Here is a seed to a sound idea:

Dana Milbank
Dana Milbank, an opinion writer for the Washington Post, suggests that while compulsory service (the draft, for everyone, at 18, male and female) might be unpopular and impractical, it just might help save our nation. I think he is right. However, I cannot support compulsion!

There is never a reason to compel. I see persuasion as an illusion, but it is all we have if we won’t force, and I won’t cotton force in any regard. (Well, I’m assuming peaceable pursuits. There is no civil response to violence other than violence. Yes, on the personal level, the Lord commands us to turn the other cheek, but society cannot afford to do so. Otherwise, the bullies would rule.)

So, if I like the idea, what is my proposition?

I suggest we restrict the vote, ownership of real property, and running for office to those who have served. I like the idea of having no restrictions, nor exemptions for service. Serve two years in Federal service, or forgo being able to ever own real property. Let’s include any federal employment. Serve two years in the military, or don’t bother applying for a job with Uncle Sam.

Serve four years or forgo voting. And let’s put a six-year requirement as fundamental to being able to run for any public office. Further, I’ll suggest eight years minimum for the office of President. States should probably enact similar prerequisites.

There should be no restrictions or exemptions.

The US armed services have always tried to accommodate the wishes of the service members, but the needs of the service come first. Many an Army officer has applied for duty in a preferred location and received an assignment that isn’t on the preference list, which typically includes three. I think it is fitting to simply extend the missions of the services to include supporting civil service. In that way, each service could meet its mission and its needs, and each person could be placed in an appropriate service role. Regardless, all should participate in basic physical training and weapons and defense basics. There will have to be accommodation for capabilities in this regard. I do believe every person should receive this basic training because, ultimately, no one can defend you but you. (You owe it to yourself more than anything.)

At eighteen years of age, all persons residing in the USA would register and declare eligibility. If they chose to declare ineligible, they would simply move on in life, never being able to vote in national elections, never able to own a house or other real property, never able to run for elective office. Sounds like most people today, so it shouldn’t be a hardship. It would, however, eliminate some of the political wrangling that stirs up the masses to vote against the good of the country.

I also support some additional requirements on voting. We would have to monitor that though. It would get touchy, and political. Various immoral discrimination implementations would have to be guarded against. That has its own problems. Still, I think it is fitting to require something of those who can vote.

I mean, doesn’t it seem right and proper that anyone who is allowed to vote must also pay net taxes? Doesn’t it seem right and proper that anyone who is allowed to vote must demonstrate basic knowledge of civics and social competence and current affairs (other than pop culture)?

Anyway, I think making Federal military service (including civil service for the military) a requirement for some of our most cherished privileges. Perhaps it will help us continue to cherish and not take for granted.