How to *really* rock the vote on Memorial Day

It's an absolutely picture perfect Southern California memorial day: sunny, bright, and warm. Unusually, we don't even have any smog. Which is a great time to get some clarity about a political change that I support: military service as a condition of the vote.

This is a fairly radical position, and it's not seriously discussed on the national stage. So let me explain. First of all, it's not that radical. Compulsory military service, or national service, is common throughout the world: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Israel, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey all do it. Israel is particularly commendible for conscripting women as well as men.

Military service does two things that are useful for voters: first, it organizes them in the largest single organizational structure our nation has. This teaches people to work coherently in large numbers, which is a good basis for acting coherently when it comes time to national votes. Second, and more importantly, our service men are putting their life on the line to achieve this countries geopolitical goals. That's a more important and more meaningful contribution than tax dollars, and should be rewarded with something more meaningful, like the vote. The most i

It is hard to imagine veterans putting up with the kind of vitriolic non discourse that dominates today's landscape. Veterans know that talk is cheap, it's easier to be a critic than to act, and that actions mean something, even if you get it wrong. They understand that honor isn't an abstract, useless thing, that without honor organizations fall apart. The vitriol will die off because the demand will disappear.

This is a long term play. It will take at least a generation for the effects to fully be felt. But it's an experiment that's worth making.

A hearty salute to all our soldiers out there, domestic and abroad. Kick some ass!


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