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  1.    #1  
    I heard one of my coworkers today state that he was probably not going to vote because he would have to wait in line for possibly 1-2 hours. He also said that if he was waiting in line for 20 minutes, then he was willing to do that. This bothered me deeply.

    The night before the first Iraqi election, as a Marine Helicopter pilot, I was tasked with transporting election workers and ballots all across the Al Anbar province because it was too dangerous for them to travel via roads. I ended up flying for 8 hours that night, moving election workers and ballots until the wee hours of the morning. These election workers had their lives threatened, and when one of the election workers got on board my helicopter he was very animated and was trying to communicate to my crewchief. At first I thought he was so animated because his life had been threatened, or because it was the first time he had ever flown on a helicopter, or even perhaps because it was 3 am and he was tired. When he finally was able to break the language barrier with my crewchief, he wanted to know where the ballots were. He was more concerned about the ballots than his own life.

    The next morning, I listened on my shortwave radio as Iraqis waited in line for hours, their lives threatened as well, with indirect fire attacks on a number of polling places, so they had an opportunity to vote. I'm sure everyone here has seen the pictures of Iraqis with their ink-stained fingers, beaming with ear-to-ear smiles because they were finally given the opportunity to vote.

    I don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. I don't care if you vote for Obama, McCain, Nader, or write in your next door neighbor. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice throughout the history of this country in order to guarantee that we are able to vote freely, and it is a right that make no mistake is envied throughout the world. Go out and vote, no matter how long the lines. Enjoy the freedoms that have been provided for you by participating in the election.
    "Whenever I feel like exercise I lie down until the feeling passes."
    -Robert Maynard Hutchins


    Palm Pilot 1000 -> Philips Nino -> Handspring Visor Deluxe -> Alltel Kyocera 7135 -> Cingular Treo 650 -> AT&T Blackjack II -> AT&T Treo 750 & Epix
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by phrogpilot73 View Post
    I don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. I don't care if you vote for Obama, McCain, Nader, or write in your next door neighbor. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice throughout the history of this country in order to guarantee that we are able to vote freely, and it is a right that make no mistake is envied throughout the world. Go out and vote, no matter how long the lines. Enjoy the freedoms that have been provided for you by participating in the election.
    What he said. Seriously...very well said.

    Get out there and VOTE

    Many have fought and many have died to give you the right to vote. Don't trivialize this fundamental right and IMO, civic duty - VOTE.
  3. Scott_L's Avatar
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    #3  
    I saw a bit on TV this morning reporting how less people vote when it rains! It seems the Democratic party especially doesn't care to get wet - hence the catch phrase "The Republicans Should Pray for Rain". That's pretty sad considering phrogpilot73's experience. Some countries dodge bullets to vote, but some <ahem> won't even dodge rain drops...
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_L View Post
    I saw a bit on TV this morning reporting how less people vote when it rains! It seems the Democratic party especially doesn't care to get wet - hence the catch phrase "The Republicans Should Pray for Rain". That's pretty sad considering phrogpilot73's experience. Some countries dodge bullets to vote, but some <ahem> won't even dodge rain drops...
    This has been true of Dems in the past. This election seems different though as evidenced by the droves that voted early, waited in line for up to 8 hours, and yes...even in the rain.

    The map should and probably will change after today. The GOP will be forced to reinvent itself in a big way to attract new members and reinvigorate the existing base. If Dems win today, many will attribute it to the successful campaign to enlist new registered voters (aside from the small percentage of new registered voters named "Mickey Mouse" ) and the GOP will have a long way to go to catch up as far as mitigating the significant disadvantage they will have in this regard.

    Either way, the point of this thread is to VOTE.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by phrogpilot73 View Post
    I heard one of my coworkers today state that he was probably not going to vote because he would have to wait in line for possibly 1-2 hours. He also said that if he was waiting in line for 20 minutes, then he was willing to do that. This bothered me deeply.

    The night before the first Iraqi election, as a Marine Helicopter pilot, I was tasked with transporting election workers and ballots all across the Al Anbar province because it was too dangerous for them to travel via roads. I ended up flying for 8 hours that night, moving election workers and ballots until the wee hours of the morning. These election workers had their lives threatened, and when one of the election workers got on board my helicopter he was very animated and was trying to communicate to my crewchief. At first I thought he was so animated because his life had been threatened, or because it was the first time he had ever flown on a helicopter, or even perhaps because it was 3 am and he was tired. When he finally was able to break the language barrier with my crewchief, he wanted to know where the ballots were. He was more concerned about the ballots than his own life.

