President George Washington presciently cautioned against factional politics that put party interests over national interest. Washington saw the future, and, sadly, his concerns have come true.

Share story

On the surface, it may seem our existing two-party political system is the way our country is “meant to be” and regardless of how dysfunctional things become, nothing could change the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties. But things are changing.

Today, there are more self-identified political independents than either Democrats or Republicans, and, according to Gallup, a sizable majority of all voters (61 percent), including nearly half of all Democratic and Republican voters, believe we need an alternative.

The fact is, America’s political system is constantly evolving and changing. And change — big change — is coming again. The American people are sick and tired of the gridlock, special interests, big money, extremists, dysfunction and destructive partisan warfare that dominate our politics today. America is ready for something new and something positive.

A new, national independent political movement, Unite America, is being organized to answer this call. Partner organizations are forming in different states, all serving the same mission: to disrupt the destructive paradigm created by special interests and our two political parties. And now this movement has arrived in the Evergreen state through Washington Independents (www.waindependents.org).

Washington Independents will support independent candidates for state office who fit the culture of Washington state: fiscally responsible and environmentally responsive, pro-free enterprise and pro-equal rights. While this new movement has no rigid ideological litmus tests, a “Declaration of Independents” outlines principles shared by all our candidates. The goal of Washington Independents is to provide independent candidates the support they need to win, including financial resources, professional campaign services and grass-roots volunteers.

Across the nation, common-sense, independent candidates are stepping forward to pioneer a new way forward in 2018. The nation’s only independent governor, Bill Walker of Alaska, is seeking re-election. In Maine, the state’s first independent state Treasurer is now running for governor; as is entrepreneur Greg Orman in Kansas. Two independent U.S. Senate candidates —— Neal Simon and Craig O’Dear — have announced in Maryland and Missouri. Many more are seeking state legislative office, including a slate of four candidates announced by Unite Colorado in January.

Here, Washington Independents is proud to announce our first endorsement of independent candidate Ann Diamond, running for the state Legislature in the 12th District in the north central part of the state. Diamond is an outstanding physician and community leader and is a great example of putting people first. Washington Independents expect to make additional announcements over the coming weeks.

Our objective for 2018 is to elect a sufficient number of independent candidates to our narrowly divided state Legislature in order to break the two-party gridlock and inject new ideas and forge common-sense policy solutions.

Most Read Opinion Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Independents elected to the state houses in Alaska and Maine in 2016 are already proving the power of this “fulcrum strategy” as they help advance important budget and health-care reforms. With even a small number of common-sense independents, we can do the same and bring about real change, and real solutions.

Thousands of people have already signed up to volunteer their support. They believe, as we do, that it is time to give voters an alternative based on problem solving and common sense, not extreme ideologies. We are looking for candidates who will listen, have the courage and integrity to solve the tough issues, and who will put people above the parties and special interests. As a movement, we can help provide those alternatives and restore voters’ confidence in their democracy and institutions.

To those who think this cannot, or maybe even should not, succeed, consider this: The United States Constitution never mentions the words “political party.” And, in his farewell address to Congress, President George Washington presciently and passionately cautioned against factional politics that put party interests over national interest. President Washington saw the future, and, sadly, his concerns have come true.

Independent candidates are precisely what is needed to bring about real change and real progress where the parties are failing today. The political tectonics are shifting. A new movement is here and is growing rapidly. We invite you to join us.