SEC all day – play cards and work on their resumes to submit to Goldman Sachs the day after they leave SEC?
    The Repulicans. 8 years of running the country into the ground, just couldn't stand losing in '08, so lets stamp our feet, scream and holler like spoiled children, then stand in the way of any progress on any front. The looming failure of healthcare reform – desperately needed – probably DOA because the GOP doesn't care what the public needs, only that Obama fail in eveything he tries to do. Not that he doesn't share the blame – should've gone to the people and handled it himself – turning it over to congress was plain stupid, as we are seeing.
    What this country needs are two things: term limits so we can replace ALL the politicians with statesmen (which I believe is what the founding fathers intended) and to get big biz out of policymaking for good. There is not one word in our constitution that mandates superior access to legislation for corporations – they will always put profits above our country's welfare. Insurance companies, pharmaceutical houses, wall street and banks, energy companies – all are guilty of unfairly enriching themselves at the pubilc's expense. We need a party that represents the public, and the two we have are nothing more than prostitutes for the special interests that own them.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  77. Bill Lynch

    More targeted approach to Health Care reform in smaller pieces and no special deals. Carry out the missions in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, and elsewhere and get out. No nation building for people that don't like the U.S.. Create energy jobs in small ways. Create showcases in several states for solar and wind ideas and let contractors create and make money from those ideas. Passive solar is what we should be focusing on. It is cheap, low tech, and can be installed immediately. As an independent I see the Republicans attacking the Democrats constantly. The Democrats need to fire back or neither party will ever accomplish anything. The Republicans will need to be embarassed into bipartisanship with good ideas. Good Luck, Bill.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  78. Bob

    I am an independent and I voted for Scott Brown in Tuesdays election. The reason I voted for Brown was because the Democrats are WRONG in putting healthcare first. What they should be working on is creating JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!!

    I got laid off from my warehouse job back in March 2009, and I have yet to find anything because there is NOTHING out there unless I want to go back to college at 61 years old!

    My 2 sons are also looking for work, and theres nothing out there for them either!!! 10 million people in this country are unemployed right now.

    I have never in my life seen anything like this. I remember when my newspaper used to have like 2 PAGES of job listings, now my local newspaper has ONE column of jobs.

    The DEMOCRATS and OBAMA are WRONG in making healthcare there number #1 priority. Creating jobs for all the unemployed people like myself should be the #1 PRIORITY for Congress and the Senate.

    Leave Healthcare ALONE!!!! We want JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!!!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  79. Larry

    I am an Independent voter in Pennsylvania. I registered as an independent because I don't feel either party represents me. I am not a religious person and I do not have a problem with abortion or same sex marriage. I believe that the government needs to be more fiscally responsible and that our taxes, and deficits are are both way to high. I dislike the idea of career politicians and think it should be a limited public service like our founders had intended. The current party allows no room for someone who is financially conservative and socially liberal. If you would like to start one, you would get my vote

    January 21, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  80. russ

    increasing polarization of Dems and GOPs over the past decades has become disgusting. Partisan pols only interesting in pandering to special interests (now made easier by Supreme Court ruling) to get re-elected, satisfy their own egos and pocketbooks and gaining enough power to cram their own agendas down the throats of the citizenry unstoppably. Given that power, either party can then pad their programs with enough pork to double the costs. The current health care reform attempt is a prime example of a much needed effort gone far astray due to excessive partisanship."Bi-partisanship" is a joke. The "Green Party" is trying to be a 3rd party, but they are too much single issue to gain majority support. Thinking independents are the only balancing factor.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  81. Stephanie Chapin

    Michael Armstrong got it right. Instead of helping the people the Republicans and Democrats are only interested in fighting each other.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  82. C Randall Smith

    I am an independant voter in Hershey, PA.

    I registered independant recently after both the Democratic and Republican representatives of PA were involved in a public corruption trial involving theft,conspiracy and conlict of interest. This trial is currently on going and seems to involve many members of both parties.

    Politicians late nite deals and back door games mandate and influence our everyday lives.

    Trust me when I remind these gentlemen that you cannot MANDATE trust – that must be earned.

    Thank you Tony – I like your style, keep up the good work.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  83. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The parties are nothing more then self imposed slavery to the same old tired ideas that have been proven wrong time and tine again and again!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  84. V W Henry

    I think independents are interested in reducing the size and impact of government in our daily lives, as government isn't the solution for every problem. Finding ways to reduce litigation and frivolous lawsuits, stopping the self dealing in Congress with the tenured politicians' excessive intrusions and pork, returning the federal government to its original limitations and letting state and local governments respond to its citizens' needs. Legislators should be citizen politicians who return home after limited service. Encouraging US businesses to create products and services, increase employment to produce tangible products, as we're devolving into a nation of barristas selling lattes or bagels and financial wizards lending money to other wizards who can't explain what it is that they do while they're losing money hand over fist as they raid the national treasury.

    Letting politicians and lawyers make up rules about things they know nothing about, e.g., regulating medicine and healthcare, is nuts. Look at the healthcare bill that's winding through Congress it's a good example of bureaucratic incompetence muddling up things that could be easily fixed if you asked people who deal with the problem on a daily basis to solve it instead.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  85. James Taylor MA

    Also, in response to Leslie's posting, our founding fathers created our system of government with a central federal entity that is checked not only by the separate branches of itself, but also by the states that together form this government. They expected that the states would and should handle issues where they could. I believe health care is a great example of this. If a state is able to put together a program to insure most of its residents (and the uninsured 2% in Mass. mostly do not participate in the state-offered insurance through their own choices) then why should they A) pay for coverage in other states and B) have congress and the president continue to spent valuable time arguing about it.
    We don't need to depend on Washington, DC to make all of our decisions for us.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  86. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Both parties are like being inside the Matrix the people in them need to pull the plug out of the back of their head and wake up out of their dream world!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  87. Tiffany Burrell, TAMPA

    I am an independent voter. This is what I look for in a candidate. I believe strongly in the moral values that our forefathers set in place for this country. For example we believe homosexuals have the right to be homosexuals, but they should not have special laws put in place to encourage them to be what they want to be. STOP WASTING TAX PAYERS DOLLARS. We want everyone to either work and pay taxes or volunteer. I understand that everyone cannot work for various reasons, but this unlimited welfare, housing assistants, and food stamps are a hindrance to our nation. It is making us lazy, weak, and entitled. As well as to keep these programs running it is costing us billions of dollars. We want to be safe no matter what the cost. We want a new healthcare system that is going to drive down cost, improve quality of healthcare, and ASSIST (NOT GIVE) most Americans that cannot afford healthcare in acquiring it. Finally I want laws in place to prevent big businesses from being unethical.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  88. Derrell

    As an independent that wants change, I don't think either party or the media in general have gotten the message. I don't want to change from Democratic to Republican or the reverse. I want the change promised by the Bush and Obama administration to change the way business is done in Washington. Post the complete bill with all the admendments and earmarks for at least a week before final passage. That will stop the wasteful spending and pass the things that there have a true consensus. If they have not noticed there are enough of us to do not agree with either party that the base of their parties can not force their agendas on the rest of us.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  89. Gail D. Ahrens

    Now the Supreme Court ruled that the corporations can spend unlimited funds to finance campaign ads on TV and support members of Congress and soon presidential candidates. The media is also being bought by big corporations. We are entering a period of unregulated capitalism, corporations now own Congress and the Supreme Court – democracy run amok. We know what history teaches us about this condition. We have seen it before. I am sad for our country. There are few statesmen stepping forward to represent the interests of this country and its citizens no matter what it costs them politically. Just slick talk all the time. I am glad I am closer to the end of my life than the beginning. Good luck America.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  90. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The states need to have more control, anything central like the Federal Government, and the Federal Reserve do a great injustice to all of the American people!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  91. John, Louisville KY

    I am an Independent because I will not label myself with a group that wastes MY money, pays more attention to lobbyists than their constituents, approves laws for their own benefit, allows lobbyists and industries to WRITE bills in their own self-interest, takes care of those lobbyists and industries just so they can get re-elected, and so on and so on.

