Mailbag: Reader Thoughts on Required Service

We’re in trouble now.

Our piece on Monday got quite a reaction.

Most folks loved what we had to say. They told us to send it to Trump in the hopes the old boy would tweet about it or, better yet, turn the idea into law.

Some folks would never admit it, but the president may just know a thing or two about requiring men to give two years of service to their country.

After all, Trump spent five years honing his skills inside the walls of the New York Military Academy.

In his words, it treated him well. He had “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

Those skills were never put to the test, though.

When Uncle Sam came looking for soldiers to grab a gun and head to Vietnam, today’s commander in chief received medical and educational deferments.

But we’re not asking for every young man to join a fight. As we explain below, we don’t need a nation of warriors.

We need a nation that understands the importance of country. We need a nation that understands the role of government and the flaws inherent in the system.

But even the prettiest of songs has its tone-deaf singers.


And that’s where we’ll start our look into the mailbag.

This first note is long, but you’ll like this one…

You are dead wrong about how to enhance our society by requiring government service for all young MEN (why the gender bias?). The way to make our country better is to IMPROVE education, NOT destroy its most outstanding participants. A young person is by FAR the most valuable for our society if their education is substantial and internationally competitive (which is far too often, unfortunately, not remotely the case). NO sane society (and I remain hopeful that the U.S. continues to harbor some sanity) would take the best and brightest minds and subject them to a huge bureaucracy like a government (that is, SOCIALIST) organization.As the brilliant Dr. Bill (whom mutual acquaintances of both brilliant people here in the Princeton, New Jersey, area have said is the most like the late Albert Einstein), I would have been a total disaster as an autism-spectrum individual of massive mathematical genius being directed by moronic government bureaucrats like Army generals or supervisors in government service programs.

Mathematicians typically stop contributing their best work by the age of 20, and putting someone like me into a socialist enterprise as a teenager would have destroyed any possibility of my changing the world with my genius. I have known others as well. Plenty of them – you want to rip the very heart out of our country by dragging every brilliant youngster into a den of mediocrity? Nobel Prizes usually go to people who were pretty highly educated, and early in their lives. You are planning to destroy America’s competitive genius at the precise age that most of it happens? That is just plain CRAZY! Dr. Bill, Massive Genius

Oh, Bill… humble, humble, Bill.

Let’s make sure we have this right. You propose to gather up all the kids, lock them in a classroom to learn of theory and ideas, and then unleash them into the world expecting great change.

And – your words, not ours – this would rid the world of socialism?

Pardon our crassness… but what $%$# kind of schools are you looking at?

A poll released just this week reveals that 40% of Americans now have favorable views on socialism.

The answer is not Big Edu. