Restoring military draft would improve diversity

Published Jan 31, 2018 at 4:00pm

I support reinstituting the military draft or other compulsory public service. Presently we lack ideological diversity in the military which exposes us to significant risk of tyranny. When all members of the military adopt the same mindset, they can be more powerful than ordinary citizens and potentially nullify the effects of an election. It also could stifle the voices of dissent — which is necessary for a vital and vibrant democracy. Also, a leader who panders to the military can become far more powerful than his office would ordinarily allow. 

Presently we do have some diversity of ideas from conservative to liberal in the heads of the military — but mostly because many of the military ranking officers remain from a time when the draft existed or shortly thereafter — when there was great diversity. More recently, recruiting has not obtained the same ideological diversity as perhaps in the 1980s and 1990s. Or even the early 2000s. This can pose a significant problem. 

Military service also fosters a sense of participation in our democracy, and may result in increased voting — something that we all should encourage.

— Peter W. Antonowicz, Rome