Posted by 18 April 2019
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is getting a lot of interest from the media and public in his long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now he’s floating an idea that others have proposed, but which has never been enacted – a national service program for young Americans.
Buttigieg discussed the idea recently with MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow. He did not get into specifics on how the program would work, but the general idea he suggested was a program for young adults to serve their nation. This could either be through military or civilian service.
Touting what he saw as the military draft’s positive effects in past generations, Buttigieg said that a national service program could help bring Americans together. He said that people of differing races and backgrounds could work side-by-side, bringing more social cohesion to the nation. He declined to say whether this would be a mandatory program, but did say that it would be a theme of his campaign.
Opponents of this idea say that the government should not coerce people into national service. They point out the many problems caused by the draft, including the ability of people with connections to avoid it.
It remains to be seen what exactly Buttigieg will proposes for his national service plan, and whether other Democratic candidates will back it.
Should young Americans be required to serve in the military or a civilian national service program? Should the military draft be re-instituted? Do you think the nation was more united when the military draft was in effect?