Exercise Your Right to Vote
in the 2008 Presidential Election
Your Future Depends on It!
The right to vote is considered one of the fundamental rights in this country, and the political freedoms we enjoy make us the envy of many of the world's citizens. Unfortunately, the right to vote is also one of those things many of us tend to take for granted, because we've never known what it is like to not be able to participate in our political process, or express our views.
We strongly encourage you to exercise your freedom and your rights as an American by voting for the candidate you believe best qualified to lead our country during this time of war.
We have been, and continue to be, strong supporters of our troops and our Commander-in-Chief. We are grateful that he has the strength of character to do what he believes is in the best interest of our nation and its citizens, despite the intense personal criticism it has earned him. President Bush has been under attack from every angle over his handling of the war.
Even some of those who originally supported the decision to invade Iraq are now changing their tune as the road to the election twists and turns (surprise!). There are cries, becoming louder and more frequent as Campaign 2008 heats up, to "Bring Our Troops Home!"
What's at Stake?
We agree with the President's strategy, and with the conviction of our military leaders and the troops on the front lines of the War on Terror, that pulling our troops out of Iraq and/or Afghanistan before their mission is accomplished would have devastating consequences for everyday life in the United States. A pullout would mean far more than "defeat" or "embarrassment." You need to understand that before you vote.
The seriousness of the consequences of "losing" this war cannot be overstated. It could mean an end to life as we have known it.
We're not being dramatic or exaggerating, trying to sway your vote. We're not playing "politics as usual." We're quite serious.
It could mean living in constant fear that we might be the target, or an innocent bystander near a target, for a terrorist attack. It could mean life in the United States might become similar to life in Israel, where people have long been afraid to go to public places for fear of a terrorist attack. Several years ago, an Israeli woman explained to me that she and her husband and their friends can no longer even go out for dinner or a movie, for fear of an attack. She won't allow her children to go to parties in public places, for fear of a bomber. That is what it is like to live in the grips of terror. We know we don't want that situation in America.
The only way to keep America strong so we don't have to live in fear is to VOTE for the candidate you believe best qualified to lead the country through this critical period in our history. We believe in President Ronald Reagan's vision of "Peace Through Strength." The only way we can protect our way of life is to be strong enough to deter or defeat our enemies.
We believe that an alarmingly large number of Americans are complacent, naive, and/or cavalier about the seriousness of this conflict, the consequences of abandoning or losing it, and the determination of the enemy we are fighting.
Before you vote, you must realize that the result of "pulling out" of this war, or bringing the troops home before they complete their mission, would not be like the results of pulling the troops out of Vietnam. The troops came home, and the rest of us went on with life as usual. Unless you were in the military, or knew someone in the military, the war in Southeast Asia had no impact on daily life for Americans who today are under 50.
That will not happen this time. We will not be allowed to come home and go on with life as usual. This enemy will follow us.
This war, and this enemy, are unlike any this country has faced in the past. That is why this vote is so critical.
They are ruthless, they are heartless, and they are determined to annihilate America and all Americans. It is one of their stated goals!
Do not be lulled into complacency because our stepped-up security measures have thwarted other planned attacks since 9/11.
Do not be mistaken -- This enemy intends to destroy America!
The Troops Believe in Their Mission
Our troops (and not just the leaders) are steadfast in their belief that if we do not fight this war in the terrorists' back yard, we will have to fight it in our own backyard. We have heard current service members and veterans of this war express the opinion that the hardships they and their families endure is worth it if it keeps the terrorists out of the United States, and allows their children to be safe at home.
Army Staff Sgt. Jay Fondgren had his life changed forever in an instant in Iraq, when a "platter charge" took both his legs and part of his right hand. The father of two young sons nevertheless says, "I would go back and do it all over again. I would much rather be fighting a war somewhere else than to have roadside bombs and IED's going off in the United States."
Unfortunately, and this is what Americans need to understand, this is exactly what will happen if we pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and allow the terrorists to take over. They will bring this war to us if we do not take it to them. Americans need to understand their goal, and their resolve.
They are perfectly willing (and in some cases, even eager) to die for this cause, because they have been "brainwashed" into believing the Koran says something it does not, and that they are dying for Allah. They have been promised instantaneous transport to Paradise, where they will meet their reward of 72 virgins.
This Enemy Ruthlessly and Deliberately Kills Children
This enemy knows that Americans hold our children especially dear, and that we fight in a "civilized" manner, attempting to minimize civilian casualties, and to protect women and children if possible. That is precisely why they are using women and children not only as shields, but also as weapons. They know that Americans typically let their guard down a bit around children. So they force children to wear suicide vests and send them to approach American troops. The very thought turns the stomach.
In 2007, a 6-yr-old Afghan boy was hailed as a hero after insurgents made him put on one of the explosive-laden vests. They told him that when he pressed the button, it would spray out flowers. He said they told him that when he saw American soldiers, "throw your body at them."
Thank heaven even a six-year-old is smart enough to know better. After they sent him on his "errand," he found Afghan troops and asked them to help him. They, along with some American troops nearby, were able to disarm the vest and save the boy and their fellow service members.
This is the nature of the enemy we face today. They think nothing of killing an innocent child, especially if they think he can take with him a handful of Americans (or other "infidels," which means anyone not Muslim). They justify it by telling themselves and the child's parents that he will bring great honor to his family, and he will be instantly transported to Paradise, where he will meet his reward of 72 virgins. (Even assuming that to be true, what would a six-year-old do with 72 virgins?)
We need to understand their world view and their goal: There are only two kinds of people -- Muslims and dead people. If you are not Muslim, you will be killed. Period. And it appears that just the fact of being Muslim won't necessarily save you either. The extremists are slaughtering thousands of innocent Muslims who do not share their beliefs.
We believe the upcoming Presidential Election to be one of the most important in our nation's history, and we believe SO much is at stake for all of America.
To find out which candidate's views are closest to your own, take the survey at the Minnesota Public Radio site. You can also view the cumulative data and the candidates' positions on the major issues by clicking on the tabs. The issues covered include: the war in Iraq, Iran and nuclear power, immigration reform, tax cuts, collapse of the mortgage industry, education, social security, and health care, among others.
We'll remind you again and again, regardless of which candidate you choose, the most important thing is to cast an informed VOTE!
Return to top of Vote in 2008
Express Your Opinion! Join our discussion of the candidates and issues.
Check out the Presidential Primaries Calendar.
Links to the candidates' campaign sites.
Senator Joe Lieberman urges non-partisanship and explains why this election is so critical, and why we must vote as Americans, not Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.
Senator John McCain speaks with the voice of experience.
Senator Hillary Clinton is a polarizing candidate. You either love her or you hate her. No one is ambivalent about her.
Who is Barack Obama?