Something quite strange happened to me this last week — strange enough to write about. My fiancée and I were relaxing at a fast food joint when she asked me, "What do we do if you get drafted?" Of course, I eased her worries and told her that a lot would have to happen for that to occur. That got me thinking though, how many people think the draft could happen to them? How many people actually watch the news with a fear that their number could be up?
I'd like to ease everyone's worries. This isn't “The Hunger Games,” and the draft was discontinued in 1973. By discontinued, I don't mean that they stopped using it. I mean that it has to be an entire act of Congress to reconstitute it, and then decide on using it. Have you ever known Congress to get anything done quickly? By the time the Iran conflict ends Mitch McConnell will be sitting down from his filibuster.
Secondly, when the draft was implemented it had similarly strict requirements to the military, which are even stricter now. Flat feet? Get out of here. Half deaf? Gone. History of mental illness? Don't let the door hit you on the way out. It also only covers born males from the ages of 18-25. That takes a lot of people worrying out of the running completely. What I'm trying to say, is that this isn't Mulan. They're not going to expect a man from every family, and the strongest son. It doesn't work that way, and it shouldn't.
Truly though, what is the draft even for? Well, when originally created it was to bolster our fighting force. A random, fair and dissociated way of forcing a patriotic duty. On the outset, it sounds horrible. My grandfather was drafted to Vietnam, and we talk often about how he feels on the topic.
In his eyes, the draft was essential. This was a duty of every citizen, and it should be an honor to protect your land from enemies, foreign and domestic. I don't disagree with him on some things, everyone who reads me knows that I'm critical of America but also love it. This is something that I disagree with.
There's a difference between a fighting militia and a draft. If the state of Louisiana ever got invaded, I'd be really curious to see how long before they take off. We're armed to the teeth and know the terrain quite well, so we'd inevitably fight back. Would the people of Louisiana be honored to fight back? Yes. The short and long answer is yes.
Because it's clear cut. It's distinct and deliberate, this is a fight for your homeland. Your sugar cane farms and meat markets and oak trees. Your beads and traditions.
What isn't clear cut is what else the U.S. may be doing. I love my country but I'm no stranger to its flaws. We've invaded land for nefarious causes, we've defended people who may not have wanted defending, and we've even given weapons to dangerous and unstable people.
Now listen, I'm not harping on the military. I believe in it, and I believe that military people are some of the most respectable and brave people this country has to offer. But that's also because they wanted it. They fought for us, through thick and thin, because they chose to. There was no random drawing, there was no fear of what would happen, they volunteered. They said that no matter what happens, they want to be there for our country. Who else but people like that do we want fighting our enemies?
The draft is quite unlikely, and if it did get reconstituted, there would be many changes. It would have to be a long conflict to start and finish talks of a congressional topic. You have nothing to worry about, because we have more than a few people who didn't wait on a draft. More than a few people who chose that life, and didn't let the life choose them. So when thinking about the draft, just remember to thank a veteran for their service.