Living Outside The Gated Communities of Thought

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Let me be upfront: I have voted since I was eligible & take my vote seriously. I thought carefully about what Party designation would be on my Registration Card & every thought always came back to one. I am a Non-Affiliated Voter who has never regretted my decision.

Valid arguments can be made about Primaries (though some states have opened up on such matters.) I understand this. It’s part of the deal.

Being Non-Affiliated gives me a unique perspective. I vote the Candidate, not the Party & can have a clearer vision on who these Candidates are. I have voted for the Democrat, I have voted for the Republican.

I vote for the best person to represent me & my beliefs. I like both Parties’ good points equally; I despise both Parties’ bad points equally. Having one Party dominant over another is anathema. We have to learn to work together because this is life, folks, & these are family members, neighbors. No one Party has all the answers.

One thing that amazes me is how the members of either Party can actively campaign for/defend their Parties and yet be insulting, condescending or dismissive towards potential voters (& their valuable votes.) Isn’t the whole point to win?

Since I’ll never be a Party Leader or Candidate this fact eludes me, yet I see it daily in many forums & circumstances. Ahhh …. why would I want to vote for Candidate X if her/his supporters are arrogant a-holes who know oh-so-much-better than me & revel in telling me this? Last I knew A + B = See, if you want my Vote, Respect Me. We don’t have to be buddies, just allies in the fight.

2018 is almost here. A bigly important election. The Republicans are cannibalizing themselves & the Democratic Leadership is stuck in the ’90s.

One thing to remember is that low voter turnouts favor incumbents. Which makes me & my fellow Non-Affiliateds really important. Treat us nice. Treat us with respect. Our numbers are growing. Dear Democrats & Republicans … you need us to win.

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62 thoughts on “Living Outside The Gated Communities of Thought”

  1. sjwny, I bet our trail friend solar would be so proud of you for that thread post. have a feeling that there are many lurkers on the trail who agree with you…. probably why they’re here and not following other blogs, most of the time trail mixers are respectful of others (even to silly others like yours truly…. well, sometimes not) and willing to let them have their say and consider opposing points of view.

  2. patd,

    What is most disturbing to me is that the worst offenders have been from self-identified Democrats, whom you think would want to expand their so called Big Tent. During the Spring of 2016 I watched several otherwise intelligent friends devolve into the I’m with Her/Feel the Bern nonsense. My thought as I read this stuff was “Cause of death: self-inflicted wounds.” 2016 was the Dems’ Guide For Dummies Being Dummies.

    Will give the Republicans props in that at least they make the effort to identify, cultivate potential voters before they use & abuse them. You’re more likely to go where you feel welcome & vote likewise.

    Telling that in 2016 Hispanics were registering more as Non-affiliated than as Democrats. Live & Learn. Or not.


  3. Holy casting couch…more shock at women being exploited (and making less doing so).    Meanwhile, the pg is in the WH.   Since news is entertainment?  This story appears important, but it has been going on since the beginning of time.  Not changed since my lifetime, just hidden a bit better.

    Nice post, sj.  I was an independent, non-affiliate for my entire life until this year.   Although it used to be a bit easier to vote for a decent republican, in national elections?   I always went for the dem.   I am one of the old fashioned humans, I want to vote for someone who has a chance of winning.  Not a protest vote.  I became a dem this year as they need help.   The repugs have brought the ugly to the table.   The worst of humanity to the most public office.  Dems have never handled a sex scandal very well…not like the repugs.  Look at the late Senator from NM.   He had an out-of-marriage affair with a young daughter of another Senator and covered it up for years.  His offspring?  Adam Laxalt, AG of Nevada as seen last week after the LV shooting.   No price paid, no moral equivalency.   Laxalt is a rising republican star and he has political blood cursing through his veins, no matter the sordid beginning.    If Bill Clinton had done the same thing and covered it up??   The morality compass explodes!

  4. Came in as a democrat and will go out the same….
    Have yet to see any reason to go any other way,
    The issues I care about, civil rights, SS, abortion, voting rights, Medicare, healthcare, any progress ever made on these issues has been made by democrats, against stiff and unrelenting opposition from the GOP who will lie cheat and steal to prevent any progress on these fronts.
    Independents? Sure, why not……but they’re not much help in the trenches…….

