Wolfe Publishing Group

    From the Editor



    I doubt if there ever was an election in this country that wasn’t billed as “the most important in our time” but it does appear that the 2024 election cycle will have some serious ramifications for many Americans. It certainly will be the most polarized in recent memory, from both sides of the political debate. As always, there are many issues that have been exploited for political gain, the Second Amendment being a continual favorite. I’m not going to delve into that issue because at this point anyone reading this magazine is acutely aware of my opinion and more importantly, what is at stake for Americans that still believe in America and its core principals is quite obvious.

    In all this controversy and political drama, there is one idea that I have heard voiced from a surprising number of usually enthusiastic voters and that is many are talking about not voting in this election cycle. The reasoning put forward is the candidates who are running for office are so deplorable (on both sides) that they are simply not going to vote, as a form of protest. In their minds, this is what they think will show politicians just how disgusted they are with the whole process and in some way will effect change.

    They couldn’t be more wrong.

    In the first place, those who have been paying attention to current events to the point that they are severely disappointed in the political process, are probably better informed than people who can’t be bothered turning off their cell phones long enough to inform themselves on the issues. Obviously, the “no-vote” people care about the direction of our country, since they are hoping that their choice to not vote will be noticed by those in power. This is a tempting, but completely naive and futile gesture, at best.

    However, what I find most offensive about the “no-vote” protest movement is the complete and total disrespect it shows to the men and women who have fought in all American conflicts, dating back to the Revolution itself. One can debate the “rightness” of any war, but the fact remains that American soldiers have embraced the bedrock principle of our freedoms and believed that they were worth fighting for – and for many – worth dying for. The most basic freedom is the ability to participate in free and fair elections, casting your vote for the candidate of your choice. I know that many reading this will want to argue that the system has become flawed and imperfect, but it is our system and not voting isn’t going to correct it. Worse than that, not voting sends the message to our current military men and women that we don’t care enough about America and its future to be bothered by participating in the electoral process. I can’t imagine what it would feel like knowing that you may be sent into harm’s way to defend a country whose citizens couldn’t show their support by the simple act of voting.

    As a child, I heard over and over the stories of four uncles who all volunteered to fight in WWII. One was a tail-gunner in a B-17 during the early bombing raids, another happened to be driving an ambulance at a place called Pearl Harbor, a third had two ships sunk from under him in the South Pacific and a fourth, trudged and fought over most of Europe. All came home physically unharmed, but I now know that there were mental scars that never did heal. Even as a kid, I could tell that the four of them had a special bond. All have passed away now, but I can’t imagine telling Uncle Ray, Uncle Jim, Uncle Phil and Uncle “Sawbuck” that even though they had many times put everything on the line for their country, I’m not going to vote this year. I can’t imagine a more disrespectful and insulting slap in the face.

    Participating in the American political process by the simple act of voting is what truly makes us Americans. We may have widely divergent ideas and opinions, but we all need to vote. As citizens of this great country, it is the very least we can do. I fear that if we allow ourselves to lapse into “no-vote” apathy, America’s days are truly numbered.

    – Gut Ziel

    Wolfe Publishing Group