I agree with E. Zachary Knight (Your Views, Feb. 3) that there needs to be an alternative for voters other than Democrat, Republican and the tea party for state and national offices. However, in today’s political environment anyone who dares to be an independent thinker who’s not walking in lockstep with party ideology and who has the audacity to put the welfare of the state or nation ahead of the honorless party machines immediately commits political suicide. Voters have helped to create this environment with our excessive thirst for the extreme.
Getting independent candidates who are actually qualified to hold the offices and getting them to run is another major challenge. The Republican presidential primaries of 2012, for example, were a clown show. Fortunately, the only one of that group who was actually qualified did get the nomination. If independents are going to seriously challenge the established political machine, the candidates must be truly qualified to hold the offices they’re seeking.
Allowing open primaries in Oklahoma would be a major feat. In Oklahoma, change to what we’ve always done is hard to accomplish. Even when the benefits of the changes are as bold as the sky, there are still those who would attempt to take us backward. The Oklahoma City mayor’s race this year will be a good example.
James Mitchell, Oklahoma City