“We are now in a profound constitutional crisis that has emboldened our enemies, domestic and foreign, for reasons dating back over 40 years. In 1973, through the Roe v Wade, we endorsed a right greater than life itself, a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. One year later, we downgraded military service from a fundamental responsibility of the free citizen to just another career choice. The combined effect has caused both the Holocaust of the Unborn and a notion of service in which America would henceforth fight its wars using Other People’s Kids.” – Colonel Ken Allard (US Army, Ret; Board Member/UpWithAmerica)
The military draft and the lottery that went with it was eliminated in 1974 as the hugely unpopular Vietnam War was winding down … a decision largely based on the politics of the era and not the wisdom of good government. We are 100% in favor of returning to a military draft and of adding a “civilian” draft or public service element as well.
First, with only 1% of Americans now serving in the military, fewer and fewer citizens and their families ever the harsh realities of war – and the critical understanding of the need to both prepare for and prevent war.
Second, our all-volunteer military tends to attract soldiers who “need” the financial and personal benefits provided by the Armed Forces as opposed to citizens of all cultures, backgrounds, races, religions and other societal factors wanting to serve.
Third, since almost all Americans will be eligible for the military draft, they will be more cognizant of foreign affairs and its effect on the world around us – a tremendous asset in learning when and where to “pick our fights.” America has tended to be the Free World’s police force – an expensive and often deadly role. The draft, we believe, will help to ensure that when war becomes necessary – the vast majority of Americans will support it.
Fourth, since a much broader representation of the American culture and experience becomes personally invested in the military, we can expect that a superior level of commitment and leadership grows out of the draft – experienced men and women who then choose to stay on for the right reasons.
Finally, we are confident that ALL US Citizens should be required to devote at least one year of their lives to public service – military or otherwise. They will, of course, be “paid” for their services through income, housing, transportation and more – but we can just imagine wide variety of skills and knowledge that would then be applied to the urgent needs of our time – from helping the homeless to building a modern infrastructure for the 21st Century – a condition in which America is woefully behind much of the rest of the world.
Webster’s defines entitlement “the state or condition of being entitled or a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract. It goes on to clarify that it can be a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group.
It should come as no surprise, however, that our own United States Senate defines entitlement differently. They call it “A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled”. Worse, the Senate also defines Social Security as an example of an entitlement program.
And now we begin to understand how convoluted things have become in the vast, almost uncontrollable bureaucracy often referred to today by both ends of the political spectrum as “The Swamp.” So let’s clear the air.
American’s are “entitled” to very little. Our very systems of government and economics are built similarly … with no “floor” through which you may fall, but no “ceiling” preventing you from achieving your dreams. The Founders said it this way: “ … that all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is absolutely mandatory that today’s government leaders – at least those who disagree on the manner in which we govern but not the system under which we govern – that Americans are simply not entitled to “stuff” and they may end up very “unhappy,” but we guarantee them the right to at least try to achieve happiness.
We believe that America must begin by replacing the term “entitlements” (where appropriate) with the words “benefits” which can be Federal programs which provide limited, temporary support for those citizens unable to afford to support themselves. In other words, we need to more carefully select and drastically reduce both the conditions under which a citizen can turn to the Federal government for support – and the amount of time those benefits are provided. In almost no instance do we believe these Federal benefits should be offered or issued without something returned by or from the citizen.
As for Social Security, it was always intended to be a “forced” retirement plan – a program that requires both employees and employers to contribute to a very modest level of future security when American citizens become less productive due to age. It purpose is clear – and it’s value to the Federal Government just as clear: by securing and locking in place a permanent income stream once gainful employment is no longer an option, the citizen is able to at least survive – and the government is not forced to pay for the care and maintenance of an aging population.
UpWithAmerica believes that we absolutely must seal the lock on the Social Security Trust Fund to prevent the greedy fingers of politicians from raiding it for other purposes. And we also believe that we must postpone the official “retirement” age to one that makes sense for the 21st Century – increasing it to at least 70 – perhaps over a period of a decade.