Because people like Colin Powell think they are.
Where is a conservative with a heavy libertarian bent who just wants to be left alone to work, raise a family and enjoy his life to go?
I grew up and registered as a Democrat, and my party left me--taken over by leftist nutcases who seem to not only hate the country that gave them birth and that shelters them, but to hate the entire human race as well.
Republicans gave me a leg up on life during the Reagan years with student loan programs that enabled me to get through college. I reciprocated by joining the Reagan Revolution whole heartedly. I stuck with the party through the dim years of Bush I and increasingly dark years of Bush II (who I liked for his "Kill terrorists!" actions and was neutral on otherwise). However, at this point, the Republican Party can take a flying leap. The party (as opposed to many who are still members) isn't worried about principles so much as it's worried about power--and how to get it back.
Libertarians, Constitutionalists and all the other third parties? Spare me. Just...spare me.
I know a lot of people like me--disillusioned with both political parties and worried about the future of the country they love. I talk to them at work, at my kid's ball practices, at the range, in line at the store and in a myriad of other places. We're out there, and we're looking for a political home. Fruitlessly, at this point.
I've registered as an Independent, and I'm trying to vote based on actions, not party affiliation. I know that won't work for long. No matter which party they belong to, all politicians know that if they cross the party often enough, they'll find themselves on the outside looking in. So when push comes to shove, and you need a Blue Dog Democrat to go against his party on a critical gun vote and the party threatens to pull their support of him during a particularly hard-fought election, well, what do you think is going to happen?
Ditto for the usually principled Republican who would vote against a strong "anti-crime" bill that tramples the Constitution (Patriot Acts I & II anyone?). They'll roll.
It's to be expected--it's who they are at the core of their being. For politicians, compromise is the breath of life. They don't see it as a bad thing. To them, its a good thing, because it allows Things to Get Done.
Usually, Done to People Like Me, who just want to be left alone.
Perhaps I'm just a dinosaur, wondering what that big explosion was, and why it's getting so damn cold around here.