New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel’s talk about bringing back the draft is pretty much that– talk. But whether he has a slim chance of succeeding, or no chance (it’s the latter, by the way) Rangel has brought the draft back into the national spotlight. I hope he considers that a moral victory because there aren’t any others coming his way on this issue.


Rangel believes that a draft will not only replenish a depleted military, but make leaders more wary about sending the nation to war. Those are noble goals, but both can be achieved without instituting a draft.


If you want to beef up the military numbers, increase the interest in joining. It’s a national disgrace that some military families are also welfare families. It’s not enough that our volunteers are sacrificing their lives to serve their country? Their families have to make material sacrifices while they’re away, too? Maybe if we boost the pay significantly and make military service more appealing, we’ll have more volunteers.


And people aren’t stupid, by the way. Nobody expects military service to be a walk in the park. But how about some dignity and a decent paycheck for answering the call? That isn’t too much to ask.


Oh, and that other goal? Making our legislators careful about committing our troops in life-threatening situations? One look at the recent election results will sober up any politician. Anyone who wasn’t hearing public sentiment got their ears cleaned in early November. And if they were incumbents, they probably got their clocks cleaned, too. The voters were more effective in sending that message than any draft could be. Maybe we needed the discussion, but we certainly don’t need a draft.

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