subscribe button


Richard Nixon Killed the Draft; Kerry-Edwards Brought it Back

President Richard Nixon may have left office in disgrace, but his legacy continues to benefit the American people and year by year his reputation improves. Nixon championed the elimination of the draft in his 1968 campaign against Hubert Humphrey. As promised, forced service in the military ended in 1973 under Nixon’s leadership. The era of volunteer service had begun.

Today, U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-M.A.) warns that President George W. Bush intends to reinstate the draft. He does so in spite of Bush’s stance that a draft would not benefit the military. He does so in spite of the fact that Bush has taken every opportunity to publicly oppose reinstating the draft. Even the top of brass of the military has weighed in and they too, do not want a draft. As it stands, the overwhelmingly Republican defense community agrees with their commander in chief that conscripts are a poor substitute for eager volunteers. On what grounds, then, does Kerry base his accusations? Can anyone name the evil Republican who is opposing Nixon’s legacy, Bush’s policy, and the military’s stated position?

One student at UNC-Charlotte sought to give us an answer: Charlie Rangel of New York. Writing for the campus newspaper, Isra Naushad warned her fellow classmates that a bill had been introduced before the U.S. House of Representatives that would reinstate the draft if passed into law. Though she accurately named the sponsoring congressman, U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Naushad identified the famous New York liberal as a Republican.

Needless to say, Republican students at UNC-Charlotte were greatly disturbed. The controversy soon spilled over to other campuses, with no retraction pending. It was reported that Michael Pomarico, chairman of the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans, had contacted Naushad to inform her of Rangel’s Party affiliation. According to Pomarico, Naushad replied that her piece was just “opinion,” and she could write whatever she wanted.

The bill in question recently came before the House for an up or down vote. The proposition was defeated 402 to 2, with Rangel voting against his own legislation. Seldom has there been such consensus in the House. The bipartisan opposition to the draft is so strong as to border on unanimity.

Why then, do the members of Kerry-Edwards 2004, from the lowliest pundit to the presidential candidate, insist that our president wants to revive the draft? Why would Rangel introduce legislation that even he could not vote for in good conscience? Why would liberal activists like Naushad choose to perpetuate the misconception that Republicans plan to reinstate the draft? There is only one answer that can pass the laugh test.

Kerry is lying about our president to scare the voters. He knows full well that his record as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate has consistently kept him below 50% of the vote. He knows that his nine or so flip-flops on Iraq have destroyed his credibility with the military and the American people. Kerry-crats are best labeled as Bush-haters. Even the true believers are disgusted with Kerry’s tendency to change positions on a weekly basis. Kerry recognizes that he cannot win the support of America; his only chance is to cut away votes from his popular opponent.

Thankfully, Bush’s consistent lead in national polls and vital swing states demonstrates the people’s verdict. We are not fooled by the lying liberal from Massachusetts.

John T. Plecnik is a twenty-year-old law student at Duke University and Executive Editor of The Devil’s Advocate. As Policy Advisor for the Duke Chapter, John authored the first-ever statewide platform for the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans.