A recent poll of Americans, reported on the PBS News Hour, revealed that 38% of us identify ourselves as being politically independent; some 32% expressed an affiliation with the Democratic Party while only 24% claimed to be Republicans. I suppose the other 6% are simply apathetic.
In light of ongoing stagnation within the U.S. Congress, it is no wonder that more Americans prefer to be identified as an Independent than to be associated with one of our traditional political parties. But one can hope that this move toward independence also reflects a broader degree of human enlightenment. While our species has a long history of tribalism, first adopted for self defense and later usurped to achieve and maintain power, this trait continues to be a source of discrimination, divisiveness and intolerance. In the spirit of John Lennon's immortal song, imagine a world without countries or religions.
Oppression, after all, has many faces. Its enforcement is not limited to dictators; rather, our freedom is often curtailed by the power of organized religions and entrenched political parties. The rise of independence will, over time, shatter their grip on the soul of humanity.