Military draft? Democracy may need it

  • Article by: Bonnie Blodgett
  • Updated: August 31, 2013 - 5:56 PM

It’s been thought to be a quixotic idea, but stop and consider the context.

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pumiceAug. 31, 13 6:00 PM

From the article: "I’m beginning to think compulsory military service in times of war is as essential to democracy as voting rights." Compulsory national service for everyone; compulsory military service in time of war; labor unions as strong in post-war times; a minimum wage that grows at the same rate as compensation for top management talent... Quaint? Quixotic? Not at all! Egalitarian in terms of social justice and essential in terms of economic justice!

pumiceAug. 31, 13 6:06 PM

And about voting rights: Legislators should be making it easier, not more difficult, to vote. Registration to vote should happen simultaneously with registration for national service. Both voting and national service should be compulsory. And elections should be publicly financed.

erikj3Aug. 31, 13 6:07 PM

I would support a draft, not for everyone, but for the kids of politicians, military contractors and lobbyists, and also the blowhards in the media who are constantly pushing for war or at least for the US to blow stuff up. Perhaps if any of these people had skin in the game (through their kids), they'd feel a little differently about the US getting involved in all these wars and conflicts around the globe.

bluedevil101Aug. 31, 13 6:27 PM

I'm not a fan of Charles Rangel, but I do respect him as an American hero. With his military service to our country he deserves to be heard and our respect. If Mr. Rangel wants to re-institute the draft as a way to clarify the American public's position on conflicts and fighting, I stand with him.

krisblueAug. 31, 13 7:16 PM

Bonnie Blodgett would impose on others a law she refuses to apply to herself or anybody else in her own generation. How is this democracy rather than hypocrisy? How is this "skin in the game"?

jd55604Aug. 31, 13 8:08 PM

A free country doesn't typically coerce large numbers of its citizens into doing things they don't want to do. A military draft is essentially state sanctioned slavery.

stplooklistnSep. 1, 13 5:52 AM

Not to forget drafting females. Post Office poster requires males of 18 years to register or else they may not receive financial aid. Only right to add the girls to that poster.

hobeybaker03Sep. 1, 13 7:40 AM

Decent commentary but I'm turned off by the casual mentions of race. Didn't add anything to the argument.

monkeyplanetSep. 1, 13 8:00 AM

The draft should only be reinstituted if women are subject to it along with men. Given the gains made by women in the last 40 years or so, this should be part of an equal rights agenda. It's not inconceivable that a future (female) chief executive could be sending American soldiers into combat. On what grounds can anyone object?

luzhishenSep. 1, 13 8:54 AM

"A free country doesn't typically coerce large numbers of its citizens into doing things they don't want to do." Yes they do - what do you think speed limits, zoning, etc. are? The Whiskey Rebellion and the collapse of the Articles of Confederation ended that form of US government. You are referring to an anarchic state rather than a functioning country. The idea of the draft was settled during the Civil War, I believe, and not without some dissension.


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