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|Ladies and Gentlemen (yes, Ladies, too), you are about to receive the greatest infringement possible upon your freedoms, one that would cause any other intrusions of the Welfare State into your lives to pale by comparison. For, you see, this planned intervention could quite easily kill you. |
The twin bills S 89, sponsored by Senator Fritz Hollings (D) and HR 163, sponsored by Representative Charles Rangel (D) are currently pending before the Armed Services Committee. They would legitimize a nationwide draft of individuals aged 18 to 26, male or female, rich or poor, college students or workers or parents or professionals of any sort. You will not be able to flee to Canada, due to a 2001 “Smart Border Declaration” that would apprehend all potential draftees seeking to do so. And time is running out. This draft could be implemented as early as July of 2005. If a resistance effort is to be amassed, it must begin today.
I have written essays and commentary that present a case against the draft manifold in its presentation and content. In “The Grievous Error of the Draft,” at http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/draft.html , I present historical, economic, moral, and political arguments against conscription. In “The Vile Draft I,” at http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/viledraft1.html , I argue that the draft opposes the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded. In “The Vile Draft II,” http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/viledraft2.html , I examine the words of a great thinker and politician of past, Daniel Webster, and his wisdom on the unconstitutionality of conscription. I have written much, and my ideas have not been depleted. Yet I cannot hold back the tide of statism alone.
I am asking for your support, in whatever manner you are able to contribute, to an ad hoc campaign that shall be waged by myself and my publication, The Rational Argumentator, for the sole purpose of defeating a re-institution of the draft. This is not a centralized effort, but a grassroots one; it has no leader to guide it, just the conscience and reason of every participant individual. Whatever your stance on the Iraq War, or whatever your general political orientation may be, however different your views may be from mine on any other subject, if you oppose the draft, your help will be welcomed and appreciated.
There are three pillars that will support this campaign, information, communication, and persuasion. Only a tiny fraction of this nation’s populace is informed of the threat of conscription looming over it, yet according to a Newsweek poll (January 25, 2003), the vast majority of Americans (62%) do not even think that a draft should be considered in this country’s political future. If these individuals were to exert leverage on their representatives in Congress, and an amount of legislators proportional to the population in this opinion would reject the above heinous twin bills, the draft will surely fail. But the majority of Americans today are exposed only to the “mainstream media,” which harps on prison scandals, the Iraq “quagmire,” and the “let’s-see-who’s-the-better-statist” Bush-Kerry Presidential race, while ignoring an imminent menace to the liberties of this country’s best and most promising denizens. Public opinion is already on our side. Yet it needs to be sufficiently outraged and inspired to action by the facts that we provide concerning the re-emergence of conscription.
Moreover, we must communicate to share information with each other, both concerning the content and methods of our activism. My magazine and I will provide help to anyone seeking a forum to write against the draft, or to spread information about his/her own activities in this regard. A grassroots movement may be delocalized, but it is mutually reinforcing, providing channels through which discourse can be facilitated and audiences can be gained for a cause as critical as this one.
Finally, we must persuade still more individuals to partake in this endeavor. No letter or commentary is in vain; no word, no meeting, no rally is expendable. The more work is invested in this campaign, the higher the probability of its success. Argue to both convince those neutral on the issue and those who support the draft. Debate them, counter their premises, demonstrate the illogic of their position, and, if you are lucky, alter their mindset on this issue; having been exposed to the fallacies of the conscription advocates by their own experiences, they will be immensely adept at countering them.
The methods you can pursue in this campaign are as varied as your reason may furnish. Here, I do not intend to provide an exhaustive list of suggestions, just fuel for your own creativity and assistance if you have a message and seek a means of expressing it.
- Write essays and commentaries. A persuasive, structured set of arguments against the draft, written in a researched, scholarly, and original manner will hold sway with the discerning reader. The Rational Argumentator will be more than delighted to publish these works. You can also submit them to an indefinite number of online and printed magazines, each of which will almost guarantee readership for your piece.
- Post your essays and comments on online forums. There is a plethora of free political, cultural, and ideological forums, of varying levels of traffic flowing through them, that are deliberately structured to encourage intelligent discourse on topics such as this. In the near future, I plan to publish a convenient database on TRA of forums that will be of assistance in this endeavor, where posting privileges are free, and public exposure for your viewpoint is probable. You will be able to access all of these forums from a single TRA master list.
- Write letters to elected officials. These will be the men and women voting on this piece of legislation, or influencing whether or not it is officially debated in the first place. Your congressmen can be flooded with letters against conscription, and they will realize that, to maintain their office following the next election, they cannot ignore the overwhelming and vocal majority of their constituents in this life-or-death decision. The President should also receive pressure to veto the twin bills under all circumstances. George W. Bush’s advisors and cabinet members, including Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, realize that the draft is a betrayal of professionalism in the military, and are already reliable allies in this struggle. Yet Bush has been known to give in to compromise with his political opponents on issues ranging from education to health care to the Iraqi reconstruction effort. He needs to be convinced that a veto of the draft bills would enjoy overwhelming public support, and the mass media is not about to persuade him of this. If a veto does occur, it is almost certain that Congress will be unable to muster the two-thirds majority required to override it, especially if we perform a solid job in persuading Senators and Representatives to resolutely oppose conscription.
- Discuss the issue with everyone you know. Inform them of the imminent personal threat to them or their loved ones, for everyone is certain to possess some manner of acquaintance or relation that will be impacted by a draft. If your partners in conversation are of the intellectual sort, engage them in profound, abstract discussions that will convince them to contribute their “heavy artillery” to this campaign.
- Copy and reprint this article and any others of my work concerning the draft in any manner and any medium you deem fitting! The more people receive this message, the more are likely to participate. The more participate, the more secure your future and the future of freedom will be. Either the draft will die, or you shall.
(Originally posted at http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/viledraft3.html)
G. Stolyarov II