The Draft

132 posts

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Its memorial day, one of the most patriotic days in our country. So, I’d like to discuss one of the most unpatriotic things in place today – the draft. I’ve touched on this in the libertarian thread, but I think it deserves to have its own thread.

When I was 18 I received a letter that both filled my chest with dread and at the same time made my blood boil. Uncle Sam was kind enough to tell me that I had been automatically entered into the Selective Service pending my eighteenth birthday.

The government has placed ownership on my life. In the time of war, the government can choose to force me away from my apartment, away from my family, and away from my possessions. This is a clear violation of the 13th amendment.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

I have never known the American public to be greedy on anything. If there is a just cause, they will fight for it. Thus, there is no need for the draft – if it is a just war, people will fight it.

Well, those are my beliefs and I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Happy Memorial Day and thanks to our troops.

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I’m pretty sure the constitution mentions, either in that amendment or the beginning, that it only applies to peacetime. (Or was that in the housing of soldiers part…. I can’t remember).

But I do disagree with the draft.

 
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I agree conscription should never be accepted.

 
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Im against all war, as well as the draft. No adays you can get concientous objector status and not have to fight, though.

 
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Hypothetical:

What if a war had grown to the point where there were two options remaining:

1) Draft
2) Surrender under terms which would result in the destruction of the American constitution to be replaced by documents, government, and authority of a foreign power.

What would be the proper course of action? You could argue that in either case it is proof that the American Democracy experiment has failed. But if it came down to it, what would be the right thing to do?

 
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If there is a real existential threat, we’d practically be forced to institute a lottery. Not to force people into the service, but to turn away volunteers.

Conscription is what you’d need to fight something like the Vietnam War.

 
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2) Surrender under terms which would result in the destruction of the American constitution to be replaced by documents, government, and authority of a foreign power.

If we actually got this far, you can sure as hell bet we wouldn’t need the draft. I’d be in uniform so fast it would make your head spin, and I can imagine that the rest of the country would follow a few steps behind me.

 
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Both of you assume that we would have legions signing up to fight, but consider the situation of the French in the 1930s.

Following a heated, divisive change in power with brutal politics involved, 50% or more of the country were left unwilling to fight for the ‘new’ France. This attitude, along with many other factors may have contributed significantly to France’s surrender.

Imagine a similar situation here where about 50% of the country felt that this country did not represent them (not too hard to imagine!), but that perhaps the invaders were a positive change. It would be unwise, but it has happened before.

Never forget just how young our country is. We are not guaranteed to succeed :)

Edit for disclosure: I consider myself a libertarian and a constitutionalist. I just think it’s an interesting thing to ponder. I feel that in many ways the constitution is an amazing guideline with very few faults — and I don’t feel that this is an issue of the constitution, but an issue of how far politics can be taken with unfortunate timing. I am not entirely knowledgeable on the topic of the draft, but assuming your first post does not omit any information I would call it unconstitutional.

 
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Well if more than half of the U.S. is pissed at our government and won’t fight to keep this county intact, then I’d say it would be time for a change in government. Therefore, I would welcome the fall of the United States.

The point is we will fight for whichever scenario serves us best. If we like the government we will fight for it. If we don’t we’ll get a new one. We’re basically choosing the lesser of two evils.

 
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I’d like to discuss one of the most unpatriotic things in place today.

There is no draft in place today. Period. You have to sign up for the draft but that doesn’t mean there is one.

Conscription is what you’d need to fight something like the Vietnam War.

Conscription didn’t work in Vietnam. An all volunteer service is ALWAYS more effective.

 
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There is no draft in place today. Period. You have to sign up for the draft but that doesn’t mean there is one.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that 99% of the people who view this thread know what I am talking about.

 
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just be careful with language in the future.

 
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Conscription didn’t work in Vietnam.

He’s not saying whether conscription did or did not work in VN. He was just saying that we needed the draft to fight the war because the majority of the public wanted nothing to do with it.

just be careful with language in the future.

