What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: Sergio’s viewfinder
On a new website launched by the “Obama-Biden Transition Project”, the Nation’s next Decider-in-chief hides in plain sight a startling stance on compulsory national service. Intended for the youth of America, this plan boldly lays down Barack Obama’s desire for mandatory “community service” by all school-age children:
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Note the deception intended to soften the blow: the opening line describes only encouragement or persuasion by referencing a “call on Americans to serve”, whereas the statement later admits to requiring a certain number of hours of community service for each age group. Not to be outdone, Obama apparently intends to put retirees back to work in his service as well—so much for pursuing one’s own desires.
President-elect Barack Obama is not alone in his desire for federally-mandated compulsory service. As this article reports, Obama’s new chief of staff has previously advocated three months of compulsory service for all individuals ages 18-24.
In July, Obama revealed his plan for “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the U.S. military. In the speech, Obama said “People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve.” He also said this mass movement requiring servitude “will be a central cause of my presidency.”
Barack Obama, while not a descendant of slaves himself, would do well to recall the idea behind the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution—namely, the part about involuntary servitude. Whether coerced by an individual to satisfy his demands, or forced by government to do the same, the result is identical: slavery, fascism, force, and the loss of liberty.
While one court ruling has held that the military draft does not qualify as involuntary servitude (something with which I strongly disagree), the quest to mandate compulsory community service at a federal level will break new ground and likely will be challenged in court, if pursued by the Obama administration (whether legislated by his messianic followers in Congress, or issued by executive order). While I lack faith in the impartial, fair judgment of many of those appointed to the bench, I nevertheless hope that some clarity and reason will attend the hearings that seek to bury this fascist policy into the ground.