For me as a veteran, Memorial Day takes on special significance. I served nearly 8 years (1983-1990) as a nuclear submarine officer in the US Navy. I am ever thankful for the honor and privilege of serving our great nation and giving back to a country that has given so much to me. Memorial Day presents an opportunity for citizens to honor the memory of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Unlike Veterans Day, which honors all veterans, Memorial Day venerates only those veterans that died while actively serving our nation—the vast majority of whom died in battle or from battle-incurred wounds.
So what exactly did these military men and women die protecting? Answer: our fallen veterans died protecting our central liberties such as the right to free speech, (equal) voting rights, and even the right for private individuals/entities to enter into contracts (without excessive regulation). These fundamental freedoms are foundational to the success of our great nation; they enable and catalyze the social and economic dynamism that is essential to our nation’s so many triumphs in science, business, medicine, etc. Unfortunately, these fundamental freedoms are always under assault. And these threats to liberty are not only external but also internal and even local. Right here in Milton, some council members and their partisan proxies have fought hard to undermine Miltonites’ basic rights. In my advocacy on behalf of citizens, I have experienced firsthand their attempts—mostly unsuccessful—to limit my freedom of speech and protest or otherwise marginalize me. I have paid a heavy price for my advocacy, including significant expenditures on attorneys.
The internal threats to our liberty come from both the extreme left and the extreme right, which employ similar undemocratic and unethical tactics to advance their agendas. When I first got involved in city politics in 2015, a handful of far-left activists had gained a foothold in Milton’s city government. Under the guise of (faux) environmentalism, these activists and their agents on city council (including Rick Mohrig) were promoting cluster housing in areas of Milton zoned AG-1 (which requires houses be built on 1+ acres). A strong citizens’ movement (that I helped to lead) successfully fended off these existential threats to Milton’s rural heritage and identity.
Unlike 2015, the current local threat to our liberties comes from the far right and is being led by Council Members Paul Moore and Rick Mohrig, with assistance from partisan activists like Lisa Cauley (who was a member of Milton’s so-called “Election Feasibility” Committee). For more than a year, Moore and Mohrig have run amuck in our city government, trampling on the rights of citizens (they have pledged to serve) and disregarding their oath (of office) to uphold the rule of law. Moore and Mohrig have intervened in petty HOA matters; they have threatened the First Amendment rights of protest and free speech through bullying and expensive litigation; and they have most recently succeeded in making voting more difficult for certain citizen in Milton (those living in District 3). Such flagrant and callous affronts to basic political rights dishonor and disrespect the many hundreds of thousands of veterans that have sacrificed their lives for sacred American principles.
This Memorial Day, I urge citizens to take a few minutes to reflect on the principles that our military men and women sacrificed their lives to uphold. I urge citizens to find ways to engage in local government to ensure these foundational principles are upheld and celebrated. I urge citizens to resist efforts by local politicians (and their proxies) to undermine citizens’ fundamental rights to speak, to protest, to vote, and to pursue their own idea of happiness (without excessive government meddling).
Remembering and Honoring Our Many Military Members On Eternal Duty,