    I believe in a strong national defense but I think I define it differently. I would define it as a HEALTHY, EDUCATED CITIZENRY. With that we will remain strong and competetive in all other areas. We will have the type of workforce necessary to help keep our economy strong which will provide the revenues necessary for military, infrastructure, social safety nets, technological research, etc.

    I also feel that corporate citizens should not have the same "rights" as human citizens. "We The People" should be the focus of our lawmakers, not the banking, oil, investment, insurance, and other industries.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  92. Jimmy From Denver

    52 yr old "lifelong" independent voter who chooses to vote for the most qualified candidate, not obligated to certain political ideologies, fiscal conservative, grounded, fed up with the "business as usual" attitude in Washington and like other independents end up voting for the lessor of two evils!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  93. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The Political parities are destroying our country, everyone should be Independent, you should be free to choose the best person who has the right ideas, not parties that want to remain in power for all times, when they have clearly shown that they no longer see the American people as anything more then an ATM Machine to fund their dumb theories that they know do not work!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  94. Dayta

    I am an Independent thinker/voter!
    I vote in line with, my beliefs, morals and the issues that most everyday compassionate people, care about.

    Thank you and God bless!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  95. Jesse Andrade

    I am an Independent voter as of two years ago, I am 27 and I am in the Army national guard. I am a college graduate and have two kids. what I want is an end to reckless speniding and me paying for other peoples unwillingness to pay for healthcare. I agree that we must control costs of health care, but I dont want to pay for everyone elses health care. I also want to finish the war in Afghanistan, and not pull out because the some democrats like martha coakley are wimps and dont have the stomach for the war.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  96. Robert Gulino

    I'm a independent voter and NOT as listed by town census as a undecited voter. I voted for Brown because of his beliefs it's as simple as that. The voters and politicians who vote strictly for their party's candidate's and polices in my belief are a major part of whats wrong in this country. All should vote for whats best for for the people of this great country.

    Robert Gulino

    January 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  97. Susan Larmour

    @Leslie 10:29 AM You are part of the problem! The federal government needs to stay of of the States' business! Our Constitition says that the Federal government is responsible for keeping us free and taking care of infrastructure.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  98. John, Louisville KY

    Here's an idea: Freeze the salary of Congress, Cabinet members, the President and Vice-President, and their staffs for 3 years. The company I left in June of 2009 froze all salaries and wages for 2 years due to the economic situation.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  99. James

    I am an independent voter who was formerly a democrat. I became a registered independent mainly because democrats don't stick together. One example: When Barack Obama won the nomination for president, some Clinton supporters immediately announced they were going to vote for John McCain. Unbelievable!! Some republicans were not happy with McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for his running mate but I never heard one of them say they were not going to vote for him.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  100. J. Ridino

    Tony, I think an independant voter is simply: one who does NOT agree with any one party! It seems to me that the nation becomes so angry when talking about politics! I can't speak for other independant voters and what they stand for. What I can tell you is: All of us have to pay taxes the banks should too. Also, I think banks should follow strict rules i.e. home loans are regulated yet the nations greatest ploblem, credit card institutions can charge up to some 29.99%! The loan sharks can't get away with that! Where is Washington? It would prevent these 13 billion gaines.
    If I were registered I would be an independant voter. I just moved back to Massachusetts.
    Finally what presses my buttons is: I am gay, we deserve the right to marry for the sole reason of financial security. The Democrats say yes to that but they will give a terriorest the right to a trial. I want to have the right to marry but screw the terriorest! Where is the happy medium

    January 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  101. Andrea Schadewitz

    Case in point...Today Obama lifted restrictions on corporations to contribute towards campaign funding. Don't watch the lips because while he was speaking out against them today with strong words he was helping them with his pen. Look eye don't believe what they say watch what they do. Thanks for honest reporting CNN. Keep it balanced and corporations out! Rise up independants!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  102. Theodore Chunn

    I am an independent because I am sick of both parties, their back room deals, looking out for only themselves or their particular state.
    What happened to working for the best interest of The United States Of America? I`m tired of all those that lobby for their personal profit, tired of
    paying higher drug cost than the rest of the world.
    Yes I am a christian, yes I believe in God The Father, God The Son and
    God The Holy Spirit and I wish that these politicians and judges did also.
    We would not be a nation that cheats its people and murders its unborn children

    Thank You

    January 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  103. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    @ Andrea Schadewitz

    Sorry that was the Supreme Court that did that!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  104. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The Judges on the Right of the Supreme Court just sold-out the American People, now the Multi-Billion Dollar Companies and Corporations will fully own the Elections, our voices as individual people has then tossed in the trash can! Now Representatives and Senators can go directly on the payrolls of these companies that want to rape the American People again and again with our own money! The true abuse is about to began!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  105. Randy N

    I recieve e-mails from the White House. Today it from Mrs. Obama. This memo stated that medals would be given out to citizens of this country. If I could send you this I would But I do not have a Address for you.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  106. Lynn

    Yes, Bob is right! The economy and high unemployment should be the first concern for the President, Congress, and Senate.

    But I am an independent as well, and I voted for Scott Brown as well. I voted for Brown because its time for a real change.

    The Democrats have driven Massachusetts into the ground! When Mitt Romney left the Governors office in 2006, he left Massachusetts with a balanced budget and rainy day surplus. Now 4 years later with the Democrats running the state, Massachusetts is billions of dollars in debt, we have seen our sales tax go up from 5% to 6.5% in the last year. We now have an alcohol tax thanks to the Democratic leadership, when before September 2009 there was NEVER a tax on alcohol in this state. Our real estate taxes are some of the HIGHEST in the country!!!

    The only thing the Democrats do in this state is raise our taxes REPEATEDLY!!

    We have taxes on everything! Alcohol, cigarettes, gas, real estate, sales tax, excise car tax, etc, etc. While I DON'T smoke, I do have friends and family that smoke and they are paying like $7 to $10 bucks for a pack of cigarettes. I do like to have an occasional glass of wine with my dinner every now and then, but now because of the Democrats running this state we have an alcohol tax, and thats more money out of my pocket and INTO THEIRS!!!!

    I too am only working part-time right now, because there are NO full-time jobs out there for people.

    So yes, we needed a change in Massachusetts, and so thats why I voted for new U.S. Senator Scott Brown!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  107. Jim Jann

    I wish we could vote on your job so that your mocking of independents could lead to your departure.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  108. Steve in Richmond, VA

    An Independent is someone who doesn't like being painted with broad-brush generalizations by a TV talking head. I hope you'll stick to reading the news instead of pontificating about what you think.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  109. Matt Thomas

    Independent voters are not about pleading the fifth. It's about not giving in to one set way of thinking. Declaring yourself democrat or republican closes your mind to one direction. There should be no parties at all. Just take problems as the come working as a team.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  110. Don

    Yes, Tony. I'm an independent. There is not a party for free thought. I believe in the right to bear arms. I believe in pro-choice. Where does that leave a person like me but to be independent?

    January 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  111. Joe Jack

    I'm an independent because neither democrats or republicans are pushing regulations on astronomical interest rates on my $100,000 student loans. Wake up America! Who's going to help us?!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  112. Ryan

    We want fair, open and honest government. If you say you're going to do something, do it. We don't want back room deals, lip service, doing the exact opposite of what we want. Both parties continue with their political agendas regardless of public opinion.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  113. Bob in Texas

    Tony, we just want our politicians to stop partisan bickering and instead of legislating from tried and failed ideological perspectives to simply engage in a little practical problem solving.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  114. Brian

    Tony, I want an end to partisan politics, I want whats best for the country not a party, and I want term limits to stop corruption in Washington. That would be a good start !

