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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Reinstating draft is political suicide

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., was making a social statement rather than one about national security the other day when he proposed bringing back the military draft.

The draft, he said, would ensure that all segments of society share equally in the nation's defense.

That, of course, didn't happen during the Vietnam War and is one reason we have a volunteer Army today. Richard Nixon used the idea to win re-election in 1972.

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi was quick to say that reinstituting the draft isn't about to happen. That is not part of her first 100-legislative day agenda for when Democrats take over in January.

Reinstituting the military draft except when the nation is threatened by a large standing enemy force would be political suicide for Democrats.

Democrats have plenty of other legislation to work on to bring about a more equal society, including pocketbook issues of working-class and middle-class people. They also want to help college students deal with education loans and renegotiate lower drug prices.

At some point, the nation does need to look objectively as some form of national service for youngsters leaving high school and college. But that doesn't necessarily need to be military. These people have much to offer the nation and serving would be a great learning experience.

Still, the nation isn't even ready for that.

The voluntary Army works well, as does the National Guard. It is in those areas that Democrats need to pay more attention now.

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