No matter which side of the aisle you sit on, here's a lighter look at the great Hillary-Trump Halloween costume debate through the eyes of my terrified twin toddlers. We had the camera out to record our fun family selfie in matching double trouble Trump and Hillary mask during our Sunday post-church Walmart extravaganza and what we captured instead of the selfie was completely unexpected.
We quickly accepted that Miles was pretty terrified of masks and the selfie was not going to happen! Attempting to coax him into a fun family photo lasted about 30 seconds before he was swept up for cuddles and we returned to a Sunday Funday. As you can see in the other end of #debatenight video, he has since gotten him over his phobia!
Since we have your attention, let's talk about the real issue. The videos are a fun and a lighter look a a very serious issue — voting in America's presidential election. As a combat veteran who has served the country as a soldier and a civilian in both Democrat and Republican administrations, the right to vote is something I take very seriously. Registering to vote and actually engaging in the political process is nonpartisan. No matter your political views, as Americans we all have a responsibility to do our civic duty and rock the vote. So many people, including fellow veterans, have expressed views to me that they dislike the candidates and so won’t go to the polls. As a veteran that is extremely disheartening.
Twelve years ago, I spent October 2004 in uniform serving with the U.S Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Afghanistan. Witnessing and covering Afghanistan's first-ever direct presidential elections forever influenced my appreciation of American democracy. It was a challenging moment in history and Afghanistan continues to face insurmountable challenges but one thing is indisputable. On October 9th, 2004, Afghans defiantly faced the threat of the Taliban and insurgent attacks, and waited for hours in the freezing snow so that they could exercise their right to vote. What would it be like if Americans cherished our right to vote like that?
Freedom isn’t free. Enjoy the videos, my kids are amazing and I get to enjoy them every day. But, the truth is that headlines, talking heads (myself included!) and viral videos can be distracting.
In most states you can still register. Social media is fun and entertaining but we all need to get off of our apps long enough to make sure we’re reading about policies impacting the issues and causes we care about most. Both in the presidential election, and especially at the local level in our own communities.
Too many veterans who have served our nation are tired of the rhetoric because we know that we always drove on in spite of who held the office. I urge you, no matter your political views, to get out and rock the vote in November.