20 November 2006
This is why those of us who take the military seriously think that your average Democrat has no business shaping military policy.

Charles Rangle wants to reinstate the draft. Why? Because of the small size of the military (due, let’s recall, to the ‘RIF’ perpetrate during the adminstration of the current President’s predecessor)? No.

Normally, a nation wants a fighting force that can win wars. Rangle, and others like him (who will control both houses of Congress beginning next year), want a military that more accurately represents America, demographically.

That’s nice. When that military gets defeated (as it just might, given that victory is clearly not a major concern here), most of us will be despondent over the loss. Rangle and others will be congratulating themselves, saying, “Sure they got their asses whooped. But ours is the most demographically representative of any nation in history. We can be proud of that.”

Rangle says he wants to reinstate the draft as a way to avoid war: “There’s no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm’s way,” Rangel said.

But, being a politician, Rangle kept talking and ultimately (and inevitably) contradicted his own reasoning. (That reasoning, bear in mind, was that the draft would deter us from wars like the one we are presently fighting.) “I don’t see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft,” said Rangel, who you may recall also proposed a draft in January 2003, before we invaded Iraq. “I think to do so is hypocritical.”

First, the draft would have prevented our entering the war which Rangle opposes. Now, if you support the war which Rangle opposes you should support the draft.

I think it would be easier to listen to a lecture on the ultimate expression of silence than to understand Rangle's logic there. (Or, as my daughter would say, What the crap?) But I digress.

I’m one of the 7 in 10 Americans who oppose the draft. And I do so as one who volunteered. Frankly, I’m more than a little miffed that recruiters aren’t turning away more ‘cruits than they’re signing up. But that’s a different matter.

Let me illustrate my position this way. You’re a rich guy with a wife and a couple of teenage daughters for whom you wish to hire bodyguards. Are you selective at all? Or will any Tom, Rick, or Harry just off the street do as long as he can fight and handle a fire arm?

Of course, the logically astute will say, “But James that argument only works if you regard your country the same way that a man might regard his wife or daughters.”

I reply: That’s right. And although I am by no means rich I regard my wife pretty highly; and she would be happy to tell you about the near fist-fight I got into at a supermarket several years ago just because some jackass spoke unkindly to her. And my daughter’s fiancee can tell you how highly I regard my daughter.

I don’t want the random buck-seeking thug off the street safeguarding the women of my house. And I don’t want non-committal draftees safeguarding our country.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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