These guys have more brass than the Falmouth Town Band
"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do note vote." Although it was 20th Century journalist George Jean Nathan who offered that pithy quip, it might just as well have been your next door neighbor because it rings true with each passing election. As historic, active, and enlightening as this election season has been, nearly half of the people in this community will still choose to stay home next Tuesday, then likely complain about the "bad officials" who claim victory.
A group of local esteemed veterans hopes not. These men, who rose to the top in their respective careers, have settled in Falmouth and taken an interest in their futures - in our Falmouth future.
Admiral Paul Mulloy, United States Navy. Admiral William McDermott, United States Navy. General John Flanagan, United States Air Force. Admiral John Linnon, United States Coast Guard. Colonel James Tow, United States Army. Captain F. Bradley Stumcke, United States Navy. Dr. Anthony Tolentino, United States Marine Corps.
This impressive band of men, who sound like Falmouth's version of the Joint Chiefs and who collectively hold more brass than the Falmouth Town Band, had duty stations that took them all over the planet and to the highest levels of our democracy, recently offered an appeal titled "Attention all Veterans - please VOTE." Their stirring plea to inspire the men and women who have proudly worn the uniform has relevance for each and every American but was directed locally. These men know of what they speak. From environmental stewardship and work to save our estuaries, to solving our transportation challenges, to establishing free and accessible health care, these former pillars of our nation's defense are now pillars of the Falmouth community and making a difference here, locally.
This, their latest (and perhaps most important) project, is simply aimed at getting more of those who keep us free to exercise the most basic of freedoms: the right to vote. Here is an excerpt from their plea:
We are a nation at risk on the national security and economic fronts.
We took an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic".
The Russian Bear threatens militarily with ship deployments to Venezuela, and the recent Georgia invasion. The Chinese dragon has embarked on launching a blue-water Navy, missile expansion, launching astronauts into space, and upgrading an already impressive Army.
Within NATO only the U. S. can muster divisions of combat ready troops. Europe is hostage to Russia for their energy needs, oil and gas.
The 22 nation Arab League is autocratic except Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to us. Radical Islamist adherents fund the Madrasa schools that train thousands of terrorists to support their deadly war against the free world.
Iran pursues nuclear weapons and provides arms to Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Our economic institutions are in a meltdown and threaten global stability.
Tax policies are in disarray and threaten your personal finances and those of your heirs.
Our framers of the Constitution mandated two significant priorities in the Preamble: "Provide for the common defense" and "Promote the general welfare". These priorities are as valid and compelling today as they were then. These are the reasons we solicit your dedication and support.
We strongly urge you to vote and to encourage your families, friends and neighbors to vote in this election.
While these words are largely geared toward the national election, their sense of importance, of the urgency to vote is as local as these men.
Next Tuesday, you can be a good citizen and elect some too. Whatever your choice, listen to the guy next door and the Admiral down the street - VOTE.
This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Bulletin.