The Constitution vs. Vietnam

September 12, 2009
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Of the 8 million American soldiers who fought in Vietnam, more than 2.5 million were drafted. Even worse, of the 11 million Americans who fought in WWII, over 7 million were drafted. A military draft is considered unconstitutional on so many levels. It violates some of the rights given to us by our own country. Of those rights, involuntary servitude and life are the ones that are hurt the most. A military draft also disrupts the beliefs of its own people, selfishly putting the government’s views and beliefs ahead of everyone else’s.
A military draft violates an individual’s right to life, given to them by our very own constitution. As Americans, we were given certain rights by our government, not only in the constitution, but in the CDV’s as well. The freedom of life is clearly defined. “A person’s right to life cannot be violated except if their life or the lives of others are threatened.” Taking that information, who decides when our lives are threatened? The government could declare war on a country that hadn’t even attacked us. They could just declare a war anytime they pleased and if our people didn’t sign up voluntarily, the government could propose a draft. Something about that just doesn’t seem right. Logically, if one major function of a government is to protect the rights of it’s people, it cannot claim a title on their lives in exchange for that protection. The government shouldn’t be able to use its own country’s young men as battle tools. Gambling is a very dangerous game, especially if a person’s life is at stake (or several million lives).
Another reason why a draft would be unconstitutional is the argument that a draft promotes involuntary servitude, which, if I recall, was abolished by the 13th amendment. Involuntary servitude is a condition of being labored against your will. Just as African-Americans were forced into slavery throughout the 1800’s, many young Americans were forced into the Vietnam War. Some men may support the war, that’s great, let them fight it. If they have the determination, strength, and willpower to sign up for battle, then they should be the ones to fight for our country. We usually fight to defend ourselves, which is why we like the biggest and strongest weapons, right? The same could be said for soldiers. How well is a 19 year old kid going to be able to defend you if he was forced into a war he didn’t support, had no previous knowledge or experience, and would rather be shot than take the life of another person? Will he be able to withstand the pressure and do what he is trained to do whether he feels it is right or not? Will he be able to pull the trigger on his enemy before his enemy does the same to him? These questions seem absurd, because the answers are so bluntly obvious to any normal human. He is not going to be able to protect his fellow soldiers, he is not going to be able to withstand the pressure, and he is not going to be able to “kill or be killed”. Why would our government wan to take the chance at causing so many deaths that could have been avoided?
In a way, a military draft would slightly resemble a dictatorship. In a country where it’s people are supposed to be free, there is always the possibility that it’s government will declare a war at its own discretion. If not enough men volunteer, the government will, most likely, issue a draft. That would force millions of young men to fight in a war they may or may not believe in, nor understand. The consequences of refusal are not exactly fair, either. If you refused to go into the war after you’d been drafted, our government would throw you in jail. We’ve been taught that Americans have the right to think, act, and speak freely, as long as no harm comes from it. If you don’t agree with the war, why should you have to fight in it? If a person doesn’t share the same beliefs as the government, why should they have to act upon them anyway? Hitler had his own beliefs that some individuals didn’t believe in. Those individuals were murdered. How is a draft any different? Sure, maybe our consequence is not as intense, but the damages are just as severe. The families of those individuals were probably devastated, just as the families of the boys who were sent to war were. They have no way of knowing if their son is going to make it through another day, and for what? For refusing to act upon the beliefs of the person or people with in charge. Our country is not as free as they like to pretend.
In conclusion, a volunteer army is the most practical way to go about defending a free country. 60% of the country’s men don’t sign up for a reason. Forcing them to do so takes away their individual rights, whether it be the right to life, or the right to do as they please, so long as they are not putting lives in danger. If anyone is putting lives in danger it is the government. It also resembles a dictatorship, which is the complete opposite of the democracy that we are supposed to be. If a country decides there is probable cause for a war, whether it is in self defense or to join sides with another country, it’s not likely that they will get many volunteers. A volunteer army promotes peace and unity throughout the country.