  5. Like it or have reservations…’s still a two party system, and has ever been thus……and given the way humans go, it’s likely to remain so.

  6. I heard an item on the local tv news last night that millennials need more information on local candidates and that is ‘why’ they do not vote.  I was surprised that in the ubiquitous digital world the information at hand at any moment for any candidate is available online, all of the time.  Instead these younger citizens need to be told and shown who to vote for — it is ‘why’ we have the pg in the WH.  I watched parscale on 60 minutes and he cleaned-up for the segment, but he let loose a lot of info.  He has already been interviewed by a congressional committee.  Scary humans have taken over the digital political brain with help from the ruskies who are world class disinformation machine, fake news, faux news and crazy radio experts.   The use every outlet and conduit.  So, why at a local level are we not voting?  I thank BB for pointing-out that local candidates are not allowed to show party affiliation.  In my area?  The only party affiliation on a ballot is for Independents.   Forums are held, many candidates come door-to-door, go to campus events, Farmer’s Markets, etc.  Yet, young humans want the info digitally handed to them.  There is no alliance to party at the local level as in the national elections.  People know more about pg than their own mayor.  A disconnect, for sure.

  7. Currently, the airwaves are filled with tales of sexual abuse from powerful humans.   Eyes off of trump.  Predatory sexual abuse is a systemic problem in the USA and males suffer the same abuse, chattel mishandling, man hands everywhere abuse as women or worse, children.   Institutional abuse of male athletes as in sandusky-penn state or by a coach like hassert are too frequent.   repugs survive this stuff and look to the very catholic santorum, he gave sandusky the congressional angel award.  Yes, that same catholic church with the priest’s celibacy problem and decades of pedophilia and sex with parishioners.   It is so ingrained in the moral repug way it is jaw-dropping.    Yet, the repugs worry where people pee requiring a birth certificate, yet they don’t care if the pee runs into the local water supply or that the pee runs past a guy raping a young human.   Just the repug way.

  8. I’ve been a registered Democrat since 1965 but have voted Republican or unaffiliated on local or state issues where I thought that was the better choice.  As things now unless the GOP manages to dredge up some semblance of soul to banish Trump, they will not only never see another vote from me but have acquired a very angry, loudmouthed enemy.  He was obviously horrendously bad for the country in 2016 but the anti-Hillary memes raised their ugly heads and got splashed all over Super Market checkout stands, twitter, and cable TV as truth and swallowed whole by the third party deluded.

    Yesterday it started to happen again on Twitter with some of the biggest sinners being CNN with Chris Cillizza and Erin Burnett plus hourly Weinstein news updates demanding Hillary say something rather than asking the men involved.  Fortunately, this stirred up a fight I don’t think they expected of the “won’t stand for this again” type and she hasn’t been named from official folks today.

    So I guess the message has to be not to listen to those feeding these duplicative messages from suspect sources as if they were news and then go in and fight for the causes important to you.   Oh and NEVER EVER VOTE GOP until such time as the door has slammed Trump in the ass on his way out.


  9. bw, perhaps media seeing the excitement over the weinstein scandal will revisit the accusations against trump.  it was almost a year ago this was in the nytimes:
    By Thursday night, at least six women had publicly accused Mr. Trump of groping and forcibly kissing them over the decades, a pattern of sexual assault that he denied in the presidential debate on Sunday after bragging about such behavior in a 2005 recording that was unearthed last week.
    Mr. Trump dismissed all the allegations on Thursday and even lashed out at one of the women, a former writer for People magazine, seemingly implying that she was not attractive enough for him.
    seems about time the twit’s predator past catches up with him.  trouble is there were too many settlements made with his victims. they had to sign nondisclosure, keep quiet or lose the money.  sure wish the stories on the underage parties  hosted by his buddy which he attended would be spotlighted…. can’t see how a victimized minor waiving her rights would hold up in any court.

  10. With artificial stupidity running through the national, digital highway?   Maybe binary is the only way to go for voting.  Select one of two as we can’t handle more multiple choices…it complicates the arithmetic and algorithmic.

  11. patd, the pg looks awful these days, his right eye slit is narrowing.   And yes, we have pg in the WH with a suing wife.  Pure tabloid and not the potus/flotus combo we had envisioned when we headed into 2016.

