Having served in this country’s military for almost 22 years now, I am a firm believer in the rights and responsibilities of the American citizen. Of utmost importance is exercising the right to vote.
But thanks to an inefficient registrar in a state that shall remain nameless, because it really doesn’t matter, I have been deprived of my right to vote. Even though I sent my absentee voting registration back in July, it wasn’t entered into the system until late-September and my ballot was not mailed until October 9th (the recommended deadline for us in Iraq to mail in our absentee ballot is October 7th). It is now October 28th and I’ve just received my ballot. The election is now seven days away. Does anyone think my vote will count?
So as I sit here in Iraq, fighting to ensure that the Iraqi people have many of the same opportunities that you and I take for granted, I cannot exercise my most basic freedom.
I don’t care what your views are on being here in Iraq. You might be surprised to find out that we share many of the same views. But I also have a viewpoint that you will never get in the media. I know that these people are getting the opportunity to truly let their voices be heard. And they will turn out in droves to exercise that freedom. Will you?
I don’t care who you vote for on November 4th. I have my opinions and you have yours. I won’t tell you mine and I don’t care to hear yours. Make them heard with your ballot. I don’t have that opportunity.
I don’t care if it’s hot, cold, rainy, snowy, windy or you’ve had a long day at work. HTFU (definition 1). Take the 15-minutes to drive over to your voting place and put your marks on paper. I don’t have that opportunity.
I don’t care if you are undecided. You’ve now got a week to educate yourself, form an opinion and become decided. Turn off the insipid TV shows and get to reading. And don’t do it by reading web sites from any of the major news networks, blowhards and especially not blogs. Read the candidate’s website; read between the lines. Read the viewpoints of those with a dissenting opinion. Don’t fall prey to charisma; it won’t put food on your table or protect your family. Read, read, read, read read. Luckily I can do that. And I’m in a war zone. What’s your excuse?
I don’t care if you think that one candidate or another shouldn’t be elected based solely on the color of their skin or what dangles (or not) between their legs. You’re clearly ignorant and are incapable of intelligent conversation.
And I don’t care if I made you uncomfortable with this post. Just get off your ass and vote. I can’t.