Nothing gets my blood boiling more than ignorance and hypocrisy, and a lot of that’s been going around since Charles Rangel’s (D-N.Y.) bill calling for a reinstatement of the military draft got considered and subsequently knocked down.
The bill was lambasted as being nothing more than a brilliant scare tactic, indicative, supposedly, of Democrats using the threat of military conscription to scare young people into voting for Kerry, or rather against Bush.
Rangel’s bill was scary, because it would require us – young college-aged men and women – to stop everything we’re doing and go fight. As President Bush said, “war is a scary place.” Not that he would know, but it is. And we young people – Democrats and Republicans, those for the war and those against it – probably agree on that.
However, the real irony here is that the people my age (20) on this campus who voice full-throated support for the war in Iraq (read: College Republicans) are the least likely to actually fight it.
Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point where we consider our all-volunteer army to be an entitlement, so that when there’s a conflict, we can safely say “bomb [insert country here]” without having to give anything of ourselves. But the truth is that the troops fight because we won’t, and because they have very few options other than enlisting.
Can you imagine what would happen if the young people my age who support this war in Iraq were actually called upon to serve via a draft? There would be rioting and protest! The College Republicans would mutiny and jump ship! Luke Kosar (the president of the Young Democrats) would be inundated with membership requests!
I’ll never support a war that I wouldn’t be willing to fight myself, and I’d like to extend that message to all those who support this war, even tacitly. If you support it by doing such things as writing columns or defending the war on University talk shows, then why not go the extra step? Why not stop by your local military recruiter and volunteer to fight? “Other priorities”?
The bill to reinstate the draft is not a scare tactic; it’s a gut-check. It’s for all the supporters of this war who would never dream of serving in the military, and it’s for the people who say that they “support the troops” because, let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to support the troops than to actually be one.
Moises Jacobs III can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.