Diverse, independent thought regularly becomes part of the mainstream when those non-standard ideas are adopted or appropriated by those who think they may be beneficial to their position.
Lets accept that, aside from very small corner cases, all thought is influenced by others and people generally like to be with other people.
In other words, no-one’s completely ‘independent’ and why does it matter if they say they are anyway?
Any rational independent politician or interest group has opinions and positions which will overlap accepted mainstream thought. And will attract interest and support from people who are also holders of mainstream positions.
Unless said Independents only wish is to be one day considered a crank or are afraid of being called a “sell out” do we really think they want to be permanently ‘independent’? They exist to get results and, unlike other outliers of society, they are willing to sometimes compromise their positions in order to get even the tiniest success to offer their supporters.
Despite that, we seem to continually feel the need to test the supposed independence of any interest group or politician who deigns to describe themselves as “independent”. Even if they have no obligation to anyone except their electors and supporters to “prove” their isolation from mainstream thought and explain the source of their funding.
Until such time as those outside the mainstream become “Team Authority“, certain among us should probably consider committing more effort to auditing those already running the game. There’s certainly a lot more improvement, and hence criticism, required there after all.