Last night, I heard just a bit of Jay Leno's monologue (all about the Republicans and their primaries). It was funny, but it was also sad. What bugs me about politics right now is the extremism. I feel like we have very little choice -- and I've felt that way for the past few elections. It's always between bad and horrible, and what kind of choice is that??
I haven't voted for a major party candidate since I was in college. I'm not a fan of the extreme positions the candidates tend to take (or of the extreme methods they go to defend themselves and defame others). I don't like that I'm being asked to choose between someone who's fairly socialistic (in my view) about their approach and someone whose personal beliefs are more rigid than I'm comfortable with (in the sense that they've already spoken out against some things I think should be fundamental rights) -- what kind of choice is that??!
As I get older, it's true that I follow more closely out of concern for the type of world my kids will be living in as adults. I'm an Independent and have been since after my first election. I have friends who feel passionately about both major parties, and for the most part, I like to hear their feelings and positions. Often, they bring up things I hadn't considered before, and I want to be challenged and to see other points of view.
At heart, when it comes to pure politics and not the issues, I prefer a state-based government rather than a federal-based one. That's because I think that if the states decide the issues, then people who truly aren't happy with how their state chose can go somewhere else to find a way which suits them better. I like the idea that different ways of life are represented in different areas of the country -- and the ideal (ha!) that people can find what's right for them somewhere. Because I feel that way, putting all the power with the federal government definitely doesn't work for me. Colorado, as a whole, seems to feel pretty much like I do. When there were medical marajuana businesses being shut down by federal regulators, there was a huge outcry (and I think it worked -- or it might just be that the news stopped talking about it).
So yeah, I wish we had more options. But at least we have the option of research and questioning and deciding for ourselves -- and really, perhaps I'm selfish to want more!