"Partisanship and ideology" are the enemies of "true representation in Washington," according to Lou Dobbs, who apparently sees himself as the last objective man standing. David Brooks laments that independents (increasing in number) are underrepresented politically and in the media, which offers relatively few commentators who "come from an independent perspective" (he doesn't cite Dobbs as one of them). Media outlets addressing liberals or conservatives simply "deliver streams of prejudice-affirming stories," Brooks notes, implying that independents are the last objective people standing.
A calm, rightward leaning centrist like David Brooks has relatively little in common with the demagogic, birther sympathizing Lou Dobbs, but they do share a popular tendency to romanticize independents. Celebrating his own imagined independence from ideology, Dobbs promises that his next act will entail "constructive problem solving," characterized by the "rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis" that partisanship has allegedly banished from the public square. What do independents want from such eminently reasonable policymaking? According to Brooks they want "a frame of stability and order, within which they can lead their lives," as if people infected by ideologies (in other words, ideals) crave chaos.
But if independents value systematic order and stability, they have an odd way of forging it: their behavior contributes to disorder and instability. Independents are, predictably, the most labile of voters (with no apparent irony, Brooks describes them as "astonishingly volatile"). Unmoored by party allegiances, "their political thinking is likely to be chaotic," political scientist Nancy Rosenblum observes.