    The next morning, I listened on my shortwave radio as Iraqis waited in line for hours, their lives threatened as well, with indirect fire attacks on a number of polling places, so they had an opportunity to vote. I'm sure everyone here has seen the pictures of Iraqis with their ink-stained fingers, beaming with ear-to-ear smiles because they were finally given the opportunity to vote.

    I don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. I don't care if you vote for Obama, McCain, Nader, or write in your next door neighbor. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice throughout the history of this country in order to guarantee that we are able to vote freely, and it is a right that make no mistake is envied throughout the world. Go out and vote, no matter how long the lines. Enjoy the freedoms that have been provided for you by participating in the election.
    Well said phrogpilot73 and thanks for serving.

    Good Luck
    iPhone 4S
    Former Treo & Storm Owner
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  6. #6  
    Not to mention that tens of thousands of civilians in our own country have been beaten, fiirehosed, attacked by police dogs, arrested and even lynched for attempting to vote and organize people to vote.

    Sadly the right to vote in the US was never guaranteed if you were poor black and in a state controlled, that was always a myth. Certainty things have been getting better in the past couple of decades. But plenty of black servicemen risked their lives guaranteeing others the right to vote only to be beaten for attempting to go to the polls when they got back to the USA.
    Last edited by aero; 11/04/2008 at 02:58 PM.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    The GOP will be forced to reinvent itself in a big way to attract new members and reinvigorate the existing base.
    I agree. The one thing that frustrates me about my party is the whole notion of selecting someone who is 'electable' rather than by staying true to their beliefs. If we lose big, we lose big - at least we didn't compromise our integrity or beliefs. However, I tend to be someone who is an idealist. I'll vote for the candidate that I think represents me the best, regardless of party affiliation, race, color, creed, religion, etc... My candidate lost in the Primaries (it was Huckabee - man, I loved that guy mainly because he didn't BS me when answering questions), but I think that I voted for someone that I can believe in. I may not agree with everything, but I agree with more than his opponent. Plus, I'm a Naval Academy grad as well and if he can be successful and I finished WAY higher in class standing than he did... The key issue is I voted. If I am physically capable - after seeing what I've seen (to include what I saw in Liberia), you can believe that I will vote. Even if I know that my vote means next to nothing in my state (I'm a Republican in Maryland, I may as well be registered to vote in Pakistan).

    Quote Originally Posted by aero View Post
    Not to mention that tens of thousands of civilians in our own country have been beaten, fiirehosed, attacked by police dogs, arrested and even lynched for attempting to vote and organize people to vote.

    Sadly the right to vote in the US was never guaranteed if you were poor black and in a state controlled, that was always a myth. Certainty things have been getting better in the past couple of decades. But plenty of black servicemen risked their lives guaranteeing others the right to vote only to be beaten for attempting to go to the polls when they got back to the USA.
    Don't leave out the women!! At one point, it was only white landowners that could vote. I'm thankful that day is behind us, and I pray we never forget it. However, I just wish EVERYONE can get past it one day. Martin Luther King's "Dream" speech was phenomenal, and my parents raised me to live up to those ideals... I guess that's why I can remain close friends with my former roommate from the Naval Academy (and he was our class president), who left because he was gay. He's also black, and yet we're still close friends. Maybe more people in this country need the rose colored glasses that I often wear. (Even if I did go over the top a while back to reinforce a point)
    "Whenever I feel like exercise I lie down until the feeling passes."
    -Robert Maynard Hutchins


    Palm Pilot 1000 -> Philips Nino -> Handspring Visor Deluxe -> Alltel Kyocera 7135 -> Cingular Treo 650 -> AT&T Blackjack II -> AT&T Treo 750 & Epix
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by phrogpilot73 View Post
    Maybe more people in this country need the rose colored glasses that I often wear. (Even if I did go over the top a while back to reinforce a point)
    I 100% appreciate and support your point, and very much appreciate your contribution. I think your anecdote adn the lesson you draw is very heartening.

    My family came here from a place where their country was occupied by a foreign power, where they had no religious freedom, no vote etc. They came here to the US a few generations ago, my grandfather's brother, who could not really speak English died in the US army in 1918 (not of combat but from malaria while deployed) and my father and uncles all served in World War Two with my dad staying on for ten years. I love this coutnry and it has been very very good to us.

    I was just pointing out there are different narratives. And that the struggle for our political freedoms has been also born by 70 year old black women in the south, black children on buses in Boston, who faced humiliation and violent opposition, and yes, the huge majority of 60's "radicals" who never threw a stone but who marched for loudly for civil rights, etc.

    My brother in law served in the north, not in the middle hell in the Sunni triangle where you served. But I will tell you what he related, that if people could fully vote they would have an independent Kurdistan up there. It is the largest group of people without a country in the region.

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