    January 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  115. ggs

    How insulting! I am totally offended by your making fun of independents. Just what does a party crasher have to do with Independents? What a horrible comparison!
    I can tell you as an independent what I want–I want good government; honesty, ethical behavior. people who do their best for the people and not just the special interest groups or for the reelection campaign. As an independent, I pay attention to the issues and vote the candidate and refuse to blindly follow any one party. Shame on you for insulting independents.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  116. Paul

    I think Independents simply want politicians to get out from behind their ideological shields, compromise and work together to accomplish issues that plague our society. It wonderful to have your beliefs and all but when you got your feet dug in, you are not listening to the other side and your mind remains closed. There is no perfect policy, no perfect reform, no perfect answers. But we'd be better off if people started bending in their unwavering stances to make some progress, rather than none. Pride goeth before a fall.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  117. Paulo

    What independents (AT LEAST THIS ONE) want is a government by the people for the people. We don't want to be ran by corporations and big unions. And especially not by a supreme court that is not elected by the people but by the president in power and confirmed by knotheads who are beholden to lobbyists. The election of a republican in Mass. is not a repudiation of Obama it just shows that the residents there already have HealthCare so screw everybody else. That and the dem took her election for granted, so it serves her and the dems right.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  118. Josh

    Independent? In a 2 party system... both of which are poor choices... the independents are those who will not "label" themselves as a member of a party, or vote down the ballet of a party.

    I occasionally eat at McDonalds... but I am not a member of McDonalds... I occasionally like to eat at Wendy's... but I am not a member of Wendy's. But Many like neither of these two 'brands'.... and hence the 500 other fast food places in the states...

    Fidelity, in my opinion, should not be a requirement in our politics. A party system is good for stability, but large movements of change usually start outside (like the current TEA parties) and are adopted by one party or the other, if they wish to survive as a party.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  119. Sean

    Independents are simply conservative or liberal people who have lost faith in the two party system. They believe that the Democrats and Republicans are caught up in political games and have forgotten that its the PEOPLE of the United States who have the power, not the the political parties.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  120. Dr. Bill Harrison

    I believe that most Americans are just a little on the conservative side of the middle ground. What I want is a government that is fiscally responsible and socially progressive. Neither party provides this. The Republicans are fiscally irresponsible and socially puritanical. The Democrats are also fiscally irresponsible and vague on the social side. Both parties pretend to represent what they call their base – Republicans the radical right, Democrats the liberal left. We independents hold the middle and will vote against swings to either the left or right.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  121. Martha

    We want politicians whose allegiance is to the people, NOT the Party.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  122. chuck Wa

    being an independant allows cherry picking the candidates.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  123. Darrell Davis

    Ref Independent – I am an American and former Republican. Neither party represents the majority of Americans. The parties are two polarizing and work to divide the country. We will come together under the Independent banner and take back our country from the political parties and special interest.

    Thank you.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  124. fred

    An independent is a person who believes that if corporations are individuals, then when a corporation is convicted of a crime, THE ENTIRE BOARD OF DIRECTORS GOES TO JAIL

    January 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  125. Dennis


    I have seen your comparison of an independant to the slahi's taking the fith amendment

    Unfortunatley that made you look like a complete idiot.

    Thank god we have those free thinkers. wish we had some independants here in canada

    January 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  126. noreen

    After the last election on tuesday, i would say that independents are those who have what they need and say screw the rest of the American people that have nothing and you have a great President trying to give what is needed so badly. Get rid of the bickering and ploitics replucations, and start thinking of the American people living like their in a third world country. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. All you think about is making President Obama look bad enough to the people so you might get back into the Whitehouse. People should be able to see the progress that your President has made since the republications almost bankrupped your country in the last 10 yrs with the wars and one that was not necessary. You are so selfish and have very short memories.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  127. Lisa, San Jose CA

    I'm a progressive independent.
    One of the things that bothers me in politics is the linkage of unlike things as stereotypes of voter tastes.
    For example, if you are pro- 'fiscal responsibility', it does not mean that you must necessarily be pro-corporatism, anti-abortion, and/or anti-gay. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be interested in cutting social programs.
    The SCOTUS just sold us out to becoming a truly fascist state, btw, with this decision to allow corporations unlimited spending to crush pro-individual citizen candidates. Courtesy of the Bush-loaded courts. They've just accomplished their goal of 'drowning the government in a bathtub'–removing the only power on earth that can defend individuals against the power of multinational corporations.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  128. Keith

    I feel the two party system is the major pitfall of our government . Independent thinking is what we faught for to be free. It seems to many people need to be part of a group to feel validated. We wouldnt have to watch hours of coverage of one election and count seat numbers if all members of the house and congress could just vote with what is best for the people and not what is best for the party line. Bipartisan is a tool for big government to manipulate secret deals for there lobbyists and big contributers, thus self preservation.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  129. Mike

    Tony, I am a registered democrat but consider myself an "Independent", why do you ask? I am pro gun, pro choice, pro strong military, anti trickle down economics, pro saving our enviroment, I am color blind, I am pro union, pro separation of church and state, but have no problem with "In God We Trust", pro draft, I believe marriage should be between a man and woman, but do not feel my views should stand in their way & most of all I am anti hate mongering Rush Limbaugh and all like him, & you can guess pro CNN. I congratulate the fine job CNN has done covering the tragedy in Haiti, so I am also pro compassionate. Mike, Illinois

    January 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  130. chris

    Hi Tony. My quick definition of an Independent is simply voting for the "best candidate", who share my views and beliefs, whether they are Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc... This drove my Democratic parent’s crazy that I didn't vote entirely along party lines...

    January 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  131. Charles Pearce III

    Historically I am a Republican but more and more I am just an American who is tired of fanatics on either side with purity litmus tests. I do not trust big government, but I do believe there is an appropriate role for government. I do not feel that money can resolve all social issues, but I do feel compassion. The "Nebraska Kickback" is only the latest proof that both major parties have situational ethics. I believe that special interests of all persuasions see government as a "capture the flag" game to further their agendas. Ultimately we are an Americans, not a political party.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  132. Cindy Merrill

    My husband and I are both type 2 diabetic. We get $1100 SSI and $100 a month SNAP food credit. Have you got any idea how much a case of Glucerna costs? More than our budget can afford. The doctor at the VA clinic wants John on a strict Low glycemic diet:: It just isn't possible on our income. So what are the Democrats offering: A ban on cheaper prescription drugs from Canada ( Healthcare "Reform"), no cost of living increase pay until 2012 for SSI, and possibly another one time "generous" $250 "stimulus. NEWSFLASH: Some seniors have Dementia, true, but most of them are fully functional and they vote: During Midterm elections, seniors make up over half of the voting block. So DEMOCRATS, if you want to keep your jobs, stop insulting us.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  133. Jean Bridges

    They are basically too CHICKEN to have or articulate any particular value or political opinion, just usually screw up any progress.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  134. Curt Woolf

    Tony, I am an Independent because it is clear that most members of Congress and unfortunately many officials in President Obama's administration are influenced far more by wall- street and wealthy special interests, rather than representing main-street and middle class American interests. Although I worked very hard to elect President Obama, he selected an economic team members that are formerly from wall street or their cronies, particularly Geitner and Summers, and he has renominated the worst fed chief ever that has handed 20 plus trillions of tax payer dollars to those causing the worst recession in memory, basically interest free. President Obama has excellent rhetoric, but has not fought for the "change" I voted for. I may never vote again because if President Obama and a majority Congress can not represent main-street interests no one will.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  135. Brian

    I am an independent and proud of it. I don't tout a party line because I think the left vs. right battle in this country is one of our largest problems. Being an independent means you stand for what you believe and not what some strategist tells you to believe. Let’s face it, no one bias person or even one bias group of people is right all the time, and party politics has gotten to the point where the long term best interests of our country have gotten lost in the partisan battle for power. If I were a politician I would vote on whatever bill I felt was best for our country regardless of party. You couldn't pass a high school research paper if all of your resources were bias to one side of the issue, so why do we pick our leaders and run our country this way?

