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Aspirational Involuntary Servitude

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Want your daughter drafted?

Or registered, at least, with the military manpower professionals at the Selective Service System?

Presidential candidates are being asked if they favor forcing young women to register for the draft, now that America’s All-Volunteer Force is allowing women to earn a position in any military field throughout the armed forces, including combat roles. The idea is that there is no longer any excuse to overlook your daughter — or mine, or anyone’s — in a likely rush to conscript cannon fodder.


Don’t we want our daughters, as well as our sons, to stand ready, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, for any future call-up for combat?

Equality under the law is undoubtedly good, after all.

Back in 2008, feminist-in-chief Hillary Clinton endorsed mandatory registration for women.

Eight years later, she’s not so sure.

“From my perspective, the all-volunteer military has worked and we should not do anything that undermines it,” Clinton told a CNN townhall-style audience. “The idea of having everybody register concerns me a little bit — unless we have a better idea of where that’s going to come out.”

Enthusiastically endorsing forced female registration during the last New Hampshire GOP debate, Gov. Jeb Bush tried to hedge a bit, telling ABC moderator Martha Radditz, “But we don’t have a draft. I’m not suggesting we have a draft.”

“You register for the draft,” she informed Mr. Bush.

Jeb! comes from good stock. We can likely trust him not to draft our daughters just as we could read his father’s lips on not raising taxes and rest easy assured that his brother fervently believed in a “humble” foreign policy and no foreign “nation-building.”

Sen. Marco Rubio was even more pro-registration. “I do believe,” he intoned, “that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted.”


Opened up? There are no mass protests by women, furious over their inability to sign up for, ahem, involuntary military service.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be a bit down now, having suspended his presidential bid last week, but he certainly was upbeat about mandatory draft registration. “There’s no reason why young women should be discriminated against from registering for the Selective Service,” he declared. “We need to be a party and a people that makes sure that our women in this country understand [that] anything they can dream, anything they want to aspire to, they can do.”

Aspire to be . . . forced?

To dream the involuntary dream!

Of course, those who actually dream to serve in the armed forces can volunteer right now. Many do.

The aspirational conversation of presidential aspirants moved on. But after the debate, Sen. Ted Cruz came forth with the operative question: “Are you guys nuts?”

Calling political correctness “dangerous,” Cruz unequivocally added, “And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong. It is immoral. And, if I’m president,” he promised, “we ain’t doing it.”


Good for Cruz. Good for women. Great for civilization.

But the government has neither the constitutional authority nor the military need to register anyone, man or woman, for any draft . . . now or later. End draft registration for everyone. Don’t force people into the military — or plan to do it later.

Free countries will be well defended by volunteers.

And young men and women alike will well discover other aspirations.

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