Good Morning Readers,
I have agonized over this entry for weeks. It’s the one I didn’t want to have to write. But if you are to believe me on anything, then I must tell the truth – the whole truth as I know it – every time. Even when it would be far far easier to remain silent. I’ve been hoping that a man’s conscience and sense of dignity would prevail, that he would do the right thing. It hasn’t happened, he remains unabashed. The issue is voting and now it’s public.
Here in the Mass 5th Congressional District we have a heated Republican race shaping up to oust brain-dead socialist Niki Tsongas. She needs to be forcibly retired. But we must take pains to replace her with a worthy citizen-legislator, – someone we can trust to do his/her homework, study the issues, read the bills, and vote for only those which meet strict constitutional standards.
So we must judge the candidates on the content of their character, and upon their records. Just look at what happened when American voters overlooked or ignored character and records and judged Obama on his looks, and judged Ms. Tsongas on her dead husband’s name.
So some weeks ago I set out to research a blog entry I was going to write [still might] on the Republican, the “Republican”, and Independent contenders. Carlisle is nearby and their town hall was my first stop. Voting records are public records, and I’d come to make inquiry. I left in shock and dismay. I’m pretty sure the town clerk was too.
It appears the Golnik family moved to Carlisle in late 2000 or early 2001. Mrs. Golnik registered to vote May 5th 2001 and has voted regularly ever since. But Congressional Candidate Jon Golnik did not register to vote until March 5th 2009. Thus he missed voting in all town elections and the General Elections of 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. 2007 put Tsongas into Congress, and 2008 returned her there. Where were you Jon?
The fact that I even checked has outraged some of Jon’s supporters, and severely strained friendships with stalwart Republicans I thought were my friends. In angry e-mails I’ve been called a “scumbag” and worse by people I campaigned with and for. That’s been painful and eye-opening. In trying to follow Reagan’s 11th Commandment, I’ve been trying to remain silent and hope that Jon would do the right thing. It didn’t happen.
In two brief conversations with him since, he claims that “…it’s all George Bush’s fault… that he’d worked to get Bush elected in 2000, and then ‘Bush started spending like a Democrat’…so he dropped out”. That makes zero sense to me. It sounds like Obama talking. September 11th 2001 didn’t jolt his conscience? Watching Iraqi and Afghans risk mutilation and death to vote then proudly display their purple fingers to al Qaeda and the world didn’t stir a sense of guilt? Just how far out did you drop Jon?
Why am I angry?
I live daily – and almost nightly – with my memories and the images of my time in Vietnam. In April 1972 the NVA ripped the mask off “people’s guerilla war” and invaded South Vietnam with seven Soviet-style tank divisions. This was hardly a case of a people rising to throw off the yoke of a cruel or corrupt king. This was blatant cross-border invasion by the Russian-trained PAVN of their weaker but democratic southern neighbor. Everywhere I went in the next three months I saw terrified civilians fleeing, and resolute ARVNs digging in and fighting like hell to resist the invaders. Nobody was welcoming these PAVN as “liberators”! Terror and courage were the dominant emotions.
The town of An Loc became a major battleground, not unlike the WWII Battle of the Bulge. Surrounded by over a division of PAVN, ARVN paratroopers heroically held the town for seven weeks. It became the most bombed and shelled piece of ground since Kursk. In one day we fired one-fifth of the free world’s supply of 2.75” folding-fin HEAT rockets trying to knock out the North Vietnamese T-54 and T-55 tanks.
When the ARVNs were ready to relieve the town, I led the Pathfinder team. The smell of rotting ARVN and PAVN flesh greeted us at 5000 feet over the town. We lost four (4) Cav helicopters in 20 seconds just trying to get in – eight great Americans dead in 20 seconds. Many ARVN infantrymen would die that day relieving the paratroopers.
A week later many more of the paratroopers would die in a giant ambush as they marched south. I was sent in again leading a three-man team, to extract these heroes from this second encirclement. Surrounded on a bare bombed-out moonscape, raked with machinegun and mortar fire from both sides of a bombed out road, they showed incredible professionalism and courage in the face of certain death. Death was certain for 300 of them that afternoon, but they never wavered. They remain the bravest men I’ve ever soldiered with, along with my own teenage Pathfinders, and the two Marine Skyhawk pilots who saved our bacon that day.
The ARVN paratroopers we managed to extract got exactly one day off in Saigon, and were sent north to liberate the city of Quang Tri. They did that, throwing NVA units out. Three years later they made a brave but futile attempt to stop the next NVA tank thrust down QL1 at Xuan Loc. They jumped in and fought to nearly the last man. Saigon fell a week later, and remains under Communist control today – thirty-five years later.
So I remain shocked, and angry, and at a deep inner level outraged that someone who ‘got mad at Bush and dropped out’ – now feels worthy of sitting in Congress to represent me.
Sorry Jon, but if you couldn’t be bothered registering to vote – or going to the polls to cast your vote – through five (5) critical general elections – then we cannot trust you to go to Washington, study the issues, read the bills, show up on the floor of the House, or cast an informed and constitutional vote. You disqualified yourself with over eight years of absentee citizenship. You might get mad and ‘drop out’ again. Best do it now and not clutter the primary ballot.
/s/ Iron Mike
Old Soldier, – Still Good for Parts!
UPDATE August 31st 2010: Since the discovery of Golnik’s non-registered/non-voting status was made public by the Lowell Sun, another far more telling event has come to light.
In May 2001 Golnik was stopped by Arlington police driving late at night on a flat tire. He was shirtless, drunk and admitted to having beers and a joint at an AC/DC concert at the Fleet Center. He blew a 1.8.
As a result he lost his license for 45 days. In his sentencing plea he blamed his dead brother, his father, and the contractors working on his home for his problems. Later he would blame his attorney for misrepresenting him in that plea filing.
A pattern emerges of Jon – the boy who never grew up. He never accepts real responsibility for his actions – it’s always somebody else’s fault – Jon is always the poor victim. The dog ate his homework and the other kids are picking on him.
Remember that Jon swore to me – and to many Republican groups and committees that he was “clean as a whistle”. So which is worse, – the not voting, the DUI, the lying about them, the blaming everybody else, – or the pattern of behavior?
~~~~UPDATE: 9:45 AM Tuesday Sept 14th ~~~~~~~
TELLING ENCOUNTER: I just spent 2½ hours holding a Sam Meas sign in front of the Carlisle Town Hall. Golnik showed up [to vote?] – then spent 30 minutes with his sign holders.
As he was leaving he stopped his SUV and rolled his window down to talk to me. I asked him “Jon, where were you EVER registered to vote?”
He snarled – pointed his finger at me – rolled the window up and drove off angry. So I guess we have his answer . . .