Bring back the draft, and raise the age to 20 or 21.
We had a guest speaker at our monthly political salon who is on a mission to keep teenagers from killing themselves drinking. This question came up, as she said it always does:
Why should young people be allowed to die in war for this country and still not be old enough to drink?
I think that's a great question and offer this constitutional amendment: The age at which one may enter the military shall never be lower than the age at which one may drink legally.
And speaking of military service, the Washington Post reports that Charlie Rangel will be pushing for a return to the draft in the next session of Congress. It'll be fascinating to watch the Party of Greed chickenhawks running for cover.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) will be has long advocated a return to the draft, but his efforts drew little attention during the 12 years that House Democrats were in the minority. Starting in January, however, he will chair the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Today he said "you bet your life" he will renew his drive for a draft.
"I will be introducing that bill as soon as we start the new session," Rangel said on CBS's "Face the Nation." He portrayed the draft, suspended since 1973, as a means of spreading military obligations more equitably and prompting political leaders to think twice before starting wars.
"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," said Rangel, a Korean War veteran. "If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft."
So yeah. Bring back the draft. Maybe even universal service. I'm all for it. No exemptions. No excuses.