In 2010, I deployed to a combat zone in Iraq with Army Special Forces. The people of Iraq have suffered through perpetual violence, and been hampered by minimal rule of law, few economic prospects, and a deep lack of trust in its government and institutions. But I watched as many of them defended their short-lived democracy and worked to preserve its values against authoritarianism.
I proudly served our country for more than 20 years as a Senior Naval Officer, Intelligence Analyst and Middle East Policy Advisor at the Pentagon. But I never thought I’d be called to serve to defend our sacred democratic values and institutions here at home.
For me, our democracy is sacred. But today, the sanctity of our free and fair elections faces threats not only foreign, but domestic.
Donald Trump’s dangerously false claims about the 2020 election led to an insurrection and assault on the U.S. Capitol and has undermined the faith and trust in our democracy. Republican state legislators have responded with laws making it more difficult to vote — an affront on our democratic process and the voice of the American people.
We cannot sit idly by as these attacks on our country persist. We must take action to defend our democracy and ensure it remains strong and sound for future generations.
This starts with passing voting rights legislation that prevents extreme gerrymandering and protects everyone’s voice in our democracy — ensuring that no eligible voters are prevented from casting their ballot through discriminatory measures. It continues with passing election protection measures to prevent partisan politicians from overturning the will of voters.
We are blessed to live in the United States of America and enjoy freedoms other countries dream of thanks to our democratic institutions and free elections, but it is incumbent upon us to protect them as well as honor them by voting.
- Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act
- Support independent nonpartisan redistricting commissions
- Encourage automatic voter registration
- Encourage same day voter registration
- Protect “No excuse” absentee and vote by mail options so that seniors and those with disabilities can vote
- Create a national cyber security taskforce to protect integrity of elections