John Locke Update / Impact Newsletter

Dodging the History of the Draft

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Among the many heated campaign issues this year was the recurring charge that President Bush has a secret plan to resurrect the military draft. Bush repeatedly denied it, but Roy Cordato noticed that lost in the discussion was historical data that illustrates a draft would be much more likely under a Democratic administration. Last month he made his case on WPTF in Raleigh, and now, in a commentary published around the state, Cordato lays out major milestones of the Selective Service System and notes several key anti-draft moments in history, courtesy of Republicans. It was Barry Goldwater who made draft opposition a key piece of his 1964 campaign, Richard Nixon who repealed draft legislation in 1973, and Gerald Ford who gave clemency to resisters. “During the 20th century the draft or registration was instituted or re-authorized six times,” Cordato writes. “Three of those were during periods of peace. But a closer look at the record reveals that all six were during Democratic administrations.”

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