    January 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  136. Jim Hunt

    I am an independent and I am sick & tired of politicians promising CHANGE, but change never comes...a congress that does not work, earmarks, special deals, constant lies and spinmasters, and lack of ethics. Our congress spends more time concerned about their needs and little or none for what is best for our nation. Its time for a revolution!!! Let's clean house and start from square one...with leaders who care about our nation.
    Count the leaders we believed were going to bring change: Obama, Carter, McCarthy, Ventura, Arnold S... they all fell into the political pit and took their eyes off the nation.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  137. Bill Boudreau

    I vote for candidates that don't play follow the leader that is happening in Congress now , in other words there is a power struggle in both parties where the leadreship assumes a strongarm position to get all thier members in line and offer positions of power if they follow the leader, sitting members should represent thier constituents , that's where thier responsibilities lie

    January 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  138. Cristina

    I am an independent voter, as well as thinker. Our two party system is a contradiction to democracy, and a mirror to our limitations as a country. We are held for ransom to these extremes. We get to vote in part, never on a whole. Life goes forward.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  139. Patrick

    Independents: Stand for something or fall for everything. That's what they are. Self centered and cowardly. Can't they understand that it is crazy to vote for the democratic platform today and the republican platform tomorrow? Makes no sense! Choose something and stand for it!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  140. Seth

    Top 3

    1. Lobbying should be illegal – What's best for a company, clearly may not be best for our country
    2. Term limits, it's suppose to be an honor to serve your country, it should not be a highly compensated job. It amazes me that elected officials get to vote in their own raises; how ridiculous is that. If representing your country was not highly compensated there would be not many people that would want to stick with the job for more then 4-6 years which gives them less time to build power bases.
    3. It makes me angry when representatives vote along party line. The republicans are much better at sticking together for their need to be in power then the Democrats (at least the Democrats typically are divided on big issues (eg: healthcare) but the Republicans rarely jump ship and they stick to their party message no matter what (look at McCain who use to fight his party all the time, now that they are not in charge anymore he will do anything to get the reins back.)

    On another note – i'm an independent and voted for Obama but i feel he is selling out us independents that put him office, there is such a strong power hungry base of corrupt representatives and he is not standing up to them

    January 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm |

    I'm not a "registered" Independent, however my feelings always are somewhere between the dogma of the Democrats and the Republicans. The Dems make me mad bec. of their "Nanny" attitude towards people who don't want to take personal responsibility ("Successful people do what unsuccessful people won't do") and this has always been so. The main reason the Dems have made me furious-particularly since 9-11--is that they refuse to take terrorism seriously. This is dangerous.

    I'm not a Republican bec I think they tend to focus TOO MUCH on economics, sometimes to the detriment of the individual, and I REALLY don't like the diatribes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck. So--I guess this makes me an Independent??

    January 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  142. James Cole

    Put it this way. If we do not get universal healthcare with a public option, then I and many of my friends that are healthy and paying premiums for reasonable healthcare will drop our coverage as a boycott to the healthcare industry. We are tired of the premiums being used to lobby Washington to prevent lower healthcare cost and less patient access for their obvious profits.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  143. Jeff - MD

    I'm a registered Democrat, only so I can vote in the Primaries, but I'm Independent beyond that. I'm tired of politicians holding the Party line. Neither party has the answer to all of our problems & neither party wants to compromise. It is their way or no way. We need politicians who are going to do what is right for America, politicians who are honest. Politicians have got to remember they represent the people of their State, not their Party's.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  144. Marlene Harvey

    I've been an Independent voter since I saw how my vote for Jimmy Carter was wasted. I fall back on the motto of my youth "power to the people". By this I mean that decisions need to be made by the people, as locally as possible. Don't do for me what I can do for myself. I want a safety net, not a hammock! Local and state governments should play a larger role than Federal government because they are more responsive to the will of the people, especially in terms of social issues and taxes. I deplore "legislation by courts" and I truly believe that the constitution is the road map to our future.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  145. Don

    Are you honestly unsure or just playing.? Independents vary in many areas but all stay inline on one point. We aren't so narrow minded or visioned to only vote along one party line.
    We all agree with some ideals from each side of the party split. I honestly think we have all been on the moderate side of one line or the other but have shifted to Independent status with all the hard lines these two main parties have taken.
    ex. I personally agree with many of the Democrats views on the environment while siding against them on their handling of this Healthcare overhaul. I agree that it needs reform, but not in the way with which they have gone about it.
    Most of us supported the reform bill until they began making adjustments to bribe votes from state to state. And the idea to hurry up and 'force anything' before the details have been explained to the people wreaks of old washington. Not this New, Transparent administration we voted for last year.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  146. James Cole

    The one thing I dislike about independents is that they love to complain, but have no solutions. The say they are independent, yet they cannot even organize a party to support any kind of real platform. At least I know where a Republican stands!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  147. Ron

    As and Independent voter I want the Republicans to get off their keasters and DO SOMETHING – ANYTHING! This the most unPatriotic group of representatives we have EVER had! They state outright that they want to do everything they can to make the President and Democrats FAIL. That also means OUR COUNTRY FAILS! They offer NOTHING to move our nation forward.

    Republican's motto is SCARE the populace, and create DOUBT in everything!

    Republicans got us in a big hole in 8 years with 2 wars, and paying for none of their programs or the wars. NOW, they actually BLAME the democrats for THEIR FAILURES. After only 12 months they are ONLY STATING campaign rhetoric.

    Our ONLY chance is IF the populace sees thru the Republican Propaganda and support the Democrats to continue FIXING this Republican Deficit.

    Remember: We were in great fiscal shape when GW Bush took over in 2001!

    January 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  148. The Spirit Connection

    What do we want??? First that Obama apologized to the nation for his conduct as president. Starting with the financial bailout, the mistake it was to employ Geitner as Sec of Treasury when he was part of the financial downfall, get rid of all the pardoned lobiests that Obama said he would not employ, hiring department heads who have absolutely no training in the area they work in, "Beg" forgiveness for the bold lies about transparency that did not materialize, and give the people back the country, takeing it back from big pharma, big banks, big insurance and other corporate greeds.......and promise to tell the truth in the future and remember he works for the people and not big anything, and then start new – thats what we need.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  149. Martha

    Read your history, Tony. God did not create Heaven and Earth and the Democrat and Republican Parties. They have changed before and they will again as the need arises.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  150. Arthur Lynch

    What do Independents want? How about an ounce of integrity from someone, anyone in Washington D.C. ? Seems DEM and GOP zombies ok with venal, deceitful politicians jerking them around. Besides, contrary to self serving pols idea about themselves, both Democrats and Republicans are LOSERS. Choose either and we all lose. Time for real change. Arthur Lynch, Bainbridge Is, Wa. (the other Wa.)

    January 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  151. Don

    And I agree with Dennis.

    Your comments and comparisons to the Salahi's make you sound rediculous. I usually like your commentary, but please stop degrading yourself..

    January 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  152. Sharon Rickard

    I can't figure out what an Independent voter is. However, it's clear they are nurtured by folks such as Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck and yes, even Rush. Everyday, the above folks (well, I don't know where Dobbs is these days) tell their listeners who or what to fear, who or what to blame, and who or what to hate (and of course, it is never the mesmerized listener). What do the Dems give these folks? They assume Independents are adults capable of forming their own mature opinions and discarding the emotional junk surrounding the talk show pundits. Uh Oh, the Dems have miscalculated again.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  153. Linda Stevens

    The Declaration of Independence states that we the people have the right to life (ie health care), liberty (ie. keep Goverment influence to a minimum, provide for the defense and protection of this Country) and pursuit of happieness (ie. a job, a home and freedom from Goverment suppression of my rights). As an Independant, I will vote for the person who can best fulfill these basic tenants of the Declaration of Independence.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  154. Larry

    I am an Independent because I have personal values. I will vote for the person/political party that best fits my values and beliefs of what is best for my country. I am not a puppet on a string for either party. I pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, not to the Democrat or Republican political party.

