I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but grew up mostly in suburban Sacramento. My parents were always active voters and made me read the voter guide from a very young age. I always took it seriously as I knew the issues we voted on were important. The mantra in our house was "If you don't vote, you can't complain."
I have been an independent voter all of my life. I have never fully adopted the Democratic or Republican party ideologies. It seems both parties are "one-liners" when it comes to politics: either "more taxes" or "less taxes", with varying themes on that central ideology. This two-dimensional ideology always left me dissatisfied, and with very few viable alternatives, was left with picking the "lesser of two evils" in elections most of the time. I have long since found their political ideologies and rhetoric outdated, narrow-minded and even hypocritical.
I have always personally leaned fiscally right and socially left. I am convinced that this is a plausible stance, and that a majority of Americans move through the socio-economic ladder gradually and that there is no one particular date on which people believe social services are good one day and bad the next. I have benefited from many social programs, and I don't believe we should "cut them off" after we have benefited from them.
I am anti-hypocrisy, pro-environment, pro-social tolerance, pro-economic opportunity and empowerment and essentially anything that empowers the people and takes it away from self-entitled elites who sit like "Fat-Cats" in Congress and the White House and feel they run this country, when they should really be SERVING this country.
It is time to marginalize the extremists on both sides of the aisle. The current state of politics in this country has become derailed, and it's up to the middle 40% to restore common sense.
It is time for a new political party in the United States, an independent, centrist, common sense party that is not beholden to extremist interests or powers. Party politics has entrenched both sides to the extremes such that it renders our government completely dysfunctional. It's a new age, a new time, and we need new answers that cannot be given by the Right or the Left.