Will The Middle Class Please Stand Up?

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Almost incredibly, mere days after the Democratic party’s Nancy Pelosi/John Murtha fiasco, its highly-visible Congressman from New York, Charles Rangel, has taken the Dems’ figurative foot out of its mouth and inserted it into a much darker place.

In case you missed it, Rangel, future chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, proclaimed on the CBS Sunday morning news program Face the Nation that he intends to submit a bill to reinstate conscription. He is quoted as saying: “If we’re going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can’t do that without a draft.”

Not to worry — a new draft would allow some young people to “serve” as security guards at “seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals.” At the end of their year or two of involuntary servitude, some as yet undefined “educational benefits” would be offered. Rangel hypocritically believes that a draft would make Congressmen think twice about sending kids off to war, while simultaneously arguing that more soldiers are needed for future military actions.

I, for one, hope the draft is reinstated. Not because I agree with Rangel, but because I’m hopeful that such legislation will finally cause our complacent middle class to wake up and say “NO!” I’ve been telling acquaintances (and anyone else who’ll listen) for many years that there will be no meaningful change until the middle class riots. Yes, riots — with pitchforks and axe handles, and even guns — screaming in rage, finally understanding its status as mere victim of the whims of the state. For several years now I’ve seen a military draft as the only thing that might get the members of the middle class off their contented-cow asses, get them to stop wasting countless dollars on playthings at the nearby mall, and slash their hours spent hypnotized by the never-ending stream of valueless Hollywood drivel.

I imagine that many might think that even Rangel’s draft would fail to ignite political passion in our present population, but I see it differently. I see mothers and fathers livid, phoning their elected representatives for the first time in their lives, refusing to send their kids to the draft office and shipping them to Canada instead. I see organized mobs of angry patriots, swarming over federal and state capitols alike, shouting their displeasure and defiance. I see resistance, civil disobedience, thundering voices crying “Hell no — they won’t go!” as parents repudiate the state’s edict that their children offer up their lives and futures for yet another dubious military adventure, or that they submit to slavery in the guise of “serving their country.”

As our panicked leaders quickly back down, hopefully other positive changes would take place, with the apparatus of a suddenly politicized population now in place. Perhaps all governments, federal, state and local, will be forced by a new, energized electorate to retract its tentacles in all sorts of areas, and be required to endow us with far more liberty and far less government. Will it all actually happen? Will the middle class finally stand up?

November 21, 2006

Andrew S. Fischer has worked in various fields.

Andrew S. Fischer