    I am very disappointed in our representatives and it is time for the American people to see through all the propaganda, innuendoes, and lies and stand up for what they believe.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  155. Indyboi

    I'm a registered Dem so that I can vote in state primary, but identify as an Independant. I'm a fiscal Rep and a social Dem. I'm a gay military officer who supports abortion, gay rights totally equal of heterosexuals, the death penalty, security for the whole over personal rights, 100% separation of the church from the state, stricter limiations on welfare (the system is abused by lazy Americans), healthcare for all LEGAL Americans, no protections or taxpayer funded support for Illegals with serious immegration reform, healthcare and financial reforms. I sound like a Republican, but Republicans are too religion controlled for me.

    January 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  156. Darrell Davis


    The recent vote by the Supreme Court has again hurt American Democracy. They voted to ease the rules on Corporate campaign spending. I agree with Justice Stevens when he said

    "In a democratic society, the long-standing consensus on the need to limit corporate campaign spending should outweigh the wooden applications of judge-made rules."

    He added, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation."

    This is some of the very behaviors that Independents are fighting against. The political parties love this, they have a clearer route in which to buy their elections.

    Thank youi

    January 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  157. Brian

    Tony, thanks for the insult towards independents because it makes our point for us. Partisan people have no respect for people who don't side with them. Is that what you call Democracy? Being open minded to ideas from all sides of an issue is what being independent is all about, and if you are honest that is the best way to make any decision. The Grand Canyon size divide in this country you stand for has brought progress in this country to a halt as well as fueled rampant ignorance, partisan extremism, and border line hatred between people with different opinions. Continuing this divisiveness will only lead to one thing, a complete failure of Democracy.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  158. PJ

    Both Dems and Repubs should understand that Independent voters simply want what's best for America. We vote repsective politicians into power to take care of OUR needs. Yes, Health Care needs an overhaul...and it has for years. The problem is that we, the American people, are screaming for jobs right now and we're being ignored. Time and time again both the DNC and GOP choose an issue and run with it without regard to the opinion of those that put them in place to represent us. We are intelligent people, and we see that the only reason health care is the number 1 issue is because the DNC knows that it will probably never again have the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster if it's not passed right now. SO WHAT...people are out of work and losing jobs. They say Health Care is tied to the unemployment rate going down...we the people say that the unemployment rate is tied to many of us losing our homes and savings. Please just listen to us an stop trying to energize your "base".

    January 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  159. Patti Harter

    Its too bad Lou Dobbs left CNN. He had an exceptional underdstanding of the Independent Voter that now seems to elude CNN reporters.
    I only got a brief glimpse of the political columnist, David Serati (?) – I didn't quite catch his name – talking to Tony. However, CNN might want to chase him down with an offer for his own spot on your network. Independent Voters are the wave of the future and the columnist seemed to have a grasp of the issues that your network lost when Dobbs walked out the door.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  160. Bob

    I also wanted to add that I think Scott Brown will do an excellent job as U.S. Senator, because don't forget, unlike most Senators that get elected, he will NOT get the normal 6 year Senate term.

    Because he is taking over Ted Kennedys seat, in which Kennedy was re-elected in 2006, Scott Brown's seat expires on January 3rd, 2013. So he only really has about 2 years before 2012 is here, and he will have to run for re-election again!

    So you know that he will be under alot of pressure to keep his campaign promises if he wants to get re-elected in 2 short years!!!!!

    January 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  161. Brian in Kansas

    To: James Cole (previous comment)

    Why is it that partisan people always think Independents don't have solutions and just like to complain? That is an incredibly ignorant and/or stupid thing to say. Being independent means that you can vote freely for whatever bill you think is best for the country without the concern of all your "friends" dropping you like a patient with a pre-existing condition. The fact is that the partisan battle is raging so fiercely that independent representation doesn't exist on capital hill. Everything is part of a party strategy that when looked at independently is no where near what is best for the country. James, your comment just highlights the how disrespectful, extreme, and anti-democracy partisanship has become. Thanks for making our point for us.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  162. Brian in Kansas

    To: James Cole (previous comment)

    You apparently don't understand the definition of independent. If we formed a party then we wouldn't be independent now would we? Independent means belonging to no party because the parties are the problem!

    January 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  163. Chelsea

    Because I make an effort to view all political issues from more standpoints than that of my own is what makes me an independent voter.
    By making a conscious choice not to commit my political beliefs, attitudes, opinions, identity and values to any one political ideology over another; I not only see better the issues being obscured from me but, more importantly I empower my vote as I broaden my peripheral vision in relation to the issues themselves.
    The whole can only be as good as the sum of each of its parts. When we as voters commit our loyalty and identity to one particular political ideology we limit the extrinsic political power of our individual vote. Only when we as voters make a conscious choice to disassociate ourselves with any one political ideology over another can we make better our families, neighborhoods, communities, municipalities, cities, states, country, nation and world through the power of one vote…our own.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  164. Brian in Kansas

    To: Tony Harris

    I'll be watching your show tomorrow to see if you have the brass to acknowledge and face all the people you disrespected in your show today. I'm not a person that gambles, but I bet that you don't because what you said today was incredibly ignorant.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  165. Robert

    My view is freedom of choice, freedom of religion or no religion, smaller government, fairer taxes, insurance and drug reform, less free entitlement benefits, no more lobbist period in Washington, government held more accountable no matter at what level, no more unnessecary wars, gain energy independence, jobs,jobs, and more jobs! These are the kind of people this country needs in power not the self interest trash that consumes Washington D.C.! I think at least now the two parties can work together instead of "go it alone" the Democrats ran against in 2008!

    January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  166. Sally N.H.

    This independent wants 1)Honesty – no back room deals, no unrelated earmarks attached to bills; no donations from lobbyists 2)Fairness – no taxes to pay health insurance for people who buy new cars or TV's but say they can't afford the insurance; 3)Intelligence – instead of party line talking points some thoughtful discussion would be welcome, we don't want the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid
    When it comes to health care we need health insurance reform not health care reform. If bad drivers can get insurance why can't sick people get insurance? They're both high risk pools. Premiums are not capped but payouts are. Where is the fairness in that? Insurers deny a percentage of claims without cause. That should be illegal. Lastly, if people want to belong to a government pool to increase their bargaining power fine. But it should be organized in the same way the post office is; self supporting, not tax supported.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  167. Martha

    Hear, hear, Brian in Kansas!

    January 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  168. Matt in Va

    Lou Dobbs was a joke. His big stand was against companies that outsource to foreign nations. If he were that much against it, he wouldve dropped stock in any company that outsourced. Companies stocks go up when they outsource due to a wider profit margin now being available. Hypocritical at best.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  169. hll

    It is a sad day in our nation when I have to go to the BBC news report in order to feel like I am hearing the truth. As an independent, I want to protect this right to continue to do this, while the elected representatives of the democrats and republicans fight each other over which large and wealthy corporation will get the biggest piece of the pie. McCain was my hero; Obama my hope. I have lost both.

    And I sure do agree with Brian in Kansas! "Independent" is just that; not a third party to be form, thus taking away my independence!

    January 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  170. hll

    Tony, I think you should interview – on your program and without editing – "Brian in Kansas." Very wise Independent whom I feel, thus far, best describes an "Independent."

