I remember the Presidential election of 1976 when Jimmy Carter was elected. I voted in a mock vote at school in the 1980 election in which Ronald Reagan won his first term, since I didn't turn 18 until August 1981, making the election of 1984 my first Presidential election. I voted for Reagan.
My father's family, the 1/3rd of my family I was around at the time, were staunch Southern Democrats, but I had decided shortly after the 1976 election that I was neither Democrat nor Republican as I agreed with some parts of both parties and disagreed with many parts of both, so I became an Independent, dedicated to voting for a candidate, not a party. Believe me, I took a lot of grief for voting for a Republican in 1984.
Over the course of my voting life, I have become more and more disillusioned by the political party system in this country. And I'm a firm supporter of eliminating the Electoral College. I understand the need for it when it was instituted in the early days of the Republic, but today it is an archaic, outdated and useless system whose time passed at least a century ago. But, my biggest passion is to see an end to the political party system in this country. The events of the past few weeks have only reinvigorated my desire to see the party system brought to an end.
When Nevada contemplated holding their Republican primary in mid-January brought threats of boycotts and the vow by New Hampshire to hold their primary the first week of December, I became even more sickened by the whole "political process"! The whole process has become less and less about electing the candidate best suited for the job and wholly consumed with being the defeat of the opposing party and being the first to select who will actually run for that office. Because of the party system and the primary/caucus "season", we don't have the opportunity to vote for a full roster of candidates, we're forced to vote only for the winner of the personality contest within the two parties and any independents or minor party candidates who happen to be wealthy enough to run without the backing of the major parties.
Why should the voters in this country be limited to a roster of two candidates for the most important, most powerful office in the land? Should we not have the option to vote for any man or woman who has the desire to hold that office? Regardless of whether they were popular enough in their own party to secure the nomination of the movers and shakers within those organizations who wield more power than the average citizen?
And we should really consider those who run for the office of President of the United States who spend several hundreds of millions of dollars to hold a job that pays $1.6 Million during the term. The return on the investment shows there's something quite important other than the salary to make someone want the job. But, the fact that more than $5 Billion was spent by the candidates for the 2008 election makes it so that only the wealthiest of people can even run for the office. I'm quite certain there are some people in this country who could do a much better job than some of those who are currently running but they can't even dream of being a candidate because they haven't the resources to mount a campaign, much less a successful one.
And while many people may not like President Obama personally, or politically or for whatever personal reasons they may hold, you have to applaud the man for stating that he was elected to be the President of every citizen of the United States, not just the Democratic citizens or the Republican citizens. Each and every elected official from Capitol Hill in D.C. to the local dog catcher needs to get that idea into his/her head and realize once they are sworn in, they represent every resident, not just those who voted for them, not just those who are registered to the same political party and most definitely not those who made contributions to their campaign.