During an extended discussion of a friend's Facebook status update concerning an Army Times article on a potential deferment of military pay in the ongoing budget/debt fight, a mutual friend commented, "It just makes me all kinds of sad when folks in the military vote Republican when pigs like Richard Burr vote to cut their benefits." I made this extended response and reposted it as a Facebook Note on 21 April 2011.
On Military Support of Republicans;
or, Why I Am a Republican . . . and an Anti-Democrat
by Matt Wallace
This page was last modified on 27 December 2012.
Mr. Cecil, speaking as an Honorably Discharged Army sergeant, servicemembers and veterans disproportionately vote Republican because they recognize that the greatest threat to military pay and benefits, as well as the defense of the Republic, is the Democratic Party. The post-Vietnam Democratic Party has consistently grown evermore "McGovernized"; one is hard-pressed to find a military hawk like Sam Nunn or Henry "Scoop" Jackson. The current Democrats would rather pay a teenage girl to have a child out of wedlock so she can get out of mama's house than defend the country. The guns-or-butter debate is a false one as there is no butter without the guns.
Also, Mr. Cecil, you know my background, by which I should be a rock-ribbed Democrat. From 1980 to 1992, though I was registered Unaffiliated in Forsyth County, I generally voted Democrat. In the six biennial elections from 1980 through 1990, I can count the number of Republicans I voted for on something less than my ten fingers, and most of them were female school board candidates. During that same period, I twice voted against both Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms. What else would you expect from the son and grandson of retired Teamsters and a native Tar Heel. I grew up blue-collar, union, and Southern; I don't think I have to say "Democrat." No doubt you have long found my Republicanism perplexing, so allow me to share the point where the Democrats placed the final straw and lost me for good.
In the Fall of 1990, after completing my four-year enlistment and having transferred to the Reserve, I had been called back to active duty at Ft. Bragg in support of Desert Shield; I was serving as a pay sergeant in the post hospital. My unit was a reserve hospital, so I was accompanied by a large cadre of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who suffered severe pay cuts when they were brought on active duty, and there was a very real threat that they wouldn't be getting their lesser military pay as well.
At the time, the Democrat-controlled Congress was working on funding measures for Fiscal Year 1991, including continuing military operations related to the build up for the coming Persian Gulf War, read military pay. The Democrats refused to act if the elder President Bush wouldn't sign off on tax increases as well. Bush relented, and we got on to the matter at hand.
During Campaign '92, the Democrats made a talking point of this Democrat-coerced tax increase. The standard line went something like, "We can't reelect George Bush because we can't trust him; he breaks his promises. Remember 'read my lips, no new taxes'!?" Of course, these Democrats made no reference to the context of the promise-breaking tax increase or their complicity in it.
Unlike 1990, I was paying attention to the politics of the matter. I realized the Democrats had contrived a budget crisis in order create a political weapon which they were now using against President Bush. I realized the Democrats had used a national emergency to push their political agenda. I realized the Democrats had been more interested in furthering their political ambitions than defending the Republic. I realized the Democrats had used me and my brothers and sisters as political pawns instead of showing us the proper respect we had earned as citizen-soldiers who voluntarily sacrificed ourselves in service to the Republic and the People.
When I transferred my voter registration to Guilford County in 1992, I went downtown to the Board of Elections on the twelfth anniversary of my first registering; I wanted to make an event of it. When I was asked for party affiliation, I firmly and deliberately responded, "Republican." And I did so with a clear conscience.
I haven't voted for a Democrat since, and I do so not only with a clear conscience but also as both a patriotic duty and a moral imperative.