Local resident speaks up for Independent voter

9:54 am | October 16, 2012

To the editor:

I wish to make a few comments concerning Jim Buchanan’s letter published in the 10/12 edition. Mr. Buchanan is the chairman of the Unicoi County Republican party and his letter was endorsing Thom Gray.

I really don’t have an issue with Mr. Buchanan’s endorsement of the party machinery’s candidate, but the comments regarding Kent Williams were not necessary. However, Mr. Buchanan’s comments are indicative of what is wrong with the current two-party political system — the independent-minded voter or candidate that does not “toe the line” with the party machinery is considered an outcast. In the national election, those party independents (the undecided) are being heavily courted in Ohio, Virginia and Florida. I can only assume that Mr. Buchanan and the Tennessee Republican Party have not gotten the memo on the importance of this group of disenfranchised voters.

So, here is a recommendation to the voters of Carter County: if you treasure the concept of thinking for yourself (regardless of affiliation) and making your own decisions — go to the polls on election day and vote for the candidate that reflects those same values. Kent Williams may not be a member of the Tennessee Republican Party (who really cares?) — he is still a “Carter County Republican” that votes his conscience without the pressures of a political machine. On the other hand, however, if you have swallowed the party machinery’s rhetoric “hook, line and sinker” — go to the polls and blindly follow someone else’s ”marching order.”

Mr. Buchanan ends his letter with this comment: “Why in the world would you not?” Is it now party machinery policy to plagiarize the ad campaigns of local car dealerships?

-Tim Elsea, Elizabethton

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