Thursday, September 30, 2004

talking about the draft

the issue of the draft is a football bouncing around the political playing field in the most literal sense. you've got liberal democrats pushing the idea as a way of class-evening the military (thus theoretically reducing the enthusiasm of the largely non-militarized upper classes for military adventurism) while conservatives regularly dismiss the draft and deny it plays a role in their plans, even as they aggressively expand our overseas presence and stretch our current forces dangerously thin. of course, the issue is politically radioactive for the mainstream of either party, so even a reasonable idea like a public service requirement that entails a choice between shorter military service or longer community service, goes unaddressed.

jonathan alter discusses the state of the draft in newsweek, and his final paragraph sums it up nicely:

Both Bush and Kerry insist they won't revive the draft. But someday a presidential candidate will come along who has the guts to propose national service, in which every young American serves his or her country either in the military or in community-service projects at home.

guts ? a presidential candidate ? maybe when the american public has the guts to seriously consider a proposal like that.

- LH


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