I've always been a registered Independent. I never felt like I could stand the stink of belonging to any political party, with all their hypocrisy and corruption. Though I always found myself voting Democrat, I was very happy to not be a member of their party. Whenever a scandal might erupt, a debauched Congressman, a corrupt local legislator, a thieving elected official, I was always relieved and felt that I could avoid the stench that wafted off the offending hypocrite. I was not a Democrat. I was an Independent.
Nowadays, with Congress hopelessly locked in dysfunction, it's been quite easy to maintain my Independent status. I'd certainly continue to vote Democrat, but continue to revel in my Independence.
Tonight, however, I find myself moved in a way I don't ever think I've experienced before. As I write this, the U.S. House of Representatives is occupied by the Democrats of that body, along with Democratic Senators, to protest the Republican majority's intransigence in not bringing to a vote common sense gun legislation. In the wake of the Orlando massacre, the Democrats are actually putting themselves on the line, demanding that they at the least, get to vote on a gun bill.
They are breaking the rules of order and bringing much needed attention to the Republican majority that, in the pockets of the NRA and gun manufacturers, refuses to govern, refuses to legislate, and refuses to represent the best interests of the American people.
I believe that the House Democrats efforts, while inspiring and noble, are likely to go down in defeat. But that may just be a lost battle in a war that may yet be won. Just getting a vote won't insure passage, with the Democrats in the minority, and the chances of getting a bill through the Senate are hopelessly dim. For now.
With Donald Trump dragging the Republicans down, and the events unfolding now at the House of Representatives, the country may actually be on the cusp of an era where progressive governance finally has a chance to succeed after decades in the backwaters of Republican obstruction and slavish obeisance to the one-percenters.
The sit-in at the House of Representatives is a political battle for morality in government. It's a battle I'm proud to join and support. When I vote for Hillary Clinton this November, I will be voting as I never have before.
I will be a registered Democrat.