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Op-Ed: Independents Can Unite America

Greg Orman & Terry Hayes

February 27, 2018

If you’re like us, you watch the evening news nearly every night and shake your head, wondering, “What is happening to our country?” 

Government shutdowns, constant finger-pointing and blame games, and endless scandals. On top of that, we now have politicians who ran on promises of fiscal responsibility passing budgets that make trillion-dollar deficits the new normal. Unfortunately, the dysfunction and divisiveness of Washington, D.C., has also found its way back to state capitals, where partisanship often prevents pragmatic problem-solving.  

Voter frustration continues to grow. Today, more Americans name dissatisfaction with government as the most important problem facing the country (25 percent) than any other issue we confront, according to Gallup. At the same time, a record 44 percent of voters now self-identify as independent, more than call themselves Democrat or Republican, and a majority (61 percent) desire an alternative to both political parties. 

That’s about as clear an indication as any that the two-party political system that has dominated American politics for at least 150 years is failing us and needs reform. We believe truly independent leaders can bridge the partisan divide and improve governance, and that’s why we are both running for governor in our states –– unaffiliated with any political party and refusing contributions from any special interest groups.  

If you’re like us, you want elected officials to stop campaigning on election night and transition to governing; quit the bickering and instead focus on their real work of helping to give every American the opportunity to realize his or her full potential –– such as by supporting the creation of good jobs, improving our education system, and ensuring health care is affordable.  

The challenge with our two-party system is that it has created a dynamic where the primary objective of politicians is not working together to solve important problems, but beating the opposition and winning the next news cycle. The two parties have so demonized each other and divided the country with harsh rhetoric that working collaboratively is virtually impossible. 

Voters want change, but continuing to elect Democrats and Republicans... Continue Reading.

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