Obama and compulsory service

Lona Manning
"One can applaud" the Obama administration's promotion of volunteerism, writes Ronald Goldfarb at The Hill's Pundits blog,

"and at the same time ask..... [w]hy not a uniform requirement of national service for every 18-year-old or high school graduate?"

Goldfarb, a veteran of the Camelot era, served his country in uniform, so perhaps he has a better right to pose this question than many.

We know how, in a moment of exuberance, Obama spoke of a "national civilian security force" on the campaign trail.

We know that the GIVE Act, recently passed by the Senate, originally contained a provision to explore the idea of compulsory national service.

And I know this:  if Obama tried to introduce compulsory national service for "every 18-year-old or high school graduate," he would instantly destroy the better part of his political capital with young people, even alienating his most ardent supporters.

The idea of compulsory anything -- let alone giving two or three years of your young adulthood to the State  -- is utterly foreign to the so-called Millennial generation.

It will be interesting to see how, where, and when, this idea next rears it head.

Lona Manning blogs from Canada. Her parents were staunch anti-Vietnam war activists who left the U.S. to protect their oldest son from the Draft. They voted for Obama.
"One can applaud" the Obama administration's promotion of volunteerism, writes Ronald Goldfarb at The Hill's Pundits blog,

"and at the same time ask..... [w]hy not a uniform requirement of national service for every 18-year-old or high school graduate?"

Goldfarb, a veteran of the Camelot era, served his country in uniform, so perhaps he has a better right to pose this question than many.

We know how, in a moment of exuberance, Obama spoke of a "national civilian security force" on the campaign trail.

We know that the GIVE Act, recently passed by the Senate, originally contained a provision to explore the idea of compulsory national service.

And I know this:  if Obama tried to introduce compulsory national service for "every 18-year-old or high school graduate," he would instantly destroy the better part of his political capital with young people, even alienating his most ardent supporters.

The idea of compulsory anything -- let alone giving two or three years of your young adulthood to the State  -- is utterly foreign to the so-called Millennial generation.

It will be interesting to see how, where, and when, this idea next rears it head.

Lona Manning blogs from Canada. Her parents were staunch anti-Vietnam war activists who left the U.S. to protect their oldest son from the Draft. They voted for Obama.