Opinion

Congressional Dems offer early Halloween scare

I read a report from the AP last Friday that helped me realize just how brilliant those Democrats on Capitol Hill could be sometimes. When they all put their minds together, they come up with some good ideas to get their candidates elected and scare the heck out of millions of 18 to 26-year-olds. One such brilliant idea was the Universal National Service Act of 2003 sponsored by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Claiming the current draft system discriminates against low-income adults and using the large number of troops deployed around the world as support, Rangel said that the U.S. needs to raise its troop levels and that a draft is the only way to do so. Democrats in the Senate proposed similar legislation.

Now why would I say that a draft bill is brilliant? Well, the AP report stated that the National Annenberg Election Survey found 51 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 believed Bush wanted to reinstate the draft, while only 8 percent believed Kerry wanted to do the same thing. Keep in mind that Bush, his entire administration, and Republicans in both houses of Congress have said repeatedly not only will there not be a draft, but that they will vote against every measure to do so. In the Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he wouldn’t even bring the issue up for debate.

If Republicans are so against the draft and the Democrats are proposing draft bills, why do students then believe that Bush is pro-conscription? You could partially thank the internet for that. An email rumor claiming the upcoming reinstatement of the draft, based on the bills proposed by Congressional Democrats, has instilled fear in many young adults. It’s sad to think that people of draft age could be so easily manipulated by email forwards and not research the facts.

Finally, another important fact should you know about the proposed reinstatement of the draft: It’s not going to happen. The U.S. House voted 402-2 against Rep. Rangel’s (once again, a Democrat) draft bill. Whether or not Americans will be conscripted in future wars waits to be seen, but it won’t be happening anytime soon. So as John Kerry travels America warning college students and young adults that President Bush will reinstate the draft in his second term, don’t fret; its just the Democrats trying to get you scared before Halloween or, more importantly, before Nov. 2.

Pierre Gaunaurd can be contacted at p.gaunaurd@umiami.edu.

October 12, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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