NBC News has called him “the most interesting man in politics this November.”
Newly released polls show Greg Orman (I) leading long-time Kansas Senator Pat Roberts (R) by seven points, a few weeks before Election Day. Roberts, who survived a scathing Republican primary against a Tea party candidate, initially seemed surprised by the surge of support for the little known businessman, who has previously identified as both Republican and Democrat. Orman’s website indicates a mish-mash of policy positions, ranging from supporting background checks at gun shows to term limits to adoption of a territorial tax system. He seems most passionate about campaign finance reform.
On running for the U.S. Senate as an independent, Orman said, “I didn’t feel like either party fit me well as someone who is fiscally responsible and socially tolerant.” Likewise, younger voters are choosing not to identify with a political party, with nearly 50% of Millennials describing themselves as independents (though they tend to vote Democratic).
If this trend holds, both as millennials age and with the next generation (as yet unnamed), then America’s troubled two party system could very well begin to unravel over the couple of decades. For me personally, I’m sick of economic ignorance on the left and social intolerance on the right. Both seem perpetuated by rigid, “all or nothing” party line ideology where defectors are “punished” in the next election cycle (as opposed to issue by issue coalitions). Maybe a rise of the independents will get America to where we can move past partisan, lockstep gridlock and toward issue based solutions.