Thank You Mister Gore
J. D. Pendry
I avoid political discussions because I don't care for politicians or the hordes of lawyers and other minions they use to spin their versions of the truth. However, I feel compelled to enter this discussion.
The first vote I ever cast in any election was an absentee ballot I sent from Korea as a private in 1972. Now I wonder if it counted. Being a 7 day per week mailman in those days, I know that the Army Post Office bundled mail going to different cities and put it on the first thing headed across the ocean. Getting it there was more important than post marking it.
From the beginning of our history as a nation, military people have cast votes with their lives for freedom and democracy while carrying out the political will of the world's most free and democratic nation.
Whenever war threatened, whether on the Civil War battlefields or on the beaches of Normandy soldiers voted with their lives. Soldiers voted with their lives to carry out the political will of our nation in the jungles of Vietnam while their future commander-in-chief proclaimed that he loathed the military.
Members of the American military have repeatedly cast their votes from many remote postings around the world and from the decks of United States Ships. Too often thanked for what they do with hardship, family separation, neglect by politicians and a food stamp existence.
Military people are not political activists, because that is not in their charter. They do not vote in great numbers because they accept that they will follow the orders of whoever becomes their commander-in-chief. They also understand your unwillingness to accept defeat, because they live in a world where runner-up is not good. What they do not and will never understand is why one who wants to be their commander-in-chief and who stands now as their second in command has worked so hard to ensure that their votes will not count.
The reason I thank you Mister Gore is that in a few days you have accomplished what military leaders throughout our history have not been able to do. That is waking the political giant that is the voting block of the United States Military. I'm sure you are aware that the potential votes of members of the uniformed services, veterans and their families numbers into the millions. What you have managed to do is cause them all to want to vote and 4 years from now they'll still want it. Soldiers learn from their past mistakes, that is how they survive. A low military voter turn out in the past is a big mistake that you have pointed out to them.
You may recount and litigate your way into the White House, but whoever ends up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will need to do another recount. Begin that recount by having your minions compile the numbers of voters in uniform. Add about 60 percent to that number since most of our military are married. Then, you should probably factor in some numbers for the parents and siblings of those serving and veterans. Then take a walk through the US military cemeteries in our country and others. Each marker represents a family of votes. Yes, thank you for waking up that sleeping giant block of votes. Now, I suggest that you and other politicians begin to worry about that.
© 2000 J. D. Pendry