RANGER AGAINST WAR: Vote, But Quietly <

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vote, But Quietly

 Example is leadership
--Albert Schweitzer 

Every citizen should be a soldier.
This was the case with the Greeks and the Romans,
and must be that of every free state
--Thomas Jefferson 

Although a soldier by profession,
I have never felt any sort of fondness for war,
and I have never advocated it,
except as a means of peace
--Ulysses S. Grant

The editor of Purple Heart magazine, Russell Smith, notes the sharp downward trend in absentee voting since 2008 among military personnel (the Military Voter Protection Project counted 75% fewer ballots requested in the state of Virginia over the last election, for example.)

Smith writes, "While military personnel are correctly prohibited from partisan activity in uniform, voting in no way undermines the good order and discipline of the United States Armed Forces.  Our service members must be allowed to exercise this most basic right for which they fight," which brings up several issues:

[1] Perhaps service member voting is down because service members know that neither party will address the issue of long wars devoid of any measurable objectives.

[2] Servicemen do not fight for our right to vote since this right is ensured by our Constitution, and is not threatened by any foreign adversaries.  To state such is disingenuous.  Americans have not fought for the right to vote since separating from England.  We secured our right to vote through rebellion; other countries should do the same, especially if they are to cherish and protect it.

[3] Today's servicemen have been fighting to gain the right to vote for Iraqis and Afghanis, an action which is not a military function.  The Department of Defense is not an agency of social engineering.  Moreover, the irony of imposing this democratic action is probably not lost upon the average soldier.

Mr. Smith fails to see the irony of encouraging service members to exercise their basic right to vote while supporting the abridgements of their other basic Civil Rights, like that of free speech. Freedoms granted ordinary citizens are often denied to those who serve in the military.

Why do military men like Smith not argue for the service members' right to have the fullest access to the freedoms guaranteed to all?

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Anonymous Deryle said...

1: "Why do military men like Smith not argue for the service members' right to have the fullest access to the freedoms guaranteed to all?"
Uh..you talkin' anarchy here?

2: " The Department of Defense is not an agency of social engineering."

Maybe not in intent, but in practical terms and matters it's socially engineered a significant portion of the Earth's geography, much to the chagrin of those slopes, dinks, gooks, ragheads etc., ad nauseum, who deign to think they have the right avoid the empire's tentacles.

just sayin',

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

I have to agree with Deryle here. The DoD has done all SORTS of "social engineering", starting with taking "free citizens" and stuffing them in uniforms whether they wanted to wear that shit or not and perhaps most notably in forcing racial integration on a society that was STILL fighting it twenty years later (and still is, in some places...).

Likewise, no military force can exist where individuals are allowed unfettered "free speech".

You can hate that, but to change that you pretty much have to give up the idea of an army. There's no method to combine one and the others; they just don't work that way.

So we're left with the contradiction of an authoritarian Army "defending" a liberal democracy. Bizarre? OK, I'll agree. But not sure how you do it any other way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

DP & Chief,
I understand all that you boys say, but i wrote this essay b/c i don't imagine that the editor at the PH Mag quite get it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 1:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...

"You boys?"
Surely you said "Leroy?"

Couldn't resist.


Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 12:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


"Cousin Pookie and Cousin Ray Ray ...?"

Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 8:19:00 AM GMT-5  

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