October 30, 2006
Someone's Dying for Your VoteBy Noel Sheppard
2,808 Americans have died in Iraq the past 43 months. Another 282 have met such a fate in and around Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Likely all are rolling over in their graves as fellow countrymen who sent them to war are threatening to boycott Election Day.
Particularly disheartening to these fallen heroes must be the conservative abstentions, as likely 90 percent of such Americans were in favor of sending soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, while probably 100 percent supported invading Afghanistan after 9/11. It must be unfathomable to these brave souls that the very people who rallied politicians to risk lives for these efforts are now turning their backs on the honored dead, and what they died for.
As amazing as it might seem, due to Republican failures to curtail spending, solve illegal immigration, cure Social Security, and police corruption, many Party members are forgetting the more than a million Americans that have died in battle for the precious right to vote.
Should we forsake that right now because this Congress has failed to address such issues? What does that say to the 3,090 soldiers that have died to give Iraqis and Afghanis such a right, or to the 170,000 Americans still at risk to protect it?
Maybe more importantly, would any of the fallen abstain from voting as result of these other issues if they were still alive today?
As the elections draw near, I find myself getting angrier and angrier. On a daily basis, I receive e—mail messages from conservative readers explaining why they're not going to vote on November 7. Fellow conservative bloggers have elucidated their views on this subject supporting the abstainers, and explaining why a Democrat victory in eight days isn't such a bad thing.
Every morning as I drive to work, I hear callers tell Rush Limbaugh why they're not going to vote; every afternoon I hear the same on Sean Hannity's program.
So I grow angrier, because I'm saddened for the state of the Republican Party, and wonder how we have so fallen from the exhilaration we felt on November 2, 2004, when President Bush was reelected, and we miraculously added to our majorities in both chambers of Congress. We were going to accomplish so much in the next two years. In particular, finally reform Social Security, and extend the president's tax cuts.
Alas, as 2005 rolled on, such lofty goals were replaced by scandals surrounding former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Vice President's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, and a terrible hurricane in the Gulf Coast.
2006 wasn't any better, as a proposed sale of American ports to an Arabic company hit the front pages, along with illegal immigrant protests, and a disgraceful scandal involving Congressional pages just weeks before Election Day.
Nice two years, folks. Nice job taking advantage of the mandate we gave you on November 2, 2004.
Like many of my fellow countrymen, I'm ashamed of the performance of this Congress, and my Party. However, that shame does not extend to ignoring the most sacred right bestowed upon us by our Founding Fathers. Forsaking that right as a form of protest is un—American and unthinkable for a true conservative.
Folks that are unhappy with what the Republicans have done in the past 22 months should consider voting for the Democrat in their state or district. Or the Independent. Or the Libertarian. Or write in their grandmother Mabel.
But don't stay home, for that dishonors all that have died to give you this precious right. Such are certainly the sentiments of great Americans past and present:
Wise words all. Yet, caution shouldn't be capriciously thrown to the wind when exercising this right, for the consequence of error is great, especially today. The truly judicious, before demonstrating disappointment with their Party by voting for a member of another, should recall the last time Elephants behaved this way. Or have you forgotten that such protestations in 1992 gave us fourteen years of the Clintons, with possibly many more to follow?
With that in mind, try to imagine what turning over the House of Representatives to a dove like Nancy Pelosi (D—California) would say to those that have given their lives to this war effort, and those still risking so. What a shocking statement that would be to our military to hand over the reigns of power to such an irresponsible appeaser less than five years after we sent our friends and family members to die for their country.
So think long and hard, conservatives, about the value of your vote, those that have died to give you the privilege, and the folly of abstention. And, if you still can't bring yourself to the polling booth on November 7, send a proxy to my e—mail address, for only death would prevent me from exercising this precious right regardless of how disappointed I was in my Party.
Noel Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org, and a contributing writer to its Business & Media Institute. Noel welcomes feedback.