A few months ago the federal government invited people to answer these seven questions about the future of the military draft:
1. Is a military draft or draft contingency still a necessary component of U.S. national security?
2. Are modifications to the selective service system needed?
3. How can the United States increase participation in military, national, and public service by individuals with skills critical to address the national security and other public service needs of the nation?
4. What are the barriers to participation in military, national, or public service?
5. Does service have inherent value, and, if so, what is it?
6. Is a mandatory service requirement for all Americans necessary, valuable, and feasible?
7. How does the United States increase the propensity for Americans, particularly young Americans, to serve?
Here are my answers to 6 of those 7 questions:
1. NO. A draft is “INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE” in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s amendment that prohibits slavery. It is HORRIBLY ILLOGICAL AND COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE to try to “protect freedom” by taking away people’s freedom for forcing them into INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE to the military. If people do not VOLUNTARILY JOIN to fight a war, the basic principle of DEMOCRACY proves that that war should NOT be fought.
2. REVERSE THE BURDEN OF PROOF FOR CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS. Currently, the law assumes that people are willing to kill strangers. Anyone whose conscience or religion prohibits that is required to prove CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION in order to be exempt. We must REVERSE THE BURDEN OF PROOF. We should assume that PEOPLE KNOW BETTER THAN TO KILL, so instead of a draft, we should rely entirely on volunteers and REQUIRE THAT PEOPLE PROVE TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT KILLING PEOPLE IS O.K. WITH THEIR CONSCIENCES AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. They should have to write essays and provide documentation — as is required now for people applying Conscientious Objection — before anyone should be allowed to join the military.
3. Pay a decent wage and protect all human rights and civil rights.
5. People who think that people should be forced to work for the government — in military or any other government role — are doing what HITLER AND STALIN believed. This is TOTALITARIANISM, NAZISM and COMMUNISM. A free society does NOT force anyone into involuntary servitude.
6. See my answer to #5 immediately above.
7. The U.S. government — even before Trump’s horrible tilt toward fascism — was FAILING TO REPRESENT AND SERVE THE PUBLIC INTEREST. It has been tilted toward militarism, Big Business, and empire. The U.S. government has been slashing its compassionate care for people who are poor or sick. It has been rolling back environmental protections and civil rights. THE GOVERNMENT IS REPELLING THE PUBLIC. Compelling service would only make this worse. OUR FOUNDING FATHERS KNEW THAT THE GOVERNMENT MUST EARN — NOT COMPEL — RESPECT FROM THE PUBLIC.