Rumors are spreading wildly that the military draft is coming back, and will include women and well as men. Grabbing the issue and running with it, the Kerry campaign has raised the specter of young Americans being hauled out of college and sent off to die in a senseless war.
But wait a minute. The guys calling for the draft in Congress are all Democrats. In the Senate, Ernest Hollings, Democrat of South Carolina a hawk, has introduced the legislation, while Charles Rangel, the ultra-liberal black Democratic Congressman from Harlem, has introduced it in the House because he thinks more whites should be getting shot at, a matter of equal protection. So when John Edwards gets up and says to a hooting crowd, "There will be no draft in a Kerry administration," this has got to be chutzpah at its most extreme, since the Democratic legislation also requires Canada to return fleeing draft evaders.
In actuality, the Pentagon is opposing the draft, if you can imagine a building either opposing or supporting anything, because its bureaucratic managers know that a draft only dumbs down the military. But let’s suppose that it happens. What can a person do to avoid its consequences?
There was the story about the guy summoned for his physical and who, while sitting across the desk from examiners, starts picking up papers, saying, "This isn’t it. This isn’t it." After watching him do this for several minutes, they confer and hand him his deferment by reason of insanity. He looks at it and says, "This is it!" One way out, then, is insanity. Of course, the only ones who are insane are the ones starting the wars, but never mind. One good turn deserves another.
Another possibility is marriage. No, not straight marriage, but gay marriage. Since gays are officially banned from serving in the military, individuals with no desire to die for Bush or Kerry, could enter into same sex partnerships that could remain unconsummated without the Selective Service knowing it. Male and female alike, Americans from eighteen to twenty six could turn up for their examinations with their partners, preferably holding hands. That would leave the political establishment in a quandary, since the only way to draft these people would be to lift the ban on gays serving in the military. As no one is going to do this, for fear of ending up in the political graveyard, the coast is clear.
"Gay and nuts, they won’t get our butts!" the new resisters will shout as their ranks swell. You can bet that John Kerry will start supporting them. "I now lots of nutty gays, and let me tell you, they are as patriotic as anyone else, even more so. So when I am president, I will see to it that all of these great, nutty gays can do national service by performing good works for the needy in remote areas in poverty stricken rural America, or in the slums of Detroit and Philadelphia. They will be rewarded for their service with full tuition scholarships to the college of their choice."
Not to be outgunned, the Bush campaign will turn Dick Cheney lose in the heartland to argue, "Nutty gays should be treated with dignity and respect. I know some nutty gays personally who are dear to me and I would have it no other way, nor would any other American. They want democracy to succeed in Iraq as much as the rest of us, and recognize the great threat posed by terrorism. Kerry, who is only encouraging Osama bin Laden with his wishy-washy opposition to the Patriot Act, is unfit to serve as Commander in Chief because he doesn’t know a nutty gay from a straight guy."
At this point, Dan Rather announces on CBS that it has discovered Dick Cheney’s draft deferments and that they all claim that he was a nutty gay. When asked about the authenticity of these documents, Rather acknowledges that the fact that they were written in Hebrew caused him to hesitate briefly, but that he had them verified and authenticated by a qualified expert in Somalia.
Donald Rumsfeld, meanwhile, to make up for the needed manpower in Iraq, announces that he has begun recruiting in Mexico and that the official language of the Army will henceforth be Spanish. "This has definite benefits, because no one can call this an American occupation," he explains.
When questioned by a New York Times reporter on this new policy, Bush defends it. "We are winning," he asserts. "And with God’s help, this great nation will turn the tide against barbarism."
"But Mexican’s are not Americans. How can America take credit if the soldiers aren’t even Americans?"
"It’s true that they aren’t Americans yet. But because they will serve with valor, they will be granted automatic citizenship."
"Yes. They will all move to New Jersey, register Republican and deliver that blue state into the red."
"And what about the nutty gays?"
"Once they’re out of the draft, they won’t bother to vote. Or if they do, they will want their tax cut. Either way, it’s win, win."
Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq. He is a contribution editor for The American Conservative.