Some of us are old enough to recall the 1976 movie, “Network”, that left us with the famous line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
The movie won four Academy Awards and the famous line expressed sentiments that are felt by too many to count today. We are shackled to cable TV news that is a constant regurgitation of what is wrong or right, depending upon which political persuasion. that particular channel shills for.
Like so many, Timothy Israel was fed up, especially with congress where political action committees and their millions of dollars are all powerful and make sure incumbents are insolated with their money to ward off challengers. Consequently some serve for decades and new faces are few and far between.
In the 2020 election cycle, of 11 categories of PACs, $419 million in political action committee contributions went to incumbents, while less than $4 million went to challengers. In December, 2020 the public disapproval rating of Congress was 82 percent. But since when did Senators and Congressmen begin caring about what the public thinks?
Whether Timothy Israel knew numbers such as these, I don’t know. But he knew our present system is broken and it’s folks like him who are forgotten in Washington these days. He hit on the idea that if we term limited our Federal legislators and didn’t give them virtual life time contracts, perhaps things might improve..
But what is so interesting is that Timothy is not a political activist, he’s never marched in a line to protest something. He is “everyman” American. Just like your neighbors and members of your Sunday School class..
Timothy grew up in Albany, GA. After a four-year tour in the Navy ferrying submarines between the U.S. and Europe, he went to Nashville and became a “roadie”:. One of the crew members who travel with country music stars and make sure all the amplifiers, lights, etc. are ready for the performance. He did this for nearly 30 years.
But the pandemic brought live concerts to a halt and Timothy was out of a job.
And at some point in 2020 he came up with a plan. He would walk across the country to bring attention to the need for term limits. So last December he filled a back pack with supplies and got a friend from Albany to drop him off in Key West, FL. His destination was the state of Washington. about 4,000 miles away.
And on December 22, 2020 he took his first step. Amazingly all he had was his conviction. There was no support crew scouting out locations to spend the night, no one to fetch him food, no one hustling up media interviews.. Just Timothy, his back pack, his walking stick and a sign saying we need term limits.
Fortune smiled on him when he finally reached Tallahassee, more than 600 miles from Key West. He was interviewed by a local TV station and someone with the group, U.S. Term Limits saw it. This organization has been in business for 20 years and works across the country.
They stepped up to provide Timothy some ground support, a van to sleep in each night, food and two nights a week in a motel. And maybe best of all, because of this support, he was able to get rid of about 20 pounds in his back pack.
I learned of Timothy’s trek on the internet recently. As best I could tell, he was in Alabama at the time. So I went on his web site and donated $50. Within a few minutes I got a response on email thanking me. He was in Centerville that night and was heading up U.S. 82 the next day toward Tuscaloosa. I told him I would find him. And sure enough, there he was on the left side of the four-lane trudging along about 20 miles from Tuscaloosa..
A truly nice guy. Slightly built and neatly dressed. To cars and trucks speeding by, he’s just another guy hiking along a road, like we see on occasion. Doubtless few realize the enomomity of the task he’s attempting. Walking from Key West to the state of Washington is not a feat to be attempted by the faint-hearted.
We all like to bitch and moan about the national state of affairs. For most, that is all we do, but not Timothy Israel..
What impact will he have? Your guess is as good as mine. But at this moment, that is not what matters. Rather it is the example of one lone guy willing to hike 20 miles a day because he loves his country and feels it is on the wrong course.
We southerners often use the expression, “Bless his/her heart.” The interpterion is left to the circumstances in which it is used.
However, if I have ever met someone who deserves a “Bless his heart,” it is Timothy.
I conclude with this personal plea, go on the web site linked above and chip in $25 at least. It will be appreciated and also make you feel good.