Letter to the Editor

Conscription would be destructive

Saturday, August 21, 2004

To the editor:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. -- 13th Amendment.

There are liberals in Congress who wish to place our young into involuntary servitude by initiating conscription. They claim that fairness is the reason that they are calling for a draft of our young men, and now even women. They state that it was blacks and the poor who served a disproportionate share of the fighting on the front lines in Vietnam, and they plan on doing the "right thing" by forcing a draft on everyone, including the rich and powerful. Those congressmen seem to have forgotten that there was a draft during most of the Vietnam War.

To the abolitionists of the 19th century, slavery was immoral. But slavery (conscription) is not just a moral concern. It has economic implications. When you take such a large number of young men and women out of a productive environment and place them into the wealth-consuming and destructive environment of government, you lower the standard of living or well-being of the nation.

I hope Congress will do the right thing and follow the descriptive words of the 13th Amendment and not place our young men and women in involuntary servitude. Contrary to the thinking of many in government, freedom is not a crime.

JAMES NALL, Marble Hill, Mo.