  12. remember this huffpo piece by ryan grimm  nov 4 last year?

    If you’ve been anywhere near Facebook or Twitter in the past several months, you’re probably aware that there is a case working its way through the courts that accuses Donald Trump of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1994.


    On Wednesday, the woman, who remains anonymous, was slated to appear at a press conference with her new attorney, Lisa Bloom, the daughter of Gloria Allred. Bloom wrote a column about the case in The Huffington Post last summer.

    For months, people have wondered why this case isn’t getting more ― or, really, any ― attention in the press, even now that Trump faces an actual court date: a Dec. 16 status conference with the judge.  

    The allegations aren’t entirely implausible on their face. The accuser says Trump raped her repeatedly at parties thrown by since-convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was widely known to throw wild parties with young women and girls. Epstein was convicted in 2008 of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution and served a small portion of an 18-year sentence.


    In a New York magazine profile of Epstein before he went to prison, and long before Trump ran for president, Trump acknowledged that he knows Epstein. “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,’’ Trump says in the story. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it ― Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”


    The lawsuit against Trump includes affidavits from two anonymous women who say they were witnesses. Yet there’s been little coverage of the case. As one of the media outlets that has not published much about it, I can say there are two main reasons we shied away.


    If you’re still struggling to understand why the story didn’t get more coverage, imagine for a moment that you’re a reporter thinking about spending weeks looking into it. Then go read the Daily Beast article. Still ready to go down that rabbit hole?

    But as the reality of the court date increasingly dawns on the press, coupled with Trump’s own admission that he sexually assaults women, the case is getting harder to ignore. Baer said that two media outlets have recently done interviews with Johnson, and stories could pop at any minute.  

    Erik Wemple, a media reporter at The Washington Post, said he hasn’t talked to many journalists about their decision to shy away from the story. “I can’t cover everything,” he said. “Around the spring, the Washington Post was getting hammered for assigning two dozen reporters to investigate Trump. I wrote a piece wondering whether that was anywhere near enough. It wasn’t, as it turns out.”

    In some ways, given the role of Facebook in disseminating news, it matters less this cycle than any other previous one that the media have largely ignored the case. Open platforms, too, have helped the story circulate. The story that Bloom published on HuffPost’s contributor platform has been shared on Facebook 140,000 times. The piece has been viewed 5,221,475 times since June.

    With Bloom’s planned press conference on Wednesday, things might have changed. 

    But Johnson’s appearance was canceled at the last minute because Bloom said her client had received threats and was afraid of appearing in public.

    On Friday evening, Bloom announced that her client had instructed her to dismiss the lawsuit.


  13. but hey, msm, we understand your dilemma. the above just can’t compete with salacious telling and retelling of glitzy starlets and glamorous movie idols….  even though he is the prez, old boring news, huh fellows?

  14. sj…. IMO, this is a passive aggressive swipe at KGC.  Although I would have worded her posts from yesterday differently…  I agree with her premise.  To me, she wasn’t writing about thoughtful independents such as yourself.  She was talking about people who continue to support Trump still to this day even though there is ample evidence that he is courting the most despicable fringes on the right.  I don’t bother to talk politics to such people here either…  it’s a waste of time.  I do talk to thoughtful Republicans though.  I do try to find common ground with them.


  15. Jace posted an article yesterday and said no one cared about poor old people who have to work and that the Dems didn’t care.   In the article it turns out the main complaint is that social security hasn’t kept up with the cost of living.  Yet a number of these poor old people voted for goopers who not only don’t want cost of living raises they want to end social security.  REPUBLICANS  not Democrats who have stood for COS increases.

    The fires here are uncontained and the winds are expected to pick up today and no rain until next week. Because of the huge number of fires in the state resouces are thin

    In any election at the beginning of the campaign you figure how many votes you need to win and where they are coming from   you do not seek the world of voters.

    Vote for whomever you want but those are the problems that create poor policies…

    I have never voted for a Republican I have voted for Greens although I have come to regret that

  16. bannon is probably behind the current hollywood scandal reveal to embarrass dems and liberals.   same with the nfl kerfuffle as owners penalize the players whose first amendment rights are being sidelined.  Just like the hollywood actor, behave, keep your mouth shut or no job.    bannon says we should all take a knee for trump in a hilarious strange campaign.   Eyes off of the pg who wants an existential number of nukes to show a third rate juvenile leader with a better language comprehension than himself who is the tougher, crazier…too bad the norks hacked into the trumpence junta’s secret plan.