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This article has 18 comments. Post your own now!

TheWanderingMoo said...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm
nice writing and thought process, but please use paragraphs for something this long!
leala said...
Nov. 1, 2009 at 11:47 am
hmmmmm... this was very good
PaigeRebecca replied...
Nov. 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm
Thank you. :]
JoCoGirl said...
Oct. 9, 2009 at 11:22 pm
Yes, do tell us. I would like to know how far you WOULD be willing to go.
PaigeRebecca said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm
So, to clear any confusion I might have, what would you do in said situation? Would you immediately jump in and join the brawl? Would you go to the police? How would you react?
JoCoGirl said...
Sept. 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm
Well, we do have a right to life and government shouldn't be sticking its nose in every area of out life, but if we declare war on a country in order to defend right, the people of America should realize that if we do not fight for anything in the world, anything can happen to us as a nation also. We should be WILLING to give our lives for others. As for the draft, it is sad when young kids are taken off to war without a choice, but if more Americans would stand up and have a backbone to fi... (more »)
PaigeRebecca replied...
Oct. 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm
I agree to an extent. What I don't agree with is the "backbone" concept. If somebody was terrorizing a random stranger on the street, I wouldn't go running up to them ready to kill. Does that mean I have no backbone? No. It means I am more willing to let other highly trained proffessionals handle the situation. Yes, "random stranger" is correct in this case, because that is exactly what we are to each other. We go into war not knowing who SPECIFICALLY was affected, ... (more »)
jtarin replied...
Oct. 6, 2009 at 9:57 pm
So while said victim patiently waits for professional help to arrive you would patiently witness said scenario?
"No greater love hath he that would lay down his life for his fellow man."
jtarin replied...
Oct. 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
PaigeRebecca replied...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm
Why the  hell  would I risk my life for a person I don't even know? Yes, that would be a terrible incident, but I am sixteen years old with the rest of my life ahead of me! If I seem selfish because I would rather call for help instead of putting myself into a dangerous situation, forgive me.
jtarin replied...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm
Because you could possibly depend on the kindness of a stranger one day. Calling for help is better than nothing but try to be resourceful also in case help cannot arrive in time.
JoCoGirl replied...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm
I agree totally with jtarin. Even if they are a stranger, you should be willing to risk something for them, believing if they saw the same happen to you, they would help. "Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you." If you were attacked in an alley by some jerk and a person was just standing there, waiting for the police to arrive, would you not want them to help? The police won't always be there, but our fellow Americans will.
PaigeRebecca replied...
Oct. 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm
Getting attacked would be unfortunate for me, but I would not want another young girl to get hurt in the process of trying to get involved..I'm pretty sure I wouldn't just stand and watch, I would run around and tell people to get help, while also in search for help. My point is, I'm not just going to risk my life for someone I don't know. However, I'm also not just going to stand there and do nothing, either. Like I said, if I sound conceited because I would rather be a... (more »)
jtarin replied...
Oct. 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm
Then tell us the extent you would be willing to go for someone you know?
PaigeRebecca replied...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 1:22 am
If it's a friend or family member, i'll obviously think differently. I would do whatever possible to help them. But a total stranger? No.
JoCoGirl replied...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Well, all I can say is that I would be terrified to be that stranger one day. You should care as much for others as you do for friends. It might not be as easy, but the right thing is not always the easy one.
PaigeRebecca replied...
Oct. 12, 2009 at 11:28 am
I agree that the right decision is not always the easy one. Maybe one day I will think as you do, about helping a stranger. As for right now, my adolescent mind will not allow me to believe in risking my life for others. While I honestly respect your opinion, I do not agree with it at this moment in time. Thank you for your insight though, I really do appreciate it. I put this article up here on purpose. I knew it would spark a debate, and that is what happened. I already had my own thoughts and... (more »)
JoCoGirl replied...
Oct. 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm
yes, i'm glad u have an opinion, and i'm glad u r open 2 others' opinions. you'll go far with that attitude. :) God bless!
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