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National view: Extending draft to women is madness

What kind of man would think it a good idea to compel a woman to fight and die in a war? What sort of man would put somebody's daughter or mother in harm's way before himself?It's bad enough when the elite consensus no longer objects to women in ...

Cartoonist's view
(Mike Keefe / Cagle Cartoons)

What kind of man would think it a good idea to compel a woman to fight and die in a war? What sort of man would put somebody’s daughter or mother in harm’s way before himself?
It’s bad enough when the elite consensus no longer objects to women in combat, in practice let alone in theory. Political expediency demands that women have the opportunity to serve on the front lines. Politics also will require the armed services to change the standards to make sure they do.
Still, it’s one thing to let American women volunteer for an infantry or armored unit, assuming the standards remained untouched. The question is whether they should be compelled to serve and fight.
Of course they shouldn’t.
To anticipate an objection: Yes, Israel requires men and women of a certain age to serve in the military. Israel also is a country roughly the size and population of New Jersey, surrounded by enemies who would kill every man, woman and child given half a chance. We aren’t Israel.
Say what you will about Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, but his response to his fellow Republican presidential candidates who lent their support to this Selective Service scheme was precisely right: “Are you guys nuts?”
“I’m the father of two little girls. I love those girls with all my heart. They are capable of doing anything in their hearts’ desire,” Cruz said. “But the idea that their government would forcibly put them in the foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Not only that, we hear so much about the “rape culture” that supposedly permeates America’s college and university campuses, a crisis so great the Obama administration has made combating campus sexual assault a top priority. Yet this same government would subject women to rape, torture and slaughter at the hands of an enemy because equality somehow demands it. Strange.
Extending the draft to women isn’t about fairness or equality. It’s madness born of forgetfulness. We’re forgetting what it means to be men and women. We’re forgetting why our daughters and sisters should be protected, not made into cannon fodder. We’re forgetting what it means to be a civilization worth defending in the first place.

Ben Boychuk is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. He wrote this as part of a weekly point-counterpoint feature called “Red-Blue America” (facebook.com/benandjoel). Contact him at bboychuk@city-journal.org .

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