The first question people have asked me is why I am independent. This is not a decision I came to lightly. I am certainly not pleased with the performance of the two parties, as many of you are. They tend to represent their party’s interests above their constituents’ and the national interest. They more often vote with their party than with their constituents. Yet, there is something deeper behind my independence. It gets to my faith that the American people are intelligent and that free-thinking is what makes this country so great.
Our economy’s performance and potential lies in the integration and exchange of ideas to create new imaginative solutions. In contrast, our political system has none of these qualities today with the two parties at a constant impasse. We understand entrepreneurship when it comes to the economy. Free-thinking is what generated the I-Pad, the personal computer, the Internet, the television, the nuclear reactor, and the automobile. Free-thinking turns small ideas into incredible producers of wealth, like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Then we have a political system stuck with two monopoly firms: Democrats and Republicans.
The two-party system is not as necessary as it once was. The ready availability of information and improved education of people empower us to think about politics on our own. A person might lean more toward one party or the other, but it hurts our political system when being affiliated with one party requires that we adhere to the entire platform of the party. The two parties over-simplify the issues facing you. Our problems today are incredibly complex. The solutions are equally complex. The 8th District is sophisticated and independent enough to see beyond the inflexible platforms of the parties. I do not think it works for all of you. You just do not have an alternative.
Being an independent is not as lonely or unprecedented as it seems. Political independents authored the two most famous and important documents in American history, the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Political parties did not emerge until the mid-1790s near the end of George Washington’s first term. It was not that everyone agreed in drafting the Declaration or Constitution. To the contrary, negotiations broke down frequently much like they do today in Congress. The difference was that without the party machinery the free-thinking delegates came back together and pounded out a compromise.
One independent in Congress may not be able to single-handedly break today’s gridlock. The independent will vote on all bills just as the other Republicans or Democrats. You can have confidence, however, your independent member, James Windle, will be representing the 8th District of Washington and not a party in their voting. An independent would also be the ideal leader of a centrist bloc of members who could break the gridlock to take the steps necessary to get the economy booming again.