THE BLOG

Why Every Senior Citizen Should Be an Independent Voter

06/06/2012 12:20 pm ET | Updated Aug 06, 2012
  • Bill Hillsman Founder, Independent Voters of America, Chief Creative Officer, North Woods Advertising

When you've been around the block a few times, you look at politics with a very jaundiced eye. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Try to fool me every couple of years, and... well, that's a pretty good description of American politics.

So when it comes to elections, most senior citizens are not just older, they're wiser. They've seen all the tricks, they've been lied to for most of their adult lives, and all that makes you wonder:

Why do senior citizens, more than any other age group, turn out to vote in percentages far exceeding any other age group?

A truly large number of voters under the age of 45 have no particular attachment to either of our two major political parties. In fact, most voters under the age of 40 or 45 self-identify as independent voters. And these are the voters who are deciding most of our close elections.

But just imagine, imagine the sheer power senior voters would have if they decided to become independent voters. They would decide every election.

Both Democrats and Republicans know they have to capture senior voters. But neither party believes, once they're captured, that senior voters are going to change their votes. And that's not good for seniors.

Think about it. If you're a senior citizen, how do the two parties talk to you? It's never in terms of making things better; it's always in terms of how much worse things will be if those other guys get elected. They play into your fears, not into what might make a better America for your grandchildren and their grandchildren.

If you're a senior citizen and a Democrat, the Democrats keep you in line by telling you how bad life will be when the Republicans cut your Social Security and your Medicare. If you're a senior citizen Republican, the Republicans keep you in line by talking about lower taxes on your fixed income, divisive social issues, and by promising a return to the America of your youth (an America none of us will ever see again).

Senior citizens need to be independent voters. They have an accumulated wisdom about our politics that the rest of us don't. They should make the two parties come to them and earn their vote, with better ideas and better results. In doing so, independent senior citizen voters can show us all the way to a better America. If you're a senior citizen, join us at Independent Voters of America today.