Upon Further Review: Modern Day Slavery?

   Conscription, also known as the “Draft,” is mandatory military enlistment for all medically cleared men in the United States. Though our nation has only used this a handful of times, it is a form of slavery to me that the government imposes on American male citizens and needs to be reevaluated by the American people.

   As if it wasn’t ridiculous enough that the draft would only call upon men, the fact it forces anyone to enlist against their will is ludicrous. Forcing anyone to do anything against their will is a problem, no matter how a “majority” of citizens feel about a war. Period.

   The draft is something all men must register for within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Then, if our nation’s government decided we needed more manpower to aid our military, they could call upon men who are registered for the draft to enlist, whether they want to or not.

   The best part is, if a man refuses to register for the draft they can face criminal charges, fines of as much as $250,000 and the government can refuse all forms of aid. Even better, if a man was to be called to enlist via conscription and said “no,” he could go to jail and be fined.

   It has happened before, the most notable example being historical figure Muhammad Ali, renowned for his boxing. He was a man of Islam and refused to enlist despite being called by the draft for religious reasons.

   The government made an attempt to stick him in prison and fine him heavily. He was banned from boxing for three years. However he luckily was able to stay out of jail after his case was appealed.

   Why would we, a country that claims freedom, force a human being to fight and risk dying for a war they don’t believe in? We have forced men to fight and die in wars that go against their religious beliefs, or ones that they just don’t support.

   Conscription is slavery. Plain and simple. Forcing a tax paying citizen of this country to do anything is wrong, but the fact that we continue to allow our government to degrade a person to such an extent is beyond belief.

   If ever a time comes for another draft, I have to ask, that if a majority of citizens believe we need a larger military for whatever reason, shouldn’t that majority be the first to sign up? Instead though, people say they want to fight a war but only to the extent that someone else risks their life.

   People tend to vote much louder with their feet than their hands. We can cast a vote in a ballot box any day, that’s easy, but we see a person’s true desire in their actions. If people want a war, they will enlist. September 11th was proof. An influx of people enlisted and others re-enlisted, not because of some draft, but because they truly believed we needed to fight.

   We need to fight against this modern slavery, we need to be writing letters to our congressmen and women and we need to fight to make this change because no person should be forced to do anything against their will. Stay educated, and keep fighting for what you believe.

Kelsey Fitzpatrick
Staff Writer

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