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After this election cycle, I think I am very much over it. We should resolve to no longer allow anyone born before January 1, 1955 from running for public office. Why 1955? The answer actually lies in 1973.

There have been many fake draft rumors over the past several months. In fact, the Selective Service System draft has not been in effect since July 1, 1973. Since people become eligible for the draft at age 18 1/2, anyone born on or after January 1, 1955 was never subject to the draft. It was the start of the all volunteer military. (Full disclosure note: I have served in this same all volunteer military for the last 22 1/2 years.)

If we keep the geezers born before 1955 from running for public office, we will no longer need to put up with news stories of how the candidate did or did not go to Viet Nam -- Or whether the candidate improperly got out of going to Viet Nam -- Or whether the candidate did something "bad" there -- Or whether the candidate subsequently lied about something that happened there -- Or other nefarious events.

As I said, I am just over it.

Update: Something I forgot to mention about conscripts (ahem, draftees). Having them in the service would be the single best way of defeating the US military. We currently have a broad cross-section of society in uniform. Most of those serving are educated and motivated. Dragging in people who may be neither is no way to run the defense of this nation. We know that now that we have done it for 30+ years. We should never go back.

Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2004 10:33 PM The Stump | Back to top

Comments on this post: Elections and the Volunteer Military

# re: Elections and the Volunteer Military
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You don't believe the military is a way to build national pride, and instill discipline and values in people? I think it would do the country a lot of good to have mandatory service. There is so much dissention in this country it would be nice if we all had a common experience to build on.
Left by Zack. on Nov 09, 2004 7:29 PM

# re: Elections and the Volunteer Military
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Zack: I think it is a wonderful way to build a common experience for a nation, I believe that you need more reason than that to implement it, though. I don't see the draft as a good way of doing it, and draftees would certainly not see it as something to build a common national experience. The 5% who would be troublemakers would consume 95% of their supervisor's time and negatively influence the rest. I have seen it over the last two decades on a small scale and believe that readiness would suffer if we had to handle draftees.
Left by Mark on Nov 09, 2004 9:54 PM

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