Selective Service Bullies
“We’re not here to serve you, you’re here to serve us.”
When the threat of force is your first argument that somebody should do something, you have no other. And there is no reason for Selective Service to exist, as exemplified by their tweet:
Some people don’t want to register because they think “laws and government suck.” But truth be told, failure to register is punishable by a fine up to $250,000 and imprisonment up to 5 years. Also, failure to register results in a lifetime of denied benefits. #MythBusters
Before discussing the Tweet, I should acknowledge that I don’t believe Selective Service should exist. Conscription is kidnapping. It’s involuntary servitude. Although we don’t have the draft today, Selective Service leaves open the possibility. It’s repugnant to the concept of a free society. It’s repugnant to the right to life.
And it’s not necessary to defend the country, as the territory of the U.S. hasn’t been threatened since the War of 1812. We all know if the draft was re-instituted, it’ll be for a failing foreign occupation, not because foreign troops are invading us.
I’d go beyond abolishing the draft. To the extent the U.S. should have military forces at all, I’d raise the enlistment age to 21. I don’t like the idea of a young man going straight from the authoritarian school systems to the authoritarian military. There should be some life experience in between. A more fully-formed adult is in a better position to judge whether military life is suitable for him. There may be even greater reluctance to carry out illegal orders.
(Of course, to carry out illegal orders is why the politicians and military brass want unquestioning teenagers. I don’t have the same values as them.)
That said, what particularly offends me about this Tweet is its threatening, bullying nature.
If Selective Service tweeted, “When your country calls, it’s an honor to serve. When you turn 18, remember to register,” I’d have no complaint. (On the other hand, the tweet probably wouldn’t have been brought to my attention.) Instead, its tone is “Do this because we said so, and we’ll take you away in handcuffs if you don’t.”
With this Tweet, the Selective Service is saying, “The government isn’t here to serve you, you’re here to serve us.” And the government resents that some people think laws and government suck? It just provided evidence that it does.
I’m not saying young men shouldn’t register for Selective Service. I did; when something is compulsory, it’s probably in your best interest to do it. Just remember that when you do, it’s the start of an adult life with never-ending government edicts.
You’re here to serve them.