Thursday, November 06, 2008

Emanuel Proposes Slavery

Barack Obama's choice for Chief-of-Staff supports "universal civilian service" for Americans aged 18-25.

In his 2006 book, The Plan: Big Ideas for America, Rahm Emanual writes in language eerily similar to the Obamessiah's call for a "Civilian National Security Force":

It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service. ...

Here's how it would work. Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we're hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities' most pressing needs.


There's a word for this kind of involuntary servitude: slavery. A proposal like this strikes at the very heart of a Constitutional republic, transforming the civil government from servant to master, misusing the very powers it has been granted to protect our liberty in order to violate this inalienable right.

Consistent with the Obamessiah's own expansive call for "service", the choice of Mr. Emanuel is a harbinger of the dangers ahead for the next four years. Chief-of-Staff is a very powerful position, in many ways more influential than that of Vice President. The Chief-of-Staff oversees the day-to-day activities of the White House policy personnel, controls access to the President, and at times even gives direction to Cabinet Secretaries.

All those post-adolescents who voted for Barack Obama may be in for rude awakening.

23 comments:

YatPundit said...

what a stupid, inflammatory, and non-productive title. That's like arguing that compulsory military service, something this country had for generations, was slavery.

Alex Steed said...

Leslie -

By this [flawed] logic, Israel, thanks to their required military service, is guilty of enslavement of 18-20 year-olds. Does this mean that you are anti-Israel?

Leslie Carbone said...

Well, this one sure struck a nerve. I didn't know that involuntary servitude = slavery was such a controversial position. But if anyone would like to offer a reasoned argument why it's incorrect, please do so here. Thanks!

Alex Steed said...

Not so fast, Leslie. I asked a question in response to your post first, albeit slightly tongue in cheek.

However, I now want to understand your logic, if there is any.

If what you're saying is true, then Israel should be considered a slave-holding state, no? And if that is the case, what is your position on America's nearly unwavering military support for them? Should America spending trillions to defend Israel, a slave-holding (by your logic), Middle Eastern state?

Jim said...

Leslie,

Compulsive service to the nation is not "slavery". It is compulsory service, that's all. We need to get something that inures a bond of shared circumstances, shared burden, in our society.

I think Rahm's idea is a great one and one that the Republican Party needs to get behind. It's good for America. 2-4 years away from the X-Box will not kill our youth but just might make America a more cohesive nation.

curiousyellow said...

I support Leslie here. Compulsory military service IS involuntary servitude, which IS slavery. However, I see why some conservatives and patriots might object to describing it a such.

Temporary involuntary servitude is not the same as chattel slavery, where humans are bought and sold as animals, as some Africans and their descendants were in the US prior to the Civil.

Also, the draft and national service has been such a widespread custom since antiquity, that it is practiced in many places today, including Israel, and is just accepted as inevitable, like death and taxes.

Whether Israel could survive without involuntary military service is an interesting question, but the USA is in more jeopardy if it has a draft than with an all-volunteer military. Why? Because a draft leads to mischief by politicians. IMHO, tthe draft is unconstutional, violating the Thirteenth Amendment.

Scott White said...

There are many countries that require military service for newly minted adults.

There are some that require a lifetime of membership in the militia.

I think Leslie, that you and I are probably on differing sides of the discussion on this one.

While I have not thought it all the way through, I have always been a proponent of a military service requirement for all.

My time in the military facilitated me "growing up". I have been in public service my entire working life and wouldn't have it any other way.

Let me chew on this a while and come up with a decent rebuttal to your assertion. But I don't think it rises to the level of slavery.

J.D. Tuccille said...

Leslie,

I may be in a minority here, but I agree that compelled service for any purpose is slavery. It may not be life-long chattel slavery, but it's still slavery, and wrong.

As Milton Friedman responded to General Westmoreland's complaint that voluntary soldiers are mercenaries, "Would you rather command an army of slaves?"

Anonymous said...

I'd also like a response on whether compulsory military service also = slavery.

Scott White said...

Ok . I've given this some thought.

Compulsory service does NOT rise to the level of "slavery". But it's also not a welcomed option.

As I stated above, it has always been my position that a mandatory hitch in the military should be required.

I am going to change that.

After some rather heated discussion with my moderate conservative spouse, I can see that what was good for me, is not always what is best for the whole.

I guess what I am saying is that I disagree with the "compulsory" service, don't disagree with having the opportunity to serve and disagree with the analogous use of the term slavery. I think it falls short of that but is still distasteful.

mullithdz said...

Struck a nerve is putting it mildly! With our first African-American president, you start throwing out the word slavery. Then you show an incomprehension of the concept of duty/service to our country, which we all agree is in dire straits. I choose to call it obscene.

I also feel that if you examined the effects and usefulness of such a program to people in this age group, as well the benefit to the country, you might see why softening the tone of your rhetoric is in order.

