American politics didn’t begin in 1776, but in the early 1600s, with the first colonists arriving in the new world, and the emergence of factions and rivalries.
Jim Buie has closely observed American politics since the 1960s. His political awakening began at the age of six, when he sang ditties for Terry Sanford, who was running for governor of North Carolina, and John F. Kennedy, who was running for president. Four years later, with the help of his sister, he made a poster referring to President Lyndon Johnson’s two beagles “Him and Her,” and declaring that “Me, Him and Her, Are All for LBJ.” After waving this poster at a rally in Raleigh, NC, he shook hands with President Johnson.
Believe it or not, he has been keeping a diary of his reactions to American politics since he was 14 years old, following in the footsteps of his mother and uncle, who wrong long letters of their reactions to political and historical events since the 1930s.
They were involved in the civil rights movement of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Jim has also been involved in the civil rights movement, first as a high school student, then as a journalist, and later as a public relations consultant and advocate for various social movements since the 1990s, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and anti-poverty organizations.
For the following eight years, he lived in Turkey and the Middle East, primarily as an educator. He compared political systems from first-hand experience and in his travels to more than 40 countries,
His grandmother, Lessie Covington Secrest, witnessed the outbreak of World War I in 1914 while traveling in Europe, and wrote about it. Later, she was involved in both the women’s suffrage movement that culminated in winning the right to vote in 1920 and the (misguided) temperance movement, which sadly led to Prohibition in 1923, a disastrous epidemic in organized crime, and Prohibition’s repeal in 1933. She was also a pioneer in the movement to recognize mental illness as a biochemical brain disease. Jim carried on that commitment through work with the American Psychological Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness in the 1980s and 1990s.
As a youngster, he participated in presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1972. As a journalist, he covered the campaigns of 1976, 1980, 1984, 1992. He also covered local, state and national politics, including Congress, and the Supreme Court. As a political consultant, he built websites, email lists, social media groups, and online fundraising networks for candidates and advocacy groups. He participated in the 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2008 campaigns, as well as numerous congressional and state legislative campaigns.