Independent voters are more volatile than ever, and politicians who want their votes need to regain their trust first, writes David Brooks. Polls show those voters, especially in new suburbs hard hit by recession, trust the government less than ever before, leaving them "in the position of a person who is feeling gravely ill at the same time he has lost faith in his doctor," Brooks writes in the New York Times.
Polls show independents shifting to the right on issue after issue, but that doesn't mean they're running into the arms of the GOP, Brooks argues. It means they want a government that focuses on the basics instead of trying to retool the whole economy. "Independents support the party that seems most likely to establish a frame of stability and order," Brooks concludes, and "withdraw from any party that threatens turmoil and risk. As always, they’re looking for a safe pair of hands."