Three months of your time to help keep us "the land of the free" is not even close to having to make your bed every morning, take out the garbage, or do other chores while growing up. Also I would ask you, do you think it could possibly reduce crime, inspire some to military service, help others discover skills & talent they had never tapped in to?

Lastly, I would suggest the age limit not be imposed beyond 25, but on a voluntary basis, let older Americans go through the training as well. The number of us volunteering would probably surpass the number of "slaves".

sunrnr said...

"Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service. ..."

I believe the operative word here is "asked". This is no different than many programs that have been in existence for many years.

This is an opportunity for young people to learn valuable skills, give something back to the country and it's people.

namarw

Anonymous said...

Gee,I wonder if a certain author is one very bitter wingnut, feeling left out now that you've got nothing to do, being an extremist and all.

You know Leslie, a little volunteer work for people or animals in need, might help you mature some and tone down your massive blogger ego.

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get sued for slander for the blatantly deceptive title of your article.

Leslie Carbone said...

The operative word is "universal"; "asked" is a euphemism.

Anonymous said...

Emanuel is proposing a mandatory draft for the young people into civil service, not military service, which could benefit so many areas of our communities. And a 3 month commitment is no more than a college quarter, and possibly worth so much more.

Anonymous said...

"Well, this one sure struck a nerve. I didn't know that involuntary servitude = slavery was such a controversial position."

lol! As if anyone would believe you chose to equate the two for any other reason.

oatmealsnap said...

I think that having a mandatory service program is a great idea! Crime rates would drop phenomenally if everyone a sense of discipline. And the important thing to remember is that this would not be a draft. Everyone would benefit from a program like this. I am very excited now, and i I hope to see this implemented (although I doubt it will happen).

Isophorone said...

This is a difficult issue to answer. I agree that real defense-oriented national service is not so bad, but then again, what can really be accomplished in three months? The Israelis draft men for three years and women for two. I think other countries, like Taiwan, also have a draft. Remember that both Israel and Taiwan have to deal with hostile neighbors who can plausibly strike in many ways at any time.

My concern is that this is not about military service. This national service "request" (which will really be a mandate) will result in the government picking the winners of these newfound labor hours. The end result will be a bunch of "volunteers" for left-wing causes (or indoctrination therein), and, at best, a waste of time for young people.

The requirement will also be accompanied by promises of college aid or reimbursement. As a result, the service requirement will actually compete with the military's needs for manpower, not complement or supplement it. All at a highly inflated price.

Angie Bishop said...

It is not the governments responsibility to dicipline our children..This responsibility belongs to the parent's...to raise diciplined, responsible, self-sufficient and self-reliant adults..Have so many parents failed this responsibility? Absolutely..however, we cannot allow government enforcement of how our children are raised.

NotNotJayHughes said...

Well...it's not total slavery as long as the compulsory service people are being compensated for their time via salary, benefits, etc.

But isn't it just a tad ironic that the party that pardoned Vietnam draft dodgers, i.e. Jimmah Cah-tah, is now proposing a kind of nationwide draft for civilian service?

Here's the conservative way of handling this. If you want some kind of national service, you make the salary and benefits competitive over private sector offerings and you let the people come to you voluntarily.

Yeah...yeah...I know that we'll have to tax everyone to death to get the money to make those salaries and benefits attractive....but bear with me....just trying to show what a silly idea it is.

NotNotJayHughes said...

Well...it's not total slavery as long as the compulsory service people are being compensated for their time via salary, benefits, etc.

But isn't it just a tad ironic that the party that pardoned Vietnam draft dodgers, i.e. Jimmah Cah-tah, is now proposing a kind of nationwide draft for civilian service?

Here's the conservative way of handling this. If you want some kind of national service, you make the salary and benefits competitive over private sector offerings and you let the people come to you voluntarily.

Yeah...yeah...I know that we'll have to tax everyone to death to get the money to make those salaries and benefits attractive....but bear with me....just trying to show what a silly idea it is.

NotNotJayHughes said...

Leslie:

Sorry for the double posting...don't know how that happened.

Sean said...

As an Iraq veteran, someone who has served, I'm against this idea. I think the draft is immoral, if you can't get enough volunteers to fight your war, then perhaps it isn't a necessary war? If a country refuses to voluntarily defend itself, it isn't worth defending. Look at how many people signed up after 9/11.

You guys suggesting that compulsory military service is ok are wrong. You shouldn't force people to fight for something they don't believe in.

If the proposed national service plan is mandatory, it is clearly a form of slavery, but not in the same ballpark as what was done to African Americans. It doesn't matter what you want to pay them for it, if it's not voluntary it's not right. Taxes are a big enough burden.

I've no doubt such a plan would be good for some people, but so would putting everyone on a government mandated diet. Does freedom mean anything to you guys?

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