    January 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  171. christa

    We do not want the same stuff we had, for the last years. We want Washinton to realize those times are over. If I was a younger person, I would try to get another party into Washinton. Those Senators and Congresspeople, think, that we like what they do. First of all, I would call for all hospilization and healthcare to be taken away from all of them. Let hem pay their own healthinsurances. So they feel how it is. Everyone in this country of ours should have no paid healthinsurances from their jobs, so we will be equal to every one. I do have paid healthinsurance, but I am not as selfish as the rest of this nation. Either its every one or no one. Also the speach Obama gave today was a little to late. He will be a onetime president, because he did not listen to what americans wanted, but supported the banks and money institutions.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  172. christa

    Republicans and Democrats and I mean all of them, are bought and paid for by the lobbyists.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  173. john

    i hope mr brown does something about all these people from haiti being adopted in the usa. we need to take care of our own and give the kids in this country a chance, and how come we are the only people taking them in, i guess we took out another loan from chine to pay the bills,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this country is going to crumble just like russia if we dont wake up and tell the world we cant do it anymore the check book s empty

    January 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  174. Brian in Kansas

    Thank you Martha and hil. I made a couple other comments under just "Brian" that were pretty good too I think, ha.
    Notably; "You couldn't pass a high school research paper if all of your resources were bias to one side of the issue, so why do we pick our leaders and run our country this way?"

    January 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  175. JIM

    I am an independant voter. I, and many others are a viable third party. We just happen to look at what the Democrats have to offer and what the Republicans have to offer. Best party wins my vote. We just don't blindly tow the mark in lock step with either parties intelligensia (joke).

    Will be interesting to see how Obama's bank regulations announced today will fly. Populist political move? Remember many populist pension plans often have a goodly (is this a word?) portion of their assets in the big banks who are just starting to recover.


    January 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  176. Brian in Kansas

    I respectfully disagree.
    1) We are not the only country doing this. In fact, we are not even the first country to do this since the earthquake.
    2) Nearly all these kids were already in the process of being adopted by Americans.
    3) Giving homes and a family to a couple hundred orphans that would likely otherwise die is not hurting our country. I understand that there are orphans here in America too, but the worst case scenario for them is that they live in group homes, which is unfortunate, but does provide a roof, food, and water which these orphans from Haiti did not have.

    Our problems here at home are not due to the situation in Haiti, they are due to ignorance, incompetence, partisanship, career politicians, corruption, and greed. That's my opinion anyway.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  177. Brian in Kansas

    Sorry, my last comment was a reply to John's comment.

    To: John (previous comment)

    I respectfully disagree.
    1) We are not the only country doing this. In fact, we are not even the first country to do this since the earthquake.
    2) Nearly all these kids were already in the process of being adopted by Americans.
    3) Giving homes and a family to a couple hundred orphans that would likely otherwise die is not hurting our country. I understand that there are orphans here in America too, but the worst case scenario for them is that they live in group homes, which is unfortunate, but does provide a roof, food, and water which these orphans from Haiti did not have.

    Our problems here at home are not due to the situation in Haiti, they are due to ignorance, incompetence, partisanship, career politicians, corruption, and greed.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  178. ken

    Independents want politicians to do what they say they will do when you vote for them. The dems and pubs only care about wall street and K street not main street. What they do matters not what they say they will do. If you lie you will get voted out of office. Independents have no party allegiance.

    January 22, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  179. Bradley K Saunders

    Promoting harrasment of Independents!?

    January 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  180. Henry Allhoff

    Whats with all the "Ouch"? Your responders gave some intelligent reasons why they don't consistently vote for either party, and you took that as an affront to you? Ouch!

    January 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  181. Lisa in Missouri

    I was raised by an independent voter, and have only registered with a party once when I was very pleased with a specific nominee for the presidential race and wanted to do my best to act in the primary. I disagree with segments of each party platform, and cringe to be labeled as either one.

    The recent events in the political scene keep telling politicians that America is tired of business as usual. THAT is what elected Obama, and THAT is what put a Republican in that Massachusetts senate seat. Many of us, independent, and party-affiliated alike, will continue to "change allegiances" as long as it takes to assure those who are REPRESENTING us that they should be, instead of listening to the deep pockets of special interests, lobbying groups and business.

    The constitution's preamble begins, "We, the people..." It is, in the end, what speaks to the hearts of any American citizen.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  182. Chris

    As a independent I tend to do way more research than Dems or Republican voters do. I look at the issues and vote for proven champions of the Constitution. I look for Candidates like Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul. I don't fall for the 2 faced politics both parties play in order to look good in front of the country when not in power.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  183. John Edwards

    Independents from what? Special interest, campaing $$ commitments, religious believe, professional and educational background, thought????? mmm not so sure they are really independents; it is just another way to get elected since traditional party politics stink....

    January 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  184. Darrius

    Who are independents? They are idiots who cant decide what party to support so they flip flop based on what they THINK is going on in society. They are the confused ones who votes based on what is the hot topic at the time. Just like many other Americans they dont recognize that in order to create change we cant have a gridlock in Congress, they dont understand politics AT ALL like 95% of Americans, and they SHOULD go(to) college and take a couple of Poltical Science classes, THEN maybe they would be able to make the right decision, and not be so confused.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  185. Robert L. Sexton

    I became an independent so that I may weed out life long politicians and search for statesmen or stateswomen..

    January 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  186. Chad

    Tony I dont think its just independants alone, Independants want a fair congresss. Although, this congress needs to be thrown away and restarted with people like myseld and my family that know what poor means and that are disabled. I believe if we get rid of this congress and put in a new one with people that know what no work is and will coprate with one another it would be much better. The Republicans and Democrates both cannot agree on anything at all thats the main reason we need a new congress.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  187. Michael Thomas

    Independent means you do not follow like sheep. It would be safe to say that politicians, we elected, are not voting for the people, their conscience or making a real independent choice when the Republicans or Democrats vote along party lines. They were following by collective force or their vote was bought and paid for by big business. No one can tell me that all of them thought the same way while adding their pork to the bill they pass. Anything up for a vote should be on its own merit, without attachments (pork-belly).

    January 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  188. Cory

    I would consider myself an Independent. Why? Because I am only 17 and just recently got involved in politics. I think it would be stupid to choose a side when there are still many things I don't understand about this "game". Almost as stupid as passing a 1000-page healthcare bill without even reading it.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  189. Chad

    Independants just want corporation with this congress, with getting rid of everyone in this congress and starting completly over with people that know what no work is and those that are disab and poor; than something may get done. Both republicans and democrates cannot get along or agree with one another.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  190. Matthew Helm

    As an independent I want sweeping regulation of the financial industry. Wall Street executives need to realize that the number of people, and this doesn't just include American citizens, who have a vested interest in the health of their institutions goes far beyond their employees, customers and shareholders. We have all seen the chain reaction and fallout caused by the failure of just a few financial instutions. Millions of people, the majority of them having nothing to do with these institutions, are out of work because of the Great Recession that was triggered in large part by idiotic behavior of financial institutions. That translates to lost jobs, wrecked lives and a lot of pain and suffering all over the world. And big bonuses for short-term profits are necessary to attract the best talent?

    January 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  191. RANDY

    C'mon Tony, where does it all end, when we're a third world country – socialism! I work for a branch of the government and we have shed 100's of thousands of employees and still we are failing. I'm down to 4 hours a day and it could get worse. My family has been a Democratic family for as long as I can remember. WW2 era. We're done with them and the Republicians. Show us a candidate that looks independent and he'll get our vote. We're tired of the self serving, lying, and cheating politicians and wish we could vote them all out. And that goes for Obama also. Share the wealth, ha, we've lost our jobs our incomes our homes. What more do they want us to give up? Now 200,000 Haitians, thats all we need more $2.00 a day employees. Now Corporations and Unions can control the elections with unlimited $$$$$$$$$, just what we needed, more crooks from the banks, big Unions and big Companies to serve the Politicians.
    ---– LET'S VOTE -----

    January 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  192. Sharon Rickard

    I don't understand how Independents educate themselves. For example, how do they make decisions on what to support and what to discard regarding bank regulation? In other words, how do they know who is providing them with the explanations of these complex issues and how do they know these persons are trustworthy? Some of the Independents commenting declare they make their decisions based on personal values, gut reaction or what makes sense out of all of the information and propoganda out there. How do you know it makes sense?

