Friday, June 30, 2006

What Is An "Independent" In Texas ?

I have seen some blogs recently making the claim that Kinky Friedman is not an Independent, so I started to think on the question of just what is an Independent. Many people think that saying you're an Independent is like saying you are a moderate politically, but this cannot be true. Just look at the last few presidential elections. Both Ralph Nader and Ross Perot were Independents, and yet their political views are certainly not those of moderates. Nader was a left-wing candidate and Perot was a right wing candidate and both were able to run as an Independent. Obviously, saying you are an Independent tells voters nothing about your political views.

So, what is an Independent? I went to for an answer. After throwing out the definitions that have nothing to do with politics, we are left with the definition of an Independent as "a voter, officeholder, or political candidate who is not committed to a political party." Here in Texas, the way you declare your party membership is by voting in that party's primary. If you did not vote in a party's primary and you do not claim any party membership, then you are an Independent. It is as simple as that.

Kinky certainly did not vote in a party primary this year, and he has made it clear with his statements that he is not a member of any political party. By definition, this makes Kinky an Independent. It does not tell you what his politics are. It simply defines him as an Independent.

By stating that Kinky is not an Independent, people are inferring that he is a Republican or Democrat. Saying this on a left-wing site infers that he is a Republican. Saying it on a right-wing site would infer that he is a Democrat. If you want to discuss Kinky's politics, then do so. I believe a lively discussion could be had about where Kinky lands on the political scale. I personally don't think you can fit Kinky comfortably into either the conservative or liberal mold. You may have a different view. But one thing is sure, Kinky is an Independent.

1 comment:

  1. You ask, "What Is An 'Independent' In Texas?"

    An "Independent" may be tough to define in other states, but in Texas it's easy.

    In Texas, an "Independent" is a Republican who has lost faith in a governor who passed the biggest tax increase in Texas history and applied it against small job-generating businesses.

    Strayhorn is a Republican who is running as an Independent because Perry has an unbreakable grip on the pro-status-quo structure of the GOP. Likewise, Kinky is a Republican who might have had a chance in a three way race, but who should step aside for the real "Independent," Strayhorn, who has a chance of winning the election.

    P.S. By your definition of an "Indepedent," Dick Cheney qualified as an Independent for almost the whole time he lived in Texas!

    P.P.S. I do not mind discussing Kinky's politics.

    Kinky's position on abortion is squishy. Basically, he's "pro-choice" like Kay Bailey Hutchison is "pro-choice" which means that he says he's pro-choice but he refuses to take a firm pro-choice or pro-life position on parental notification, partial-birth abortion, informed consent, etc.

    Kinky's position on immigration is sensible (I'll give him credit, there). He's got a tougher policy against Mexicans than Perry.

    Kinky's position on the death penalty is hilarious! He's "not anti-death penalty" but he's "anti-killing-the-wrong guy" (Kinky's website actually says that!). I'd have a lot more respect for this view if I knew which of the other candidates had staked out the position in favor of killing the wrong guy.

    Kinky has supported the Iraq war (although he has cut and run on giving those interviews where he offered his strongest support for the war as soon as the public opinion polls turned sour on the war -- so much for his "I'm not a politician" schtick).

    Kinky has supported the President (and, again to his credit, he has not backed away from that even though the President's poll numbers are not as rubust as they once were).

    Kinky sees the advantage of privatizing segments of the public school system, but he offers little concrete discussion of the issue.

    Kinky comes out pretty darned Republican on the issues of allowing prayer and the Ten Commandments back into the public schools.

    What about this agenda makes you think Kinky's anything other than a Kay Bailey Hutchison style Republican-Lite?

    Look -- you have made the important leap of logic that Bell cannot win (and from the tone of your blog, I take it that you have further realized that Bell shouldn't win either). Come vote for a REAL Independent who has a REAL chance of winning. Come over to Strayhorn.


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