Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars and to bolster U.S. troop levels insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
"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.
Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, said he will propose a measure early next year.
He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, "young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it's our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals," with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.
This is win-win-win.
Win No. 1: America's kids will get a chance to go somewhere and see and do something besides video games, getting fat on junk food, getting each other pregnant, and apathy. It wouldn't hurt our spoiled, over-protected youth to get their hands dirty either. It's a good thing for kids of different backgrounds to get thrown together so they have to work together and get to know one another as well, aka "seeing how the other half lives".
Win No. 2: They'll get to go to college, which is rapidly getting beyond the means of average and low-income folks. As a nation, we need them to get a higher education. Brains, and the opportunity to develop them, are not, or at any rate should not be, the exclusive property of rich white kids, however much they think they are.
Win No. 3: America's youth will get the chance to become more involved as citizens, which is good for democracy. We have a startling, unnerving lack of that at present.
Go get 'em, Charlie. One thing I would add: NO DEFERMENTS, except for truly impaired conditions.