    During the energy deregulation frenzy in California, folks were told that this was the way of the future, that it would save money, so on and so on. Turned out, it was an Enron (smartest guys in the room) trick. Which Independents warned us? Who among the average electorate even understood what the legislation would do to the average California resident or small business regarding energy costs, etc.?

    January 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  193. Justin Wilcox

    The American Worker/Taxpayer is financially drained by those who have run under party lines. Rember NAFTA where we sent our manufacturing and industrial base (jobs) abroad? That would have been the Republican and Democratic parties who has put us in this situation. American voters are tired of the same old crap that they pull every election, promise this and that and yet the country continues to spiral downward. We want the problems fixed and if it is an Independant canidate that does it , then so be it.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  194. Carl Peter Klapper

    I am a Populist and thus have strongly anti-partisan demands:

    1. Eliminate the party line. Placement on any ballot should be based only on number of confirmed signatures on a nominating petition.

    2. No public money or facilities for party primaries.

    3. Repeal the Twelfth Amendment.

    4. No seniority privileges in Congress.

    5. A non-party selection of the President, with the people knowing who is representing them in this process. I have proposed a Nominator College to meet in a general assembly to pick five candidates for President with 95% of the nominator vote. Election among these candidates would then be by a popular vote.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  195. Michael Thomas

    Bush had 8 years to do nothing but mess up this economy and people expect Obama to clean up an 8 year mess in 1 year. What did Bush do while in office? Bush said "My greatest accomplishment was to try and privatize Social Security". When you try, it is not considered an accomplishment, it is an attempt. Privatizing Social Security would have proven to be one of his greatest accomplishments by screwing up this economy and gambling our future away!

    January 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  196. Phil Cameron

    I am not a Democrat or Republican. I am an unenrolled voter. The Democrats seem to focus on expensive feel good programs (that the wealthy will pay for) that don't work because they ignore human nature .They are fatally naive in international and economic affairs. The Republicans lack compassion for the common man and get dangerous when given too much power.

    We need something in the middle and the best we can do is maintain a balance in congress with the executive from the weaker party.

    I am in Massachusetts which is effectively an one party state. You have to vote in the Democratic primary for your vote to matter. Whenever a Republican wins office it is national news.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  197. Tony R

    Hello Tony
    I dont understand these independents,They have no loyalty to either
    party and they have no commitment to a cause.I wish they would pick there own candidates to represent they or pick one of the party to support they and not be in the middle of the road.they cause so much

    January 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  198. Bill

    Independents think and operate in the middle ground. We have no allegiance to either the Republican or Democratic parties. Our allegiance is to common sense. Yes we need some government services such as national defense, fire and police. We don't need our government managing our day to day activities, or socially engineering our behavior.

    Personally, I support health care reform with a public option to keep the health insurance companies honest in the same way the U.S. Post Office keeps private carriers honest. Could you imagine the price of mailing a letter if private carriers were our only option? But with health care reform, I would object to any sin tax or behavioral modification attempt by our government to make me live a healthier lifestyle. I'm concerned many who support health care reform would also want to legislatively modify my lifestyle.

    I do not support gun control in any form, and hope the Supreme Court finds in favor of the NRA in the upcoming NRA vs. City of Chicago certiorari. I do not support CIFTA.

    I vote on an issue by issue basis and look for the single most significant objective a candidate might accomplish while in office. But if I disagree with the second objective on a candidate's agenda, I will vote him out of office hopefully before they can accomplish it.

    I distrust big government and big business. I favor small business and Main Street America.

    And most importantly, I do not think the Bill of Rights is a "living document" that is open for interpretation. That would assume there are those among us able to embellish the intrinsic genius of our founding fathers.

    Based on my comments above, what party would have me?

    January 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  199. ken

    An independent voter is someone who is tired of all the lies by both the dems and pubs. The pubs say Obama is a liberal but he has given us more war, bigger defense spending, big bailouts to banks and wall street, deals with pharma and the insurance industry, 0% loans to wall street and the banks so they could make billions. The dems approved all of it including all the pub supreme court members who just allowed coporations to buy elections. Independents want someone who cares about main street u.s.a. not wall street and K street (lobbyists) .

    January 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  200. Phyllis Virginia Beach

    A civil right is when you have been unfairly treated because of the color of your skin. I do not want to be lumped together with any other cause out side of basic civil rights. If civil rights is for everyone to use an an EXCUSE to do whatever they want outside of a basic right. It is not civil rights. Say it like it is. You want freedom to express yourself and want society to except whatever life style you live outside of your basic needs. Please define racial inequalities with a termination other than CIVIL RIGHTS, I do not want to lumped together with everything jumping on the CIVIL RIGHTS band wagon. One of many African Americans who is still being discriminated against because of RACE and NOT lifestyle.

    January 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  201. Brian

    Independent simply means not Republican or Democrat. Why would you assume that independents (small i) share a single philosophy. You criticize independents for shifting wants and desires, but the reality is that independents are not part of a political party – no platform, no organization, no central dogma. I realize that is hard for a politically affiliated individual to understand, but it is unreasonable to lump all independent voters into a single group.

    An independent can only speak to his or her own wants and desires. Some independents are mad, some of them are uninvolved, some are just pragmatists. The reason there are so many of us is that the parties keep pushing to their ideological fringes. The candidate that is most moderate will generally get my vote.

    January 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  202. Linda Doncaster

    Political parties need to be eliminated. Those elected to office are loyal to their political parties agendas rather than to the people of the United States whom they should be serving first and foremost. Recognizing that their selected party helps pay for and support their campaign to attain office, this certainly would tie them to support the party line even further. We, the people of the United States, deserve to have prople running for office based on their independent desire to serve and to be of service to our country. Those who are willing to work for the best interests of our country and all citizens. NOT those sheep who follow what the party dictates. Funds need to be set up and local, state and federal government levels to provide equally for anyone wishning to run for any elected office. NO MORE should the person with with the largest amount of funds be able to take over an election. Elections need to be based on equal opportunity to show each individuals values, priorities and background so we the people know what they can bring to the office which they are seeking. The value of the Electoral College needs to be revisited. Does it truly serve to allow the voice of the people be heard. I am proud of being an independent and believe all those serving this country need to be independent of any obligations or influences whether it be party line or influence by lobbyists whose fingers in our government business also need to be eliminated. The time has come for us to truly become "one nation under God" rather than being divided by those who have other greedy, manipulative, and/or power hungry controlling values and agendas in their minds and hearts. I am a child of the Greatest Generation whose sacrifices saved our country and I am proud to be an independent in thought and heart.

    January 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  203. Diane G

    Pamela Epps and Diane Sidwell-Takayama have it correct. We are fooling ourselves thinking that any of these elected officials have our best interests in mind. It is a money game. And some comedian said it best when he stated that our "Elected officials should have to wear jackets displaying what corporations sponsor them. Just like race car drivers." I'm independant because I'm sick of both parties, doing nothing and blaming each other. We really need to clean house in the House and the Senate!!!

    January 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  204. Charlie Erickson

    The two party system has corrupted the Supreme Court also. Above all, they should be independent thinkers. So, like politicians, our Justices bend to the will of corporate America. Free speech had nothing to do with their decision. That was only a cover story. Corporate big bucks had everything to do with their decision.

