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Should serving your country be required?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by veryoldschool, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I do think that some sort of service should be mandatory, and it should be about 2 years' worth. The military isn't right for everyone, but there are groups like AmeriCorps that allow you to volunteer in the US.
  2. barryb

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    I have to agree with you Stuart.

    When the draft came forth (being honest here) I was relieved that I wasn't picked.

    In looking back I can clearly see how my life could have used the structure that being in the military brings, as well as the honor of serving our country.

    What I did instead was get into trouble, and it took me years to clean my life up. My grandfather passed some years ago. He was a very high ranking officer during WW2. He was there when Pearl Harbor got bombed. To this day the military has taken care of my grandmother, and for this I am grateful.

    Everyone I know who has served are nothing short of honorable to me. I feel that everyone should have to help our country, and in a form that includes more than "just paying taxes".

    I devote my free time to doing all sorts of things beyond the nose on my face. I wish everybody could have the joy that I get when I give back.

    I am a very proud American myself. :flag:
  3. ProfLonghair

    ProfLonghair Hall Of Fame

    Sep 26, 2006
    Wow, I'm really surprised to see some of the opinions here. This country was founded on the right to basically do whatever you want (within reason) so long as no one else is hurt by those actions. I have the right to not serve as much as I have the right to serve. Whether military or otherwise, you cannot legislate/compel charity or service. Yes, we had a draft, and how did that go? We have the best fighting force in the world because it is full of people who want to be there, not have to.

    Who gets to decide 'service' to your country? Is it feeding the homeless? Teaching people to read? I could argue that building roads and bridges are service to your country, should we then have people do that?

    The basic tenet here is that no one can tell me what to do in this country (taxes aside). I can be told what not to do, but that's about it.

    This is getting dangerously close to other things, like establishing a state religion. After all, if serving your country is good, isn't serving God good as well?
  4. barryb

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    I don't think anyone is telling anyone of what they should or should not be doing here....

    Its just a thread of opinions, and we all have the right to express our own, even if it's not one that is agreed upon by others.

    Just another reason to like our Country. :)
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Might be worth a google.
    Yeah and they fought and died to have the right too. Are you willing to do the same?
  6. redfiver

    redfiver DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    Why don't you? If you don't like something the government is doing (the military just does what it's government tells it to do) you have every right to protest and disagree with those actions. In fact, you should make your voice heard loud and clear by the government.
  7. barryb

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Glad you brought this up VOS. People forget how this country came about... all too easy.

    All those "FREEDOMS" came at the expense of many peoples lives.

    Like I said: I am proud to be an American, and honored by all those who served.
  8. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    For those who believe some sort of service should be compulsory...

    Are you ready to change the Constitution to do that? After all, "indentured servitude" was outlawed in the 19th century. The military draft, as I understand it, operates under slightly different rules. But requiring someone to work before being granted "all the rights and privileges" of citizenship is just that - indentured servitude.

    School boards got swatted down for requiring "community service" in order to get a diploma. You cannot require someone to perform unpaid labor in order to obtain that which they have a right (assuming they've completed all their classes satisfactorily).

    Who gets to define what "the common good" is? Does my job count because I'm working on a military contract? Does faming count because it feeds people?

    The devil, as they say, is in the details.

    That being said, I have an incredible amount of respect for those who HAVE served. My girlfriend's boys were embarassed by me wanting to take them out to dinner whenever they were on leave up here. I know they don't make a lot and this is one small way to say "thanks" for taking such a risk.

    And, as a postscript, I seem to remember a phrase common during wartime, a serviceman telling their son "I fight so you won't have to".
  9. BubblePuppy

    BubblePuppy Good night dear Smoke... love you & "got your butt

    Nov 3, 2006
    This is a post that I posted in another thread, that is closed now. But I feel it is worthy to be posted again:
    Support America and the documents it was founded on.:)
  10. barryb

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    I am glad this topic is not turning into an all-out flame war.

    We all have the right to speak our minds (within the rules of DBSTalk when posting here). Nobody is saying "you must do this".

    Your American History teacher hit a home run with that statement BubblePuppy.
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    I think you have "a duty" to do this.
  12. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Well put, and worth mentioning. I for one would support a constitutional amendment if the courts felt one was necessary, and I would draw a contrast between indentured servitude, which is compulsory, unpaid service to a private individual, and national service, which would be considered a requirement in the same vein as taxation and adherence to the law.

    I do get that it's a slippery slope. I also get that as you say, it's all in the details. That being said, other modern countries do it so it can be done.
  13. BubblePuppy

    BubblePuppy Good night dear Smoke... love you & "got your butt

    Nov 3, 2006
    Interesting, that after 37 years I still remember that.:)
  14. Fontano

    Fontano Godfather

    Feb 7, 2008

    Does it have to be military or something similar?
    Could be it holding an elected office (mayor, council person)
    Could it be traditional civil service: police, fire, public works, postal
    What about teachers? Probably the most underpaid job out there, most work for the public school systems and teach our children.

    What about those that volunteer for other organizations such as scouting, sporting leagues, outreach groups that help grow our children?

    What about conservation efforts and those people that are part of that?

    I have always felt it takes a very special person that joins the military out of their own choice (not because of money or some other arrangement). Those people are very special and need to be, to work as a team with their life on the line.

    Requiring people to forceable give up major segments of their lives, which no matter how blue sky you want to look at it, can have major impacts to their careers, family, and health, just isn't the solution.

