Ghostwriter and Researcher
I was hired in 2018 to interview subjects and ghostwrite first-person op-eds for a North Carolina-based nonprofit working to stop the disenfranchisement of voters.
In 1969, with our nation deep in war, I volunteered for the draft — at 20 becoming a medic attached to a forward unit in Vietnam.
The two-dozen doctors and nurses who made up this mobile hospital did their best for the 300 to 400 wounded and dead who arrived every week. At times the blood was so thick we had to squeegee the floor as gurneys came and went.
It’s been 48 years but that experience hasn’t aged a day; its memory remains as sharp as ever. That fact explains the deep anger I feel over the proposed constitutional amendment requiring ID to vote.
The blood of war is pledged, and lost, for our right to participate in government responsible for such life-and-death decisions — and do so as informed citizens. We make a mockery of those who laid their lives on the line for our democracy without that guarantee — something North Carolina lawmakers took from us, when they voted to place this amendment on the ballot before writing the law outlining even its basics.
All we know now is what we’ll see on the ballot in November: “Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.”
Presenting such a vague amendment — and withholding all information until after we vote — is a deeply cynical and cowardly act that does not deserve our support. It is as un-American as it is ill-advised.
The democracy we fought to create and continue to defend demands an engaged and informed citizenry using its vote to help our nation steer its way. I trust in that, not a group of state legislators who say “trust us” as they lay waste to our fundamental rights as Americans.