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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

 Prelude to a coup

This kind of story makes me fear for the future of democracy in America.
When a young Navy enlistee registers to vote [in Jacksonville, Florida], it is likely to be with the help of a uniformed superior officer. It may even be the one he or she answers to.

Officers in uniform regularly staff voter-registration tables outside of Navy NEX stores, the Navy version of a PX, where enlistees and their families buy groceries and supplies. Local election officials supply the paperwork, but it's the uniformed officers who hawk registration, hand out the pens - and get a peek at the political party chosen by each registrant with an "X" in a box on the face of each form.

"The problem is, a lot of the chiefs don't make any secret of the fact that Bush is their man," said Wendy Layton, program director at the USO center just outside the Mayport Naval Station here. "A lot of these young people feel pressured to register a certain way and vote a certain way.... I've been doing this kind of work a long time. I work with everybody from the officer community to the young enlisted kids. I have a pretty good feel for things," she said. "And I've never seen such an openly political atmosphere. The officers are for Bush all the way, and the young kids are afraid to talk."
Full article is here.

But hey, it's okay to be unamerican, as long as you're a Republican, right?


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