Torregano: Independence of Congressional representation

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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There is a lack of independent representation (representatives not tied to a political party) when it comes to the 50 state legislatures and the US Congress. Our country was founded on the idea of “independence” when this country decided to separate itself from England and its king. During the framing of the Constitution, it was decided to have a separation of church and state, another idea of independence. During the early years in the growth of this country, it was the independence of the individual (frontiersmen, trappers, homesteaders, cowboys) that helped forge the boundaries of the United States. Americans believe today and fought for in the past, the independence of our country, and the independence set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

So how did it become that the current status, “the status quo,” would only have two parties (fraternal organizations of Democrats & Republicans) representing the American public in state legislatures and US Congress? Is it just the money that determines the type of representation in the US? It is hard to believe that “independent representation” would not be the standard or a large percentage of the overall representation in Congress and in all 50 state legislatures given this country’s history for independence. It is as if America was still living in the 1800s, where political party affiliation was so important given the divide between urban and rural areas, given the divide between north and south, and given the divide between rich and poor.

Given that Congress is dysfunctional, what if 10 percent of both houses of Congress were other than Republican or Democratic representatives? This would allow both Democrats (45 percent) and Republicans (45 percent) to convince the other independent representatives (about 5 percent) to reach a compromise in order to have any laws/bills passed in US Congress. This proposition could overcome gridlock.

Richard “RPT” Torregano is an independent candidate for Louisiana’s Sixth Congressional District. He can be reached at