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America Reinstituting the Draft


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I recently read that many Democrats, Hillary Clinton among them, favored "an expansion of the military". And that some had even been declared as pro-draft. Now, this strikes me as an excellent, but horrible, political tactic on the part of the Democrats. By pushing for the draft, they enforce the view that this [iraq, Afghanistan] is like Vietnam. Thereby causing Bush to be ousted in November. However, the problem is that with both parties in nominal support of a bill, there is a chance that this legislation -- however unwanted by the people and the military and however stupid -- will be passed. The last time we passed "questionable" (for lack of a better term) legislation, it was the PATRIOT Act. As of this moment, I urge people of both parties to write their elected officials about this issue. I sincerely doubt that Americans want this, and if it is passed, the mandate of the people is being sacrificed for a political tactic on one hand, and expanded global conflict on the other.

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"However, the problem is that with both parties in nominal support of a bill, there is a chance that this legislation -- however unwanted by the people and the military and however stupid -- will be passed"

Don't you love representative democracy?

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That's an apt but... unusual way of looking at America's two major parties.

No, there are some things -- like the draft -- which should be directly answerable to the people. By the time representative democracy kicks in to represent the public's outrage, thousands of the nation's youth -- its most beloved children -- will have died needlessly.

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In due time, ALL things (all acts of government, that is) should be directly answerable to the people. Nobody knows the people's interests better than the people themselves.

But for the moment, just having the most critical issues answerable before the people would be a vast improvement.

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Well, perhaps I am not as trusting as you are, and although I can see the obvious good that could be done with having the people decide the issues themselves, I am afraid that Acriku is right in that many people actually do not know where they stand. For now, I must agree that having the most critical issues directly answerable to the public is a good thing, but I am afraid that the behavior of people in general has left me with much to be desired. However, in time, I am sure that we will learn to trust one another.

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Trusting one another isn't even necessary. The only thing people need to learn is that a system that benefits everyone (or at least the vast majority) is very likely to also benefit you, so it's in your own interest to support and preserve it. But we already have a discussion about this in another topic...

It may seem to you that people are "stupid", but in fact they are more intelligent (and better informed) today than ever before in history. If this trend continues (and with the rise of the internet, it seems inevitable that it will) direct democracy may not be as far-fetched as you might think.

In other words, I certainly agree with you that direct democracy wouldn't work today, but a few centuries from now it probably will.

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Oh, sooner than that, I would think. And I, by no means, regard people as being "stupid" in general -- rather, what worries me, is an obsessive regard for what is perceived as being their own self-interest. Perhaps I have no right to complain about this, but it does seem distressing at times.

Your point about the Internet facilitating such a direct democracy is interesting; but isn't there also the chance that the same reason voter apathy exists -- because there are so many people and so many issues that one vote seems worthless -- also hold true for national referendums, and the like?

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If voting was literraly as easy as pressing a button from the comfort of your own home, I think voter apathy would greatly decrease.

Voting shouldn't be done over the internet, though - for obvious security reasons - but over a separate, dedicated network linking together mobile phone-like devices.

Regarding the obsessive self-interest, that looks to me like an obsession that is hammered into people from an early age. And it does have a lot to do with capitalist society - or more specifically, with modern consumer society.

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Well, people could attempt to disrupt that network. For national referendums to work on the scale of a large, industrialized nation containing hundreds of millions, we would need a network that is extremely secure. We would need to have each vote verified as coming from each voter beyond any doubt -- no impersonation, or any other illegalities. We would also need to find out what to do with the system when it is not in use, as I assume there will not be referendums every day of the year; such a thing would be tedious, and might also lead to voter apathy, "there will always be another vote". Then again, this could also lead to voters voting for the issues they have feelings on, and those only. It could go either way, I think.

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At one end, security is achieved by having every voter identify himself by fingerprint, retina scan or something similar - possibly coupled with a personal password. At the other end, security is achieved by having the poll data sent to many different centers at the same time. If any one of them gives a different result than the others, massive investigations follow.

People voting only on the issues they care about is perfectly normal. If you have no strong opinion either way, it's better to refrain from voting than to randomly pick one side or the other.

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You know, what strikes me as interesting is that the US Federal Reserve already has an excellent system in place for just this sort of thing. The Fed has 12 major centers around the US, and each center must, at the end of each day, verify will all of the others that the management of the nations securities and loanable funds have taken place without fault. I am sure, if that such a system is already in place for individually verifying the validity and identity of trillions of dollars, then the same can be done for mere millions of votes. In fact, it would be easier, since one cannot counterfeit genetic testing easily. That, and the Fed does its work every day!

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Only when the child matures into an appropriately educated populous will I and many others consider giving that much power to the people. For now, the government is set to serve the people - and that includes keeping the gun locked in the cabinet that is our U.S. Congress for their own protection.

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The government serves the people, but at the same time, they serve themselves and they enjoy the power that they have over the people.

But seriously, throwing US civilians into a fight like in WW2 is fairly stupid. The draft should only be used if WW3 breaks out and if there is a shortage of men in the military.

Much like an all-out-attack if the war gets on the bad side. ((Which will not likely happen.))

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The government serves the people, but at the same time, they serve themselves and they enjoy the power that they have over the people.

But seriously, throwing US civilians into a fight like in WW2 is fairly stupid. The draft should only be used if WW3 breaks out and if there is a shortage of men in the military.

Stupid? The decision to send in troops into the European, African, and Pacific campaigns was hard, but ultimately it proved to be the right decision. In what possible way was it a stupid decision?
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From a modern perspective, to throw little-trained civilians into a complex, brutal, and extremely lethal combat environment is a waste of resources. What you want to accomplish is better accomplishes with as fewest men on the ground as possible and as many planes in the air as possible.

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From a modern perspective, to throw little-trained civilians into a complex, brutal, and extremely lethal combat environment is a waste of resources. What you want to accomplish is better accomplishes with as fewest men on the ground as possible and as many planes in the air as possible.

All you need to do is learn how to shoot, and leave the tactics to the NCOs and officers. The veterans guided the war with their experiences. The bravery and courage of the individual soldiers drove them through the rest. Of course, putting a modern perspective on an event half a century ago (considering how quickly we've evolved as a society) is useless.
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Why we ever got involved in such a close-quarters ground war, I will never understand. I am actually surprised that the US casuality numbers are below 1000 for more than a year of fighting. Personally, sending hundreds of thousands of men on the ground, into cities, onto the streets, surrounded by 26 million people whose country they just invaded... well, it seems a little risky on the part of the soldiers. Maybe I'm a classical American tactician, but if I have to fight a war, I'd rather fight it from the air.

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Times change quickly even in the middle of wars; look at Midway. The first Naval battle where opposing fleets never even saw each other. Also, probably the most decisive Naval battle since Trafalgar, or the Nile.

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