Ok

 
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Imagine a similar situation here where about 50% of the country felt that this country did not represent them (not too hard to imagine!), but that perhaps the invaders were a positive change.

Do you really think it would be a wise decision to make an army of soldiers who despise you and would prefer rule by a foreign invader?

 
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@Eketek

Consider the scenario where the willing population were constitutionalists. They were fighting for the America in the way it was founded. Lets say the unwilling portion are in support of communism and self-identify with the Chinese government, who for some reason or another has decided to conquer America.

Obviously the constitution following, red blooded Americans in power would not want to instate a draft. It’s unconstitutional! However their back is to the wall, if they fail, the experiment fails. America is over. They convince themselves through some way or another that it is OK to force the other Americans to aid them in the fight. They believe that if they can just resist a short time longer, some event will occur that will bring the war to an end, and after that they can restore America and continue to legacy of the nation for many hundred years to come.

Were I in the position of the ruling party of the United States in that situation, I would personally instate archaic systems. I would give loyalists the guns, tell the Chinese sympathizers what to do — and if they didn’t listen, I would shoot them. This is entirely conflicting with the philosophy of the nation and my personal philosophies. I just like to think about extreme circumstances where you can’t have your cake and eat it too. (Relative) Peacetime like right now makes it too easy to say what’s ‘wrong’ and ‘right’. As a result, we develop these extreme beliefs (like libertarianism) that do not serve us well when our backs are finally up against the wall.

 
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Principles are not well guarded by those who would totally abandon them.

If, in the scenario you just described, the communists sympathizers where to be picked out and slaughtered for their views, then they would have every right to work toward the destruction of the so-called freedom advocates, no matter what else is at stake.

 
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Theres a difference between being slaughtered for your beliefs and being slaughtered for disobeying orders in treason.

 
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The situation you just described is not a war in defense of liberty – the defense of liberty would have failed the moment the order to institute conscription was issued. It is a contest between tyrants.

I hold the position that there are to be no tyrants ruling over us, whether they come from outside our borders, or from within. To aid one tyrant in expelling another is of no use. In the end, there would still be a tyrant in power.

 
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I agree with you philosophically, I just don’t find my own philosophies to always be practical. In the earlier scenario my goal was for realism. I do believe though, that no single set of principles is sufficient for a happy and healthy human race. I think we must change over time, we must adopt new ideas, forget old ones, or adapt with extraneous circumstances. Even though we reward those who are consistent with praise of their consistency, it is probably not an ideal way for the majority of people to live. Reserve that behavior for the politicians :)

 
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Eketek, that is the point. EITHER WAY the United States fails. Do you want it to fail by conscription and go down fighting, possibly to restore order later, or do you want to fail now, get all the loyalists like you killed in the chineese takeover, and have it fail permanantly.

 
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I don’t want it to fail at all, I’d prefer to do everything in my power not to toss the country to any tyrant, nor would I grant any tyrant any semblance of legitimacy. I also think that a domestic tyrant would be just as willing to kill off dissidents as a foreign one.

In practical terms, it would be easier to expel a foreign tyrant than a domestic one, as has been demonstrated quite clearly in the past few decades.

 
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>I don’t want it to fail at all, I’d prefer to do everything in my power not to toss the country to any tyrant, nor would I grant any tyrant any semblance of legitimacy. I also think that a domestic tyrant would be just as willing to kill off dissidents as a foreign one.

Your breaking out of the scenario here. We have a domestic president who is a constitutionalist but has no other choice, or we are dead from a foreign one. The domestic one would revert back to constitutionalism, but it would require a draft and much sacrifice.

 
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I’ll put it this way:

If freedom is an altar upon which men are to be forced to sacrifice themselves or others, then I’ll have no part of it. It is freedom that I am after.

 
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So you will abandon all freedom for… losing all your freedom.

 
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I would not place my mind or my body in the service of a tyrant who purports to be a protector of freedom, while in practice, acts a its destroyer. I don’t demand sacrifice, and I don’t respect the demand for sacrifice.