Charlie Rangel’s Draft

Charlie Rangel is both over-thinking himself into a corner and is onto something but isn’t quite at a correct point of demarcation just yet.  There are two paths to his argument about the draft — one that the draft will impede congressional war authorization, two — that it will do good for the Youth.

Understand the flaw of the draft as forced moral conscience through self-interest.  Ignore and look past the simple fact that Congress has not declared war since World War Two and has been content to just let the President do what he (she?) may, and in any debate over war we are drum-beated into acceptance that Congress has let itself become irrelevant in initial matters of war.  What good will a draft do?  Charlie Rangel seems to be fulfilling the needs of the John McCains of the world.  McCain, you see, has suggested that we need to send a whole lot more troops to properly fight, and win, the War in Iraq.  When asked the simple question, “Where are these troops going to come from?”, McCain answers with a meaningless panoply of patriotic homilies that tend toward a patronizing “These kids need to understand what’s good for them — and that is to fight this war because Freedom ins’t Free, and they are soft.”

The obvious answer on where to get new troops to deploy into Iraq, to tend to our large permanent bases, is through Charlie Rangel’s draft.  Solution found, the War Machine is fed properly.

The “onto something” is quite simply that there is no reason our education system has to remain the K – 12 and straight into college, if properly groomed, system it is right now.  I don’t quite know what relatively radical and relatively sedate changes I would make to our compulsorary education system, but I understand where the desire to require two years of compulsorary military — or other public service — comes from.  I note that during the Vietnam War, war opponents often suggested that the draft allow Peace Corps service as an alternative.  I imagine that (and other service – oriented agencies — Americorps?) as conscientous good-natured “we can’t force the kids into the military” objections abound.  But I imagine the military service would end up being the default setting for any such arrangement, and eventually America would fall into a quota system for such things, the upshoot being that once again the “Fortunate Sons” have a leg up on avoiding military service, and Charlie Rangel’s thesis falls ashunder.

It’s just a thought burst I have. 

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