I believe office seekers fall into three categories: Those who truly want to help their community, state and nation become a better place for all their citizens, those who are initially motivated by greed and the lust for power, and those who, having lost their idealism, desperately want to cling to their incumbency for all the perks their positions provide. What kind of politicians do you want working for you?
Until recent years, politicians acknowledged the need for compromise in order to get things done. Now the leadership of both parties values entrenched positions over reasonable compromise, so nothing important gets accomplished. I say throw the uncompromising ideologues of both parties out of office and let more reasonable people assume leadership roles.
I am an "unaffiliated" voter. I'd like to think that I would have voted for Republicans like Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Eisenhower. I did vote for Reagan, who accomplished some great things for our country (like ending the Cold War) but whose trickle-down economic theory proved a failure. The rich got richer while the middle class and poor got poorer.
In 2008, I supported President Obama and was pleasantly surprised that he got elected. Frankly, I didn't think a black person, no matter how articulate, could ever win the White House in my lifetime. Congratulations, American citizens; I underestimated your open-mindedness.
Am I still glad that I supported Obama? Yes, I am, even though he didn't accomplish all that he set out to do; meaningful long-term immigration reform, for example. But he did, for the first time in American history, get comprehensive health care reform passed. Obamacare, while not perfect, is a big step forward toward covering all Americans while reining in health care costs. Obama also got us out of George W. Bush's ill-conceived trillion dollar war in Iraq and is winding down operations in Afghanistan. Perhaps Qbama's greatest accomplishment in four short years was saving our country and the world from another Great Depression by the decisive, difficult actions he took at the very beginning of his term.
Is unemployment too high? Certainly. Can any president single-handedly create millions of new jobs? Of course not. We live in a world economy, and it is doing poorly these days. Many American jobs are tied to exports. If other countries can't afford to buy from us right now, many exportbased jobs will not exist. That's not Obama's fault. Nevertheless, I think our economy and housing market have turned the corner and are slowly getting better. I say give Obama another four years and a Democratically controlled Congress and see what other great things he can accomplish.
The alternative is unappealing. Recall what I said earlier about politicians who seek office not because of what they hope they can do for all the people (including the notorious 47 percent) but rather because of their own greed and lust for power. I think Governor Romney belongs in that category, and I don't want him as my next President. The rich are rich enough. More trickle-down economics is not the right route to American prosperity.
Dennis Murphy — Franklin, N.C.