Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Return of Bob "Hatchet Man" Dole

The late 90's and early part of the new millennium brought us a kindler, gentler version of Bob Dole, the former U.S. Senator from right here in Kansas. After his loss to Clinton in '96, Dole made an almost overnight transformation that shed his image as the nation's grouchy old grandfather. He started making the rounds on SNL, David Letterman, and more recently the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The parade of this new Bob Dole through our television sets was almost enough to make us forget his true legacy as the hatchet man for Nixon and Republican Party.

Dole said Sunday that Kerry should apologize for his testimony thirty years ago to Congress about alleged atrocities during the Vietnam War. Dole, like many other Americans, still holds a grudge against those of us who would prefer to see the truth told about Vietnam, however uncomfortable that may be.

Dole was selected as Ford's running mate in '76 based primarily on his reputation he built under Nixon as the guy willing to do the dirty work. If Nixon needed someone to threaten those pesky protestors setup outside 1600 Pennsylvania, Dole was never hesitant to do so.

I'm no fan of Kerry and the Democrats, but for God's sake the guy volunteered (like Dole) for service at a time when he could have ran and hid (a la Bush, Clinton, etc.). These self-righteous Republicans are now mocking him and every other American out there that have been in the line of fire. Their contempt for Kerry's courage of one kind on the battlefield, and then again before the Congress, shows just how narrow and close-minded their definition of 'patriotism' has become. Bush still has time to distance himself from the behavior of the GOP on the convention floor, as he appears to be doing by issuing a condemnation of the 527 groups.

Anyone Feeling a Draft?

The closer we get to the election, the more it becomes apparent that Bush and Kerry both have their eyes set on increasing the size of U.S. forces overseas. The problem is that neither man has given us an idea of how they will go about accomplishing it. The media has failed to press either man on just how much of an necessity conscription is in order to accomplish this military growth spurt.

If you happen to be a male, age 18-25 (such as I), and you don't hear anything about this subject before the election, then go ahead and start packing for a desert vacation. Iran, Sudan, and Korea are all on the radar (not to mention those small expeditions in Iraq and Afghanistan), and Kerry and Bush are working towards fulfilling Woodrow Wilson's vision of America's place in the world.

As Ayn Rand said, the military draft is the worst of all violations of individual rights. It negates our fundamental right (to life) in order to provide the blood (war) of life that the state feeds off of. It tells us that our lives belong to the state, and that at any moment we can be sacrificed to uphold the establishment's power.

Of course, none of this sort of philosophical opposition to reopening a military draft is going to be discussed. Does the media not see this inevitability on the political horizon? Of course they see it, but they are (just as they were in the 60's) too afraid to approach this juggernaut. It's a no-win situation in an era when questioning the system amounts to criminal behavior. No one in the media wants to be labeled by the Rupert Murdoch wing of the media as being unpatriotic or even treasonous.

3rd party candidates such as Nader and Libertarian Michael Badnarik have both made strong cases against the draft. I'm not holding my breath for either of them being included in the televised debates to dicuss them, but their voices could still be the saving graces in getting the issue to the forefront before it's too late in November. Compulsory military service has shown to be a foolish and unwise step to take in a free and democratic society, too bad that the big media doesn't have the cojones to speak up and remind the politicians.

Tomorrow...Signs that you're losing the First Amendment and becoming a Police State.


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