After hearing about the 10,000th person brag that he or she is not a slave to either of the parties and that he or she is “independent”, I can’t help but offer a dime-store definition of the two prevalent political parties.
If you are generally pro-gun control, believe in equality of the races, LGBT rights and that government can help people, you can call yourself whatever you like, but your beliefs align with the left, which is represented by the Democrats. If you vote in favor of your personal interests, you vote for the Democrat.
If you are generally against gun-control, racist (or are constantly denying that you are) and anti-LGBT rights and believe that government is usually a bad thing, then, like it or not, your beliefs align with the right, which is represented by the Republicans. If you vote for your personal interests, you vote for the Republican.
Call yourself whatever you like. But the majority of voters (with some variations) come down on one side or another of the above descriptions. It is your beliefs that align you with one party or another, not whatever self-serving moniker you chose.
Those of us who call ourselves one or the other are not slaves to our political overlords who can’t think for ourselves. We’re just not phonies who feel the need to feebly distinguish ourselves by claiming to be something which has little, if any, real definition but sounds as if we arrived at our opinions through some loftier erudition than did everyone else.