Forcing an individual to spend one year, two years, three years, whatever, of their lives doing something they don’t want to do should be something that’s close to unthinkable in a free society — except if the individual being coerced is a criminal being punished for a significant crime.
Nevertheless, since the draft was abolished in the early 1970s, the U.S. has with clockwork regularity been beset with calls for compulsory service for young people coming from old people. Here we go again:
How about a return of the ”citizen citizen”? And rather than make the military the only destination of a “draft,” a one- or two-year national service requirement that gives young people other choices -– working in classrooms, working with hospice patients, working in libraries to help people with computer skills, working on infrastructure building projects, all alongside with and learning from professionals -– could go a long way toward renewing a sense of national spirit and national purpose in a country that has been cynically manipulated into pointlessly poisonous divisions.
That’s from L.A. Times editorial writer, columnist and hat-wearing personality Patt Morrison.
It’s remarkable how cavalier people are about compelling other people to give up their liberty, and how they make their case with the implied presumption that they hold the moral high ground. They don’t.