  17. I keep reading here that dem personalities and campaigns are rude.   No manners.   Not the party, but singular candidates or campaign staff.  Yet, the entire party of repugs is rude in their being by repressively pulling rights and letting hundreds die by turning a blind eye to climate change or tightening-up ammo and gun laws.   How rude is that?  Just curious why dems are so rude, yet so open to treating humans so much better than the repugs?  A quandary, for sure.

  18. I just received a message telling me to slow down and not comment so fast from the WP AI…okay time to leave the trail to light another candle on the Mueller altar.

  19. I have been a Democrat since I was a teen dem for Kennedy.  I am at least a pink diaper baby if not an actual red diaper baby.  I worked for Gene McCarthy and went to a congressional campaign in Ohio.   I worked for Frank Church in the primaries.  I have never felt like I was compromised in my choices because I only had Dems in my sight.   I went on to be a lobbyist for the cable tv industry and the people most likely to be bought were always Republicans. Except in Phila.
    I find Independents annoying they tend to be contrarians who don’t have clue as to how government works

  20. BW

    I think Democrats may be better with humanity as a group with a huge ability to understand nuance.  This sometimes interferes with people as individuals when in the middle of asking what is best for a group.

    GOP being so black/white judgmental can accept or reject individuals according to their willingness to march lock step in agreement, but have a major problems with caring about humanity as a whole.


  21. stinky zinke is the epitome of the repug party under trump

    On brietbart, so right it is becoming left, the big lie —
    Interior Secretary Zinke Vows to Stand Up to Leftist Activists, Preserve All National Monuments on Federal Land
    …meanwhile stinky zinke is ripping our monuments from the NM citizens and he talks big about confederate monuments as if native Americans want them for historical value.  Hypocrisy award of the day.

  22. Did he get his teeth fixed or is being dentally challenged part of his charm

    I have tried and tried to think of a vote where a gooper would have been a better choice. I can’t think of one

  23. Jamie, your discussion on dems  do groups better than individuals reminds me of the saying “I love mankind, it’s people I hate”


    as to demonizing with extra large broad brush and even tho ignorance is no excuse, cut some of those trump supporters slack cause they might not know what’s going on.  it is possible that there are kindly folks out there who don’t listen to or read about the news.  it’s possible they love their family, believe in equality, never hurt anyone, do good deeds, volunteer in disasters, never kick their dog, never steal or lie etc but vote  based only on how a candidate looks in the passing billboard picture and support the prez just because he is the prez.

  24. Pogo and KGC,

    My post from yesterday was probably poorly worded. I would agree that Dems. Generally offer something demonstrably better than anything that comes from republicans.

    That being said, if you are feeling forgotten, left out, or left behind, grasping at straws can often be a natural reaction.

    Nobody and I do mean nobody has been more effective in getting people to vote against their own interests than republicans, even though they offer mostly straws in terms of policy.

    What is concerning to me is that democrats have not been able to come up with a message that speaks to these people. This failure as much as anything may account for the rise of Trump and the dominance of what is statistically a minority party.

  25. Any Word from SFB about the California fires? I haven’t heard anything. And these aren’t brown people.

  26. Jace I hear ya. I had a best friend, and colleague who I  used to argue with in our political science classes that the two-party system was not an integral part of the US political system. It took me about 30 years after college to come to his point of view that the two-party system is indeed the system we live in. Given that as the backdrop for our political system, I can’t vote for a third-party when I know that the third-party is drawing votes from the party of the 2 that I would prefer to win. And that’s all I’ve got say about that.

  27. why would I want to vote for Candidate X if her/his supporters are arrogant a-holes who know oh-so-much-better than me & revel in telling me this? – Ms NY

    First, I take this personally. Second, my arrogant a-holes are better that their arrogant a-holes by a mile and 3/8 plus a rod and a firkin.

  28. I supported Gene McCarthy for president even when I was a puguglican. In the general election I held my nose and pulled the lever for Humphrey. Anderson was tempting, but I felt the same way about nixon that Ike did.

