Tuesday, February 25

Voter Slightly Confused About Role of Korean War Veteran

A woman interviewed at an early polling site said that she appreciated all the Korean War Veteran had done for her. That's great, and I appreciate the man's service. The problem is that the woman believed the vet had paved the way for her to be able to vote. Since I wasn't there for the speech, I can't say she was totally wrong, but I wondered whether she wanted to believe a bit more than was possible for a Korean War Veteran to have done.


One could argue that all veterans that fight for our country also fight to uphold our voting rights. I can't argue with that, but the wording this woman used seemed to imply that this man who fought in the Korean War was tied to her voting rights. I have to assume that if this is somehow the case, it came well after the Constitutional Amendments that would have legally established her right to vote.

As a woman, she would have had the right to vote as of 1920 with the Nineteenth Amendment. As an African American, her male relatives would have had the right to vote with the Fifteenth Amendment back in 1870. However, there were lots of disenfranchised African Americans in the South from 1890 until 1910 by use of poll taxes and literacy tests. In some areas, intimidation likely played a role for many years after that, but a soldier fighting in the Korean War would have had little effect on this problem.

The Korean War, as far as I know, did not do a lot to change voter issues in America. The Civil Rights Movement, sometimes tied to protests of the Vietnam War, was also not really tied to the Korean War.

In the end, I suppose it's not a huge deal. If one woman (or a group of people) at an early polling site want to believe the Korean War played a role in voting rights, that interpretation of our history is just exercising free speech.


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