Over 400 independents from 42 states signed onto a letter to President Elect Trump co-authored by Rick Robol of Independent Ohio and Jacqueline Salit, urging immediate steps to attend to the problem of partisanship in government.
Dear President-Elect Donald J. Trump:
We represent the interests of Independent voters throughout the United States. Please accept our congratulations on your election. We wish you success in achieving the goal of fixing our nation’s “rigged” political and electoral infrastructure. Throughout the campaign, many Americans—whether they voted for you or not—expressed their urgent wish to see our political system put in the hands of the people, not the special interests, be they financial, partisan or ideological. We believe that reforming our political system and revitalizing our democracy is key to solving our nation’s profound problems.
Independent voters give their allegiance to the American people and to our nation, above any allegiance to a political party or party boss. We played a key role in the 2016 elections, and many of us listened carefully to your pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. of partisan, meretricious, self-serving office holders and lobbyists. We write today to urge that you begin to take steps in this direction. As you can see from the polarized and passionate reactions to your election, America operates with a system that fosters division and misunderstanding. We believe the partisanship of the system manipulates and degrades ordinary Americans in all communities. No amount of “data” or “demographics” can make up for the fact that both parties have failed our country and its people. We must, as a nation, create new tools for political participation and national development.
To begin, we ask that you attend to the problem of partisanship in government. You can re-vitalize the composition of all high-level government departments, offices, agencies and instrumentalities, within your powers under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, by assuring that an appropriate number of appointed managers and office holders are Independents. This would reflect that 43 percent of the country today consider themselves to be unaffiliated with the two major parties. This representation should include, without limitation, your Cabinet; the Federal Elections Commission; the Federal Communications Commission; the Federal Judiciary; and all other federal authorities, agencies and instrumentalities for which you have appointive authority, with or without the advice and consent of other branches of government.
We also ask that you appoint a Special Presidential Commission on Election Reform to study how to reform the electoral and political infrastructure of the United States to put more direct power into the hands of the American people; again, it is essential that the membership of the Commission consist of ample representation from Independents. From the persistence of closed primaries which lock out millions of younger and other non-aligned voters, to systems of partisan redistricting, to the electoral college itself, the barriers to popular self-governance are deeply entrenched.
We believe that taking these actions will go far in fulfilling your pledge to the American people to fix the rigged system. We assure you that Independents will pay close attention to these matters.
Richard T. Robol,
President, Independent Ohio