Charlie Rangel Wants to Draft My Daughters

I knew it was coming. With all the demands on our military worldwide and the ascendancy of feminist thinking in the Pentagon and political establishments, it was only a matter of time that someone would propose drafting my daughters.

Given that more than 16,000 single mothers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, an "unprecedented" number as reported by the Washington Post, this cultural train wreck was bound to happen.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has proposed (re-proposed, actually) just such a plan. He is proposing a draft for both men and women "with no exemptions beyond health or reasons of conscience." Granted, his primary motivation is to deter an interventionist foreign and military policy. He appears to assume that a more broadly representative military, made up of citizens of all walks of life, from Blue states as well as Red, would put a political brake on preventive, preemptive wars of choice.

However, Congressman Rangel also claims a moral purpose in proposing a new draft: "I believe it is immoral for those who insist on continuing the conflict in Iraq, and placing the war on the table in Iran and North Korea, to do so only at the risk of other people's children."

 I am old enough to recall Senator-elect Jim Webb's arguments, back when he was a Republican, that, even with a draft, America's elites took a pass on the Vietnam War due to the college exemption, monkey business with local Selective Service boards, and other political interventions to secure assignments to National Guard duty. This was in stark contrast to the elites of Britain who suffered brutally in the First World War. I recall the scene at Cambridge at the beginning of the movie Chariots of Fire (1981), where the camera moves across endless lists of the college's war dead during a white-tie dinner, all lost in the Great War.

I was a junior in college during the big lottery to establish the order of priority for men who were eligible for the draft. I drew number 366, the extra day added for Leap Year. So by the time I graduated in 1971, heading on to law school, I did not have any expectation of being called up.

Looking back, Jim Webb was absolutely right. It was a terrible injustice, a sharp sword severing the body politic, that those of us fortunate or inclined to attend college were exempt from military service. Following the exemption path was something one just did without thought or reflection. I can think of only one person in my college prep school graduating class who served in Vietnam. His name is written on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, a Notre Dame football walk-on, who quit college to join the Marines.

For this reason I came to accept the idea of some form of universal military service sans college exemptions, but not the politically correct social service options preferred by liberals. The latter hardly seemed to justify the involuntary conscription of young men, taking them away from their freely chosen paths in life. Community service is a valued calling, but it should not be an excuse for extending the power of the federal government over the lives of its citizens through compulsion.

But drafting women into military service is hardly the sort of thing a conservative can endorse. While many women forego the demands of child-rearing, it is a unique, necessary vocation which the government should be encouraging and protecting. Drafting women of child-bearing age would compel women who desire the vocations of wife and motherhood to enter an environment hardly conducive to the upbringing of their young.

When I read of a woman killed in action, with children at home, I grieve for her, her children, and for my country which allows such a barbaric and unchivalrous thing to happen. While fathers are essential to the flourishing of children, they are, in truth, expendable when compared to the nurturing and sustaining role of a mother. A hard truth, but one which the history of the human family has proven time and time again. As George Gilder taught us three decades ago, the role of mother is biological. The role of father requires socialization. We seem to be doing everything we can to deny both truths.

So my belief in the importance of national and political unity must yield to my commitment to the unique role of women as mothers. If the price of a draft is the conscription of women, I vote nay. The brutal fact is that we can live with casualties in war, but we cannot live without vibrant families which love, cherish, and protect children. In this way death will not triumph over life.

[Editor's note: The author has five daughters.]

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  • Guest

    Women in the military makes a lot of sense. It actually follows the same thought process as homosexual “marriage”. Here’s why: If a woman is sterilized either chemically or physically she’s not much different than a man in the childbearing sense. Most American women are barren in this way and few even replace themselves on this Earth. Homosexual sex merely imitates the barren, hedonistic sex of most Americans, so called Christians and even (shock) Catholics! Nobody is having kids anyway and frequently they divorce (till death do us part….whatever…) So, back to the female draft issue. What’s the difference if a man or a woman is killed? Neither is going to be a mother anyway.

    For the record, I was a Marine reservist while in college. I also went to OCS at Quantico. I knew that military service and marriage and motherhood which ensues from that vocation are mutually exclusive. Therefore, when I met the man God had intended for me from all eternity, I served out my enlistment and was honorably discharged from the USMC. I am proud of my service to my country and was honored to do so at that time in my life.

    I now have 10 children, six of whom are girls. I hope they are free to fulfill their vocation as mother if that is what God has planned for them. Conscription would violate the most basic human right of women which is to bear and mother one’s own children. Given my belief, however, one can hardly blame Rep Rangel for his position. Frankly, women have done it to themselves: Way to go Women’s Lib!

    May God have mercy on us all.
    Rejoicing in HOpe!

  • Guest

    It does make sense to the feminist ideology. The question is, will those of us who don’t share this ideology be forced to participate? The way I see it, if it comes down to my country or my family, I know which one I’ll choose, and it won’t be my country. I would argue that as a mother of small children I am psychologically unfit for service anyway since I would be so worried about them I wouldn’t be able to fulfil my military duties well.

  • Guest

    Charlie Rangel – one who since his first election to the Horror-house of Representatives should have been forced to wear a red nose ball . . . So much, too, for NY sophistication – sophists all, Schumer, Hillary and Rangel – God save us!

    When Clown Charlie first lofted this balloon the Demo-crites tried to pin it on the Bush administration, during the 2004 election campaign. It never has had serious consideration – Clown Charlie is much a minority of one, on the issue.

    Now, that this buffoon will have any power in Washington, Dispose-Carefully, speaks volumes about the lack of statesmen in our national crap-ital. We suffer from something far less and worse than ‘a dearth of leadership’. It would help if we started by making sure 1) brains and 2) commonsense – Rangle is ‘challenged’ on both – got a place in the persons on our ballots. Holding your breath won’t help – make them hold theirs.

    All that said, the Penta-geeks can have my daughter, Helena – aka ‘Hell-on-wheels’. In combat, she would be more deadly than any two men. Facing an enemy, she would take as many prisoners as she could carry on her back – she has back problems – no prisoners. She is also canny enough to note those handing out orders – she would target them first. If necessary, their parents and extended family could accompany them to whatever permanent destination they are going.

    Blessed with the sweet voice of a little girl, she has the sensibilities of righteous power of Joshua and the militant airs of Ghengis Khan. If any man would attempt to rape her – and, I think the stupidest aren’t THAT stupid – I have this feeling that in less than a minute, he’d be riding a cripple board singing at high-C for the rest of his days – assuming she left him any days. She walks like a field marshall into any group around. She has this swagger that makes it look like she’s carrying an officer’s side saber; you expect to see a field commander’s swagger crop slapping her palm. Everyone just knows that there is something greatly respectable about Helena.

    A decent person, mostly, unselfish in just about any way, she initiates no trouble; so DO NOT give her any trouble. An enemy of our country is a threat to her children, to whom she is devoted. Threaten her children at full, fatal risk. On this point, I am not jesting. Any peer of her children who threaten them in any way finds Helena at their parents’ door.

    She is not there with cookies.

    I remain your obedient servant, but God’s first,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell or …

  • Guest

    By the way, Charlie Rangel is just a pompus buffoon and is just posturing according to the pundits…and they know everything, of course. It’s his not to subtle way of insulting the troops in Iraq by saying that only the poor, uneducated dummies of color are in the military.

    I bet the fertility rate would go way up if women were conscripted. Unless, of course, forced sterilization was imposed on women so they would have to serve pregnant free…now THAT is a scarey proposition.