I am a 74-year-old man who has always been a progressive Independent. I am proud of that fact because I have always believed that our nation can be better and in the future become a great nation.
I began my interest in politics in 1956. The campaign to reelect Dwight Eisenhower excited me, a boy, in ways I still do not fully understand. My interest inspired me to ask questions. Most importantly I found a deep desire to understand how important the choices made by voters would become, and how they would shape the future of young men and women like myself. I was anxious to be 11 years older and able to vote.
Sadly, one of the side effects of my search for knowledge resulted in a distrust for many of the men who had been elected by voters and were expected to represent the needs and wishes of the majority.
This early interest in politics led me to understand that our government was extremely flawed, and that politics had become a disreputable “profession.”
By the time I was in high school, just months before the election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, I made the decision to become an Independent voter when I was eligible to cast my first ballot in 1967. My reason for this lifelong choice was based on the disappointment I experienced from several politicians who made promises they failed to keep. By the time I reached my early 20’s, I had learned that few of the men and women we elected truly cared about the American people. Elections and reelections had become a priority over the needs and wishes of the majority.
I am convinced that two things are a must for all voters, and all future elections.
First, we must vet the women and men who seek our votes. Voting for someone based solely on the party to which they belong is a wasted vote. Political parties are harmful to a democracy. Only the best candidates should receive our most valuable weapon in the war against corruption in Washington.
Second, there is no honorable or sensible reason why members of congress are allowed to enjoy an unlimited number of terms in office. Term limits would end the existence of failures including Moscow Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and many others. We must have women and men in Washington who are willing to serve all Americans and put personal ambitions behind them.
The United States of America can be saved. It will require all Americans to become informed and understand that the ugly world of politics will always control our lives and our future. Once this is universally understood, the American people will vote wisely for candidates who will most closely represent their needs and wishes. A mistake like Trump will never happen again if we all choose facts and reject the lies of ambitious men and women who promise great things and when elected do nothing.
Op-ed by James Turnage
My eight novels, including “A Little Murder in the Biggest Little City,” are available on Amazon’s free Kindle app