So, if it ever came up for a public vote, I would be all over a mandatory two year draft for all people. Not because I think a large standing army is an especially good form of national defense (I'd actually prefer for the militant nature of the army to be eschewed in favor of the sort of domestic activities the National Guard commonly took on before their current patrol of the border, like disaster relief) but because society needs a meaningful cultural touchstone.
There are so many things that fragment people in modern Western culture and hinder connection. There's class. There's gender. There's region. Even when two people share these characteristics, let's say me and an old schoolmate (two middle class white guys from rural northern Minnesota), it's still very possible for severe blocks to stand in the way of our mutual understanding because of the abundance of choice in entertainment and news and art and everything else. It's difficult for a lover of rap and a jazz fan to relate if they know nothing of the other's preferred musical genre despite their shared appreciation for music.
That's what I hope a draft would make possible. Meaningful connections. Everyone, regardless of all those things I listed earlier, would be forced to come together and undertake the same training. Their experiences would be the same. An artist and a lawyer meet years later, and they have something they can both relate to, hopefully allowing for a greater relationship. That's what I'd like to see happen.
I just thought I'd throw this out here. The posts from high school and my selected profondities are kind of pre-packaged and require little preparation, and I wanted to make a main course tonight (ooh! a metaphor!).
2 years ago