  29. Clean for Gene

    We were briefly evacuated this afternoon.  It is very tiring

  30. Just got home.

    RebelliousRenee, this isn’t a diss against the one & only Ms Graham Cracker, whom I think the world of. Wrote & submitted this Post before any interaction yesterday  🙂

    Actually is more about the frustration of the two most powerful political Parties not living up to their potential & getting bogged down in the pettiness of everyday life, advancing people through nepotism & not hard work & talent, turning a blind eye towards fellow citizens they feel “superior” to, not getting that these are voters they need. This is a bipartisan diss. Which Party will wise up first? Your guess is as good as mine.



  31. Hoping all our California friends are safe. It’s been rainy here, record breaking amounts. Would send some to the West Coast if I could.


  32. Rain dance everyone


    Thanks for the damp wishes


    Boy Howdy me too.

    Mr.Cracker built this house by hand and he would be destroyed

  33. KGC

    stay safe.

    As a person who has worked with my hands all my life I understand Mr Crackers dilemma but in the end it is just a house. Life is so much more. Hoping for the best but stay safe.



  34. Ms Cracker,

    Best wishes to you and Mr Cracker. I’ll nag G!D on your behalf. I hope I’m persuasive.

  35. 2 WH insiders claim the cabineteers are talking 25th. Bad, unless pence can be easily impeached and removed in ’19.

  36. Back to the topic,  Numbers show there is no such thing as an Independent. In reality most folks line up as either a Democrat or a Republican. So insulting an independent is risk free.

    I haven’t vote for a Republican on the national level in years. I’m not ruling it out ( a choice between Sanders and Romney???  I could vote Republican, I dislike Bernie that much)

    For me the Berniecrats and Republican libertarians are much the same, clueless imo

    But the last election, no brainer.

    In Missouri you don’t have to register by party, I just go in and vote  the party I’m interested in for the primary. Given that we tend to live in one party enclaves and local elections  effect me way more than national ones. Here I vote  Democrat, in the country it was Republican. To vote with the minority party in such a situation is to throw your vote away on a bunch of clowns and losers.



  37. BTW, in regard to Trump supporters, I’m kinda with KGC, not as vocal but in private Mrs Jack and I just shake our heads. To Support Trump, imo,  is to support racism.

    If you don’t like it than quit doing it.

    It is a moral problem that Trump followers  have. Don’t cut them any slack, they made the choice they need to know our opinion.


  38. Mr.Cracker built this house by hand and he would be destroyed

    kgc, oh how I empathize with mr cracker. so sincerely hope that you, he, your doggies and the hand built house are okay.

    never could quite  understand how Tibetan monks can spend days constructing grain by grain beautiful works of art, mandelas, and then destroy them with no remorse.  no matter whether a humble thatched hut or a magnificent taj mahal, it’s art to the one who lovingly built it. and art transports the spirit.

    however, there is a kind of comfort and something to be said for the wisdom behind such ritual: “it’s the journey, not the destination”

  39. vanity fair:
    “I Hate Everyone in the White House!”: Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear the President Is “Unraveling”
    In recent days, I’ve spoken with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president that seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.

    Even before Corker’s remarks, some West Wing advisers were worried that Trump’s behavior could cause the Cabinet to take extraordinary Constitutional measures to remove him from office. Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term.

  40. Welcome home Craig and the Cracker family and dogs.    KGC, we are starting to get smoke in this area from the Anaheim fire.   Jack, ryan knows what is coming.  Good morning, patd.

    trump and repug congress have killed health care for children….the continuation of the death knell of Obamacare today as PG kneecaps health care.

    Eventually all health care premiums will be due in bitcoin.

  41. Photos of smoke in Cali-fires.    Fire shares it toxic brew as 2017 climate change wrecks havoc causing another  climatic catastrophe-du-jour.   Fire and water in all the wrong places.   This is just huge, believe me.

    Damn you putie!  His ‘putocracy for all Americans’ is working…digitally wrecking democracy.  The norks may send a peroxide bomb to the US to trump’s head, his color needs attending!   Things are way awry and bannon teases us with hope knowing that the pg will most likely get elected again.   So many wanting to rid us of the disaster in the WH.

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