Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Is there ANY occasion David Broder can't take and turn into a lament for the good ol' days of compulsory military service?

    Living, eating and working together with Americans of different races, educations, religions and backgrounds, as millions did between 1940 and 1970, had benefits that lasted a lifetime and helped every aspect of our national life -- including politics.

    It contributed to the sense of community that supported local schools, built local hospitals and endowed local athletic, recreational and artistic facilities. It sustained the national spirit through the decades of the Cold War and helped the nation recover from assassinations, riots and other travails of the 1960s.

    It was the glue of what we have come to call the Greatest Generation.

Gee, you think maybe part of the reason a draft did all that had to with the massive military threat the Axis powers presented? And that a because-it's-good-for-you draft like the one folks like Broder trot out every time they can't come up with a real idea for a column would meet with massive resistance and criticism from just about every corner of society?

Yes, there are situations that warrant compulsory service. But those situations are on a scale comparable to the threats faced in World War II, not simply to make the Broders and Putnams of the world feel like those irresponsible young people are learning their lesson and eating their spinach.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I thought the Greatest Generation (a loathsome appellation) was the WWI guys. The US military wasn't integrated until 1948, so it doesn't seem like that could be what Broder is talking about.