The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, April 23, 2004

DRAFTY IN HERE:There’s a lot of talk going around these days about bringing back the draft, and I suppose many of the reasons its proponents give are valid and legitimate. But it strikes me that that a lot of these very same people spent their salad days thirty or forty years ago shouting “HELL NO! WE WON’T GO!!!” Which may be neither here not there; I certainly wouldn’t want to be judged by opinions I held thirty years ago; but it does lead me to suspect that calls for the resumption of the draft have very little to do with fairness and everything to do with recreating the anti-Vietnam War movement. Without the power and anxieties of the middle class behind them the antiwar movement in this country is just a tranquilizer away from the lunatic fringe. The greatest proof of this is what happened to the student movement after the draft ended in 1973. The student revolutionaries on the campuses, who thought they were going to lead the great upheaval against the evil, corrupt, warmongering AmeriKKKan establishment, found themselves abandoned by their foot soldiers, the scions of the middle classes who found that life in the USA was fine once they found they wouldn’t have to get shot at by the Vietnamese peasantry. The great revolution never came because it was strictly a one trick pony, and once the war went away so did the revolution. I strongly suspect that most of these antiwar types know deep down that they are largely irrelevant without the middle classes they despise so much, and that thought makes them nauseous. But politics makes strange bedfellows, to coin a phrase, and so long as the answer to “HELL NO! WE WON’T GO!!!” is “so who’s asking you to?” these people are going nowhere. On the other hand, I don’t think they’ll mind strange bedfellows at all. They are all for letting people do what they want in bed.


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