Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Courage America

Chris Wallace made a few comments on the Hugh Hewitt show last week that caused me some concern. As he and Hugh were talking about the (then) upcoming elections in Iraq, Chris and Hugh noted the potential dangers to the Iraqi voters. Then Chris tossed out a line that made me pause...he said, “I am not sure I would vote,” or words to that effect. I hope that if Chris took the time to reflect on his comments, he would reconsider his stance.

Living in a democracy takes courage…not just from our soldiers, but also from every one of our citizens. As soon as we become afraid to exercise our hard fought freedoms, we will lose them. At what point is Chris willing to risk his life to participate in this democracy that he greatly benefits from? I am not railing Chris, but his attitude mirrors a growing majority of the population that wants democracy, but cowers when the going gets tough.

What would Chris have done if he had been on flight 93 as it was heading back to DC? Protecting our freedoms takes a firm resolve of ALL of our citizens…men, women, and maybe children. If our citizens ever fail to vote because they simply fear for their personal safety, we are through as a nation. We have to KNOW that we would vote, regardless of the personal risks. It is this kind of resolve that protects our democracy.

Failing to participate out of fear will open the door to myriad of anti-democratic forces. Imminent? No, but exercising our rights is what keeps our system functioning, just as physical exercise strengthens the body.

Our Defense Department only protects the citizens, the citizens protect the democracy. We need to understand that voting IS worth any risk. And while the physical risks in defending our democracy are usually borne by our soldiers, everyone needs to be prepared to assume some of that risk should the time come.

3 comments:

Cheryl said...

Hi Major Mike,

I want to slightly disagree with you regarding Chris' comments. We Americans have had it so easy since our forefathers fought the fight for democracy that the Iraqi's are currently fighting. None of us have any "memory" of what bravery it took to get us where we are.

Perhaps the Civil Rights movement, a more current event, would show many brave Americans who would be able to say "Yes" and did say yes under penalty of death. Again, for me I was barely in Jr. High, so once again, I was not challenged in any way shape or form.

I made the same statement as Chris. I don't know if I would have the guts to put my life and my families on the line.

When I read about WWII and the French Resistance or the heroes who saved thousands of Jews from extinction, I don't know if I would have had the courage to do the same. I would like to believe I would be brave enough to do the "right thing" -- to vote For democracy, to risk my life to save another. But I honestly don't know if I have the courage. I hope if I am ever challenged, I would proudly show my "purple finger", hide people in my attic for years, provide information to save my country.

But today, I can't honestly say I could withstand the horrors that so many heroes have thru the ages.

My guess is, if you were to ask any of the heroes from WWII or Iraqis 6 months ago if they would be willing to risk their lives and the lives of their families doing the things they did (saving Jews, fighting the Nazi's or voting under penalty of death) they would answer the same way. "I don't know".

I would like to believe if we Americans were put thru the horrible "tests" these brave Iraqis and the others I refer to above, have been put thru, our courage would grow and we would then rise to the challenge.

I believe Chris' statement is true of most American's. But put us to the test and I would like to believe we will make our forefathers proud, as well as every soldier, sailor, airmen and marine.

I appreciate your blog and continue to read it.

Major Mike said...

Cheryl, thanks for your great comments. I agree with you, and believe in my heart, that most Americans will step up to the plate if required. What worries me a bit is that we seem to be flinching more often at defending our freedoms, and our democracy, with the rigorous defense (as indidivuals) it derserves. Thanks for reading.

Cheryl said...

Hi Major Mike,

I hear where you are coming from. It's the Kennedy's, Pelosis' and the Kerry's that are too weak to defend this country. Talk, talk, talk. These people don't talk.

Although close, Bush won and therefore those who continue to support democracy have won. We hopefully have some time to continue to convert and persuade.

With luck, history itself will be the loudest defender of freedom. The MSM is pretty silent (althought some have had to acknowledge) on the success of the elections in Iraq.

They speak not a word of democracy in Afghanistan.....
The Blogsphere is helping to bring that which the left has been able to manipulate and keep in the dark into the light.

With people like you Major, we will continue to win this war, one battle at a time.

If I haven't before, I want to thank you for your service and dedication to the freedom and democracy I enjoy at no risk to my life.

Best,
Cheryl

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