You Never Forget Your First One
By Four Walls
December 5, 2017 11:08am CST
Amid the list of obituaries yesterday I saw John Anderson's name. No, not the country singer who did "Swingin'." Rather, this was a moderate Republican Congressman from Illinois who ran for president in 1980 as an independent. He bears the distinction of being the first person to ever receive a presidential vote from little old me. I was 20, and it was my first time to get to vote for president. I wasn't too enamored with either "major party," so I went the independent route. That happened to be John Anderson. Anderson was a veteran of World War II who opposed the Vietnam War. He called for gun registration to ensure that, as he put it, "felons and mental incompetents don't get ahold of them." That idea was a big no-no in 1980, but it sounds so simple and logical today. Maybe Anderson was ahead of his time, a man who was willing to stand up for what he believed in and yet see that "the other side" had good ideas as well. It's something we pretty much haven't seen since, and we aren't likely to see ever again, given the current political attitude in America. John Anderson was 95.
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I looked him up to see if he was a member of the Libertarian Party, though you said he was an independent. I was just curious, because my dad and husband were all for the Libertarian Party in the 80's. He accomplished a great deal all on his own. I only voted once too, and I felt let down after he became president.