    Especially the way our society has changed over the last 200 years.

    What age to do this time? right after highschool, after you just spent 4 years studying, learning, preparing to go to college? Or after college after you just asked these students to spends $100's of thousands of dollars to study and get degrees.

    10 years later, after they have careers established and families, with financial requirements...

    And again, I look at the military as a career choice for many and it takes a very special person to choose to do it. I give military people an astronomical amount of credit for what they do to protect me, my family, and everyone else in this country.

    I give the same level of credit to those men and women that are firefighters and police. And when I look at the person running the machines that create our roads and streets, and the guy that picks up the garbage, they do all make our life what it is.

    I think the TV show Dirty Job's is a FANTASTIC show for this reason, they show some of the not so nice things that have to get done, to help us live the way we do.

    The vast majority of people I feel serve this country, in one way or another.
    Just by voting and participating, we serve our country.
    I don't think we all have to learn how to shoot a gun and learn how to defend with force and might to server.
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    This [thread] seemed to be started with only a broad idea. The nuts & bolts, as you say is where the devil lies.
    A few things:
    "indentured servitude" is alive and well in the enlisted ranks. see my post above. This isn't for citizenship.
    "School boards got swatted down" Think this relates to public schools.
    "This idea" was for after during college years. There are a few colleges that have a work program as part of their curriculum.
    "You cannot require someone to perform unpaid labor ", no but you can give them crappy pay for it. :lol:

    The longer an idea like this gets kicked around, the better it could be defined/developed into something possible workable.
  16. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I agree, it's not about the military, necessarily. There are a lot of ways to serve your country.

    One way I could see it going would be, that working in a publicly funded agency of any kind could either pay down your college debt or, if you're just out of high school, establish grants and aid for you.

    Teachers would be able to pay for the 6 years of school it takes them to get qualified.
    People serving in the military could be guaranteed college.

    Traditional forms of financial aid for college would be severely limited. If you want a college education your choices would be save for it or work for it. In the case of teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc., loan programs could be created.

    To take it further, we could reduce the amount of medical aid guaranteed to people over their lives and allow them to do community service for which they would be paid in credits toward the insurance plan of their choice.

    Another whole idea is that when you are born, the government sets aside $1,000,000 for your care. This money pays for your school, your social security, your welfare, your Medicaid, whatever. It's your birthright. And I'm making up that figure, I don't know what the lifetime cost of a person is to the government.

    Now, you're free to draw from this amount to get through life as you need to. If you want to go to college, use the money for that. If you need to go on welfare, use the money for that. But the account keeps shrinking. If you want to replenish it, community service is how you do that. The pay you'd make for community service replenishes it. If you run out of money, you only receive the most basic of services. If you die with a surplus, the amount goes to whomever you designate, for their lifetime welfare.

    These are just some ideas, and I'll admit they're not perfect.
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    ^ just some of my thoughts.
  18. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004

    Regarding some previous posts stating this is a democracy. Do your homework! The USA is a republic, not a democracy. One author puts it this way: http://www.williampmeyers.org/republic.html
    And a lengthy article from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic

    We strive for the four freedoms expressed by FDR:
    1. Freedom of speech and expression
    2. Freedom of religion
    3. Freedom from want
    4. Freedom from fear
    However, none of these "freedoms" include the freedom to do whatever we want. Even when laws don't forbid certain acts, social mores discourage them. We are under constant pressure to adhere to certain standards of behavior.

    I'm firmly of the belief that every high school graduate should have the opportunity to obtain a college education. That being said, I'm also of the opinion that two years' service to our country (or humanity) after high school would do a better job of preparing young people for college and/or life experience. That service could be anything from military service to something like the Peace Corps, or even state or federal government employment.
  19. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    You'd be hard pressed to find a Founding Father that believed that philosophy and today neither the American left nor the American right espouse that philosophy.

    John Stuart Mill
    's On Liberty, generally considered the primary treatise on that political philosophy, was published in 1859, just before our Civil War. Specifically:
    Though that seems simple, even Mill couldn't express it without struggling through the subtle but significant problems. From Wikipedia:
    Using the "a butterfly flaps his wings" one world view of 2009, there is very little one human can do or not do that won't potentially "harm" another.

    And, of course, Mill also espoused his own take on utilitarianism as the only ethical basis for human conduct in enjoying one's freedom in his book Utilitarianism. Mill's Utilitarianism is:
    Thus, for Mill a military draft might be totally consistent with the proper exercise of civil power, particularly when the civil society that protect the right to liberty is endangered.

    Mill is considered the founder of libertarian philosophy and many in the Libertarian Party consider properly limiting the exercise of government power to be the process of balancing of protecting the individual's right to exercise his or her free will in a manner that does not harm others against the need for government to assure the greatest amount of happiness within the populace.

    Oddly enough, most in the American political center majority tend to agree on the philosophy but Americans generally disagree on the implementation of that philosophy, which is a totally rational situation IMHO.
  20. BubblePuppy

    BubblePuppy Good night dear Smoke... love you & "got your butt

    Nov 3, 2006
    But social mores are not "laws". Besides, social mores change over time, are flaunted everyday. Think back on the 60s-today, the Hippie culture, gay marriage protest etc, The list goes on. As long as it is not forbiden by law, or rules established by local governments, it is a freedom.
    If I was 30 years younger I would join a service, but I volunteer in my community where I can.

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