Thursday, May 06, 2004

A Return to the Draft?

Unlike many of my fellow Libertarians, I do not have a soft spot for those complaints of those currently serving in the military regarding being shipped overseas. It does not impress me if the complaint is over the nature of the opponent or the duration of the stay. After all, every soldier is a volunteer. This duty was chosen. Maybe the soldier did not read the fine print or failed tor eally get that enlisting does not simply mean putting on a uniform, getting a free education and some nifty travel opportunities. Caveat emptor, my friend. Caveat emptor.

I recall the history of the draft, and the Vietnam era especially comes to mind. I recall the burning of draft cards in demonstrations. I remember the indignant huffing over involuntary conscription. I agree with the objections to involuntary, forced service. It's slavery, simply put.

There was also an economic component to the protests- the idea that the poor would serve while the well-off and well-connected would go to college or find some other means of avoiding the draft. This seemed very plausible. Indeed, this argument has been put forth over and over with regards to George Bush and his Guard service.

What does it mean today when we see that Charlie Rangel, a Democrat and long-time advocate for the poor, now advocates for the draft?

Walter Williams discusses the draft in economic terms and establishes why having the draft leads to the greater chance that there will be more wars. What on earth is Rangel thinking?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Lit Drop

I am always picking up the literature from the other parties in an attempt to find good ideas to steal. This was a bum election in that regard. I didn't find anything original or good.

What did get my interest was a 'sample ballot' distributed by the Democrats. It listed the various offices, such as Governor. There is only one Democratic candidate for governor- the incumbent, Joe Kernan. So far, so good.

Scan higher, though, to the presidential candidates. That's candidates, plural. Alas. This 'sample ballot' shows only one name for president- John F. Kerry.

Hmmm. What happened to John Edwards, Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich and Lyndon LaRouche? Sure, they all fizzled in their bids, but still- all five are candidates for president along with Kerry The Annointed. Funny enough, the 'sample' has six lines and six ovals, but just one name.

It's a subtle way the Marion County Democratic Party 'endorses' their candidates. They don't actually come out and endorse Kerry. They make it seem as though the others don't even exist.

The same thing was done for US Rep District 7, where 4-term incumbent Julia Carson faces a Democrat the Party cares not to name. Ditto the race for Surveyor, where Mary Catherine Barton runs against another Democrat who possibly failed to pay the slating fee, hence, was not named. No word on whether Barton is actually a surveyor or not.

The general election is when the Dems trot out the real goods. I was very impressed with last year's 'how to vote straight Democratic ticket' literature. You can bet that I will see to it that there is similar 'how to vote straight Libertarian ticket' circulated to our members and supporters.
Low Expectations

These primary elections seem to invigorate next to no one, Democrats especially. I know Ame is miffed about it. Kerry was selected by a handful of states, not elected (couldn't resist), and Governor Kernan is an incumbent, so the status quo remains. Boring!

The Republican primary could excite some folks, since the Indiana governor's race is an actual contest. Sure, Mitch Daniels is the Bush Administration's boy, but that just stands to make him your typical modern liberal Republican, while Eric Miller is running on an actual conservative agenda.

I went to the polling place, and they all know that I am a Libertarian, so I signed the book and shrugged my shoulders. Fortunately, any voter can cast a ballot for any school board candidates, since these are non-partisan races. Huzzah! I received my paper ballot and looked at it and found exactly one candidate. I called out, "One candidate? What is this, the Soviet Union?" and got big laughs from the few people present.

Voting one hour after the poll opened, I cast the fourth ballot of the day. Yup. That's disinterest.