    If the Justices were making decisions impartially, then why are most of their votes split exactly along party lines. With the extremely rare exception of an independent thinking Justice, They are all bought and paid for by corporate money, and they bow to their party's god.


    January 22, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
  205. Cheryl

    I am an African-American Female Independent Voter. As a Independent, I listen to Democrats and Republicans and then I make my decision. I want President Obama to form a committe to find out why did a business in a small or large city fail or went overseas. If we can find out why, then maybe we can get that business to start up again or negotiate to get that business to come back to the U.S. so that the american people can have jobs. Also, welfare needs to be reform again, I believe in public assistance, but I also believe there should be a plan to get off of public assistance. There should be mandatory workshops (varies subjets taught) for anyone who are receiving public assistance to attend at least once or twice a year. This is 2010 and there are still young women who are having four and five kids before reaching the age of 25. Additionally, the Foster Care system needs to be reformed. I want President Obama to focus on the real issues in America.

    January 23, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  206. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I admire the question proposed in this hearing by the independent but who benefits from these questions. How come independents do not have the same courage and braveness to confront question in issues like jobs and health care? The economy is hitting bottom and we have crisis in our hands. We need all the help we can get.

    January 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  207. Donald

    What this independent wants is an end to the wild swings from the far right under Bush and the Republicans to the far left under Obama and the Democrats. When ever either party has control of the Congress and the White House all Americans are in jepordy. The only solution is divided government. This forces the parties to practice government by concensus, which by definition is a moderate form of government.

    January 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  208. Ertdfg

    What they want is to be insulted anytime they turn away form liberal principles... which you're doing nicely. Keep up the insults and derision and you'll be sure to have their wholehearted support in the upcoming election.

    Oh, and by "you" I mean the Democratic Party... just in case you're trying to pretend to be non-partisan again this week.

    January 24, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  209. Cory

    Independent means having the flexibility to vote for whomever I choose, and not to be hamstrung by a single political ideology. Your use of the Salahi deposition as an example of an independent voter was a real stretch. We know who we are and we know what we believe, and we generally are appalled at either, or both political parties when they a) overreach, or b) ignore the will of the people. You obviously are not independent and need the Democrat's agenda to set your course. I would argue that we independents are more clear about what we believe than are loyalists to either party.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  210. J Chizek

    The big banks through Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake and Treasury Sec Paulson have worked the greatest fraud ever by selling taxpayers and continuing to sell taxpayers worthless paper of securitized debt!

    January 25, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  211. Steve Casey

    What jobs did it create?? All i hear is that it saved jobs. The stimulis is a waste of money, and when that runs out, then what!!?? Let the jobs cycle takes it's course.

    January 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  212. vivian

    Our country has so many problems and all we have seen this year is the republicans saying "this is your waterloo"...we will break you...and that put the democrats on the defense so what you have is two parties fighting.The poor and middle class in the country are suffering and nobody is standing up for them. Nothing gets done...not healthcare, not jobs...absolutely nothing. The voice of the working class is smothered in all of fighting.

    Independents dont care about political affiliations.
    They just want to see progress and results.

    Right now everything is at a standstill. Small businesses are not hiring because they want to see what they will have to pay for healthcare and what their taxes will be and that is not good.


    January 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  213. Milton Hopper

    Dear Tony-
    Thank you to CNN for this valuable reporting.
    I view the money spent as wasted.
    The jobs created lasting short term and millions spent to create them.
    The government could of given the money to the people and created more wealth than that.
    Why not take his "green jobs" with the wind and give a direct loan to the people so they could install such a system and pay back the Govt
    on monthly basis. We would be more reliable than the banks.Alot of Americans are like the Hatian people-We can't afford to purchase the product-and that would snowball!

    Manufacturing built this country-I would rather pay more and buy American anyway. Put high tariffs on the American jobs going out of the country-Then he would see the country and jobs rebound.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  214. tim

    i am a registered independent but i am realy a republican fiscal con social mod. Most of my friends are independents they vote mostly democrat. I am the only independent i know that voted for mccain. My independent friends that voted for obama are realy mad. They feel like they were lied to they feel tricked and they want to take this anger out on democrats in up comeing california elections. These are people who were 100% on team obama and they are running for the hills they wont defend obama and they will tell you straight up "ive always voted democrat i will no longer be vteing democrat". i dont know how obama and dems can over come that because they are not just upset the dems literaly have changed democrats into republicans and if they are this mad in california then the democrat party is toast and so is obama.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  215. Cordell

    The Stimulus has been good but can be even better. Use it to hire tutors for students who cannot afford tutors. Maintain the city parks, at least cut the weeds. Insist your city leaders use it.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  216. Walter Quinlan

    Independents want change. Neither party will deliver it.

    Limit representatives and senators to two (2) terms, just as the president. Congress is not a 'career path'. Get in. Get things done. Get out and make room for others with ideas. Run again later if you wish.

    This should hurt the lobbyists and get the people's work done. The current system sure is not performing for us.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  217. Doug Rodriguez

    Why the double standard? Major corporate banks receive huge sums of stimulus money, pay it back quickly to prevent taxpayers from profiting and use it to pay their worthless executives criminal-like bonuses they haven't earned. Yet the average consumer is criminalized for being unemployed or bankrupt, denied employment, insurance and virtually any opportunity to improve their situation. Credit bureaus are a joke! They are the height of hypocrisy. While credit bureaus are used to abuse the middle class those same credit bureaus are ignored when banks are threatened with the prospect of not meeting their obligations. We need to re-think how credit bureaus work. Credit scores are a scarlet letter that is used to black ball the American worker. Dismantle credit bureaus and examine the prospect of eliminating the IRS. These two changes will go a long way toward strengthening America. Lend to credit worthy Americans? What? Lend to those that don't need a loan. That makes sense. Most Americans aren't suffering credit ills because of their decisions. Corporations and other employers hire and they fire. They do not pay your bills when they lay you off and they don't provide insurance coverage. Oh yes, they don't protect your credit while you're out of work either. Stop the hypocrisy! Level the playing field and save the political promises.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  218. Donald K. Martin

    Only a Liberal would ask what an Independent Voter wants! The answer is simple – all you have to have done or do right now is any one of the following: 1) Listen to or read about the Tea Party people and what they want. 2) Same regarding the Town Hall people. 3) Same regarding the voters of Virginia who elected a Republican Governor. 4) Same regarding the voters of New Jersey who elected a Republican Governor. 5) Same regarding the voters of Massachusetts who elected a Republican Senator. If you have been deaf, dumb, and blind over the past year you can simply turn into Fox News and listen to any number of programs OR you can tune into Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck or any well know people on the radio and discover the answer to this question. The Revolution has started and will end with two major events. A Republican Congress in 2010 and a Republican President in 2012! Stop asking STUPID questions!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  219. Chris Corley

    I'm a Bernie Sanders Independent form '68. We're Indys. The folks you're talking about who left their relative parties as aprotest aren't independents because they are one way liberal or one way conservative.
    the test to see if you're an Independent is to ask if they are generally liberal on socail issues and conservative on immigration and national defense. They the y answer in the affirmative, they're genuine real McCoy Indys.
    If they're hardline wingnuts one way or the other, they're frauds.

    Willcox, AZ

    January 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  220. richard saalman

    Is President Obama going to stick to his guns on this issue, I watched the republicans on his left side and they didn't clap very much, are they feeling guilty what they have done in the LAST administration, no their not they want to run the country themselves, GOD knows what there stratigy will be, They want to kill all Obamas BILLS, WE THE PEOPLE need to stick to our guns, not just in health care and jobs in this country, we need to keep our bill of rights in tacked, If not this country will go to war, CIVIL WAR again rich againest the middle class and poor, you know who would win, it will be the RICH, because they will have the police and the military backing them, So we the people need to stick to our rights, and call your congressman about these problems NOW.

    January 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm |