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Undeclared voters: speak up and raise some hell

All good things, and even some things not so good, come in moderation.

Take, for example, politics.

While it may seem like the country is split definitively between Democrats and Republicans, the truth is that many people do not affiliate with any political party.

According to the New Jersey office of the Attorney General, for the past eight elections, decidedly more undeclared voters have been registered to vote than Republicans or Democrats. The number of registered, but undeclared, voters in New Jersey has been well over 50 percent for the past eight years.

In contrast, the number of registered Democrats has been around 25 percent and the number of registered Republicans has hovered just under 20 percent.

There is a terrible rumor seeping into the ideology of this country, a rumor that threatens the very principles of democracy.

According to this rumor, that 50-plus percent majority does not exist, cannot exist, do not go to the polls, do not have a voice.

This is simply not true.

The numbers listed above are stark opposition to this idea that only people on the political extremes care enough to cast a ballot.

The recent gubernatorial election epitomized this. While the loudest voices were from the far right and left, the majority of voters, those in the middle, were left wondering if they should even bother voting at all.

I remember a conversation I had with my mother only a few days before the election. I pointed out that both Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester were “corrupt bastards.”

She agreed but added, “(The fine people of New Jersey) could vote for an independent or something. There are a lot of undeclared voters.”

This idea of somewhat political beliefs beyond party lines applies in the U.S. Senate as well, believe it or not.

A few months ago, President Bush nominated several judges.

Of course, there was some bickering among Democrats and Republicans in the Senate concerning the nominations.

The Democrats threatened to filibuster to delay legislation in order to stop the judges from being nominated.

The Republicans, in retaliation, threatened to use a “nuclear option,” which means t hey would change the rules so that nobody could filibuster judicial nominees anymore.

Fourteen senators, seven Democrats and seven Republicans, came together during the tension and made a deal that prevented the “nuclear option” and allowed some of Bush’s nominees to become judges.

These senators have become known as the “gang of 14,” a group of 14 “centrist” senators.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a member of the “gang of 14,” recently appeared on Larry King Live.

During the interview, a caller asked, “Senator McCain, . there are many, many people in the United States that are not extreme Republicans or extreme Democrats, and we are not being . represented. What should we do?”

The caller expressed a valid concern. While people like this caller and over 50 percent of registered voters in New Jersey are in the majority, it often seems like they are outnumbered, or, rather, out-screamed.

McCain’s advice was blunt.

“Get active, get involved,” he said.

“Centrists,” “moderates,” and “undeclared voters” can be just as active and loud as those on the political extremes.

Just because your opinion is not far to the left or right, does not mean that you do not have an opinion.

Undeclared voters, your vocal cords are just as good as the Republicans’ and Democrats’ are; McCain was right.

The reason those in the political center are ignored is because we don’t speak up.

The gubernatorial election is over, but the midterm election is right around the corner. Republicans and Democrats are already beginning to prepare.

There is no reason why undeclared voters should not prepare as well. Demand candidates who appeal to the middle, rather than the extremes.

Stand up for the morals and ideas you value. Join the debate. Shake your fist at the political world. Moon the Senate. Do something. You are the majority.

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