The Draft and the Poor

The Draft and the Poor

Where did the belief originate that the existence of a draft makes us more willing to engage in warfare? The draft did not cause us to enter the Vietnam conflict. And though it facilitated our continued involvement in that unjust war, the presence of white, middle-class Americans in the army undoubtedly catalyzed the antiwar movement at home. Huge segments of American society were politicized as never before. Then, as now, it was unrealistic to try to circumvent a war by denying the government the means of waging war, in this case depriving it of the necessary manpower.

Now there is a prevailing attitude among liberal and left-wing intellectuals that anything that aids in the demilitarization of society should be encouraged. Thus they consider President Carter’s recent, successful attempt to initiate a predraft registration involving youth from all sectors of American life as a dangerous attempt to fuel our country’s militarism. And so, naturally, they resist it.

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