In a land of Pepsi versus Coke, Mac versus PC, FedEx versus UPS, the powers that be are constantly trying to force us to make a choice that defines us as individuals. Thanks to the grand world of advertising that is interminably thrust upon us, when I decide that the blue can is going to better quench my thirst than the red can, I’m not buying a product; I’m being sold a lifestyle choice.
The same principles apply to our political system. When I check a box on my voter registration form, am I really aligning myself with a core set of ideals specific to one party or another? Does publicly declaring myself a Republican mean I prioritize life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness more than if I were to put a mark next to Democrat?
We all essentially want the same thing from the political machine: a nation that fosters a safe environment to allow us the freedom to live our lives as we see fit. Of course, we have very different thoughts about how we might achieve that, and it is the blending of those ideas that makes this nation great.
The only advantage to registering with a specific political party is so that I can vote in the Republican primary (the Democratic party maintains open primaries). Clearly, this is no longer an issue for this particular election, and as such, I am registered as a decline-to-state voter. I will not allow the values associated with each party to define me or to affect my opinion about an individual. There are certain stereotypes associated with declaring oneself a Republican or a Democrat, but to subscribe to those beliefs defeats the purpose of our government. America prides itself on freedom; as a decline-to-state voter, I am liberating myself from the confines of those stereotypes.