I was watching a PBS fund-raising program about the old Folk Songs of the past. Some of the old timers who were still alive performed on the stage although it is hard to believe they weren’t just faking the voices while their recordings of fifty years ago were piped over the loudspeakers. It didn’t matter to me since it looked real and brought back good memories of when my world was young and we were all brave. Yes, brave .
That’s where we lived in the home of the brave and the free and in my day we all knew at one point or another we were going to have to put on the uniform and serve our country. Not the girls, of course, but they too were brave having to put up with us.
None of my friends knew there were ways out of the draft like some who would eventually run for president who ducked it like Clinton, Howard Dean, Dick Cheney and others. I went into the service before Vietnam. The closest I got to it was when I got off a Marine plane in the Philippines which was heading there with a “crash truck” and some Recon guys. Things were relatively peaceful at that time.
I never blamed some who could get a legitimated deferment to duck going to the rice paddies fighting and dying for our country that could not decide whether to really fight or to bug out. LBJ knowing we had taken the option of winning off the table decided he’d keep the thing running so he would not be the first U.S. president to lose a war. The last thing he and his cronies cared about was how many young men died.
The big scam came about under Nixon in 1973 when on January 27 we sign the accords with North Vietnam betraying our South Vietnam allies. We did this because the people at home had turned against the war and the Democrats in Congress refused to fund it. That wasn’t the scam, that was the betrayal. The scam came about on the same day. That was when the draft ended. Once that happened it was clear the American people would never again rise up in opposition to a war since it would not endanger 99% of them. Only “volunteers” would war and die in the future. The American people no longer cared.
Without a draft we could all become little Donald Trumps thinking only of ourselves and our pleasures. We no longer had to be brave; we could be greedy and selfish and do nothing for the country. We could live in our own little cocoons without interacting with and understanding other Americans. Like the Trump supporters we could think evil thoughts of others who didn’t think like us. Or, we could think evil of Trump supporters.
No one had contact with any of the others. No one was forced into association with others as they were with the draft. We’ve become a nation of strangers where we have a hired military who have little or nothing to do with the rest of us.
How bad it has become is shown by the president of Emory Nursery School seeking desperately to keep his job – all the nursery school leaders are walking on eggs now – who had to confront students upset about seeing signs written in chalk across campus supporting Trump.
One student who met with the president reportedly said: “I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe (here). But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school.” It is almost as if he or she was afraid of tripping over the chalk on the sidewalk? Or was it the student deserved to have everyone think like him or her?
The president after meeting with the students empowered them by suggesting they had a legitimate beef. He sent an email saying:
“After meeting with our students, I cannot dismiss their expression of feelings and concern as motivated only by political preference or over-sensitivity. Instead, the students with whom I spoke heard a message, not about political process or candidate choice, but instead about values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory’s own.”
In other words, supporting Trump meant you were against diversity and lacked the proper Emory respect. The president had to do something so he came up with some steps he was going to take to make sure that in the future no one at the nursery school hears or sees anything that upsets them which may include issuing free pacifiers.
Ah, America, no longer will we sing: “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” But instead: “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet appear; O’er the land of the many who live in great fear.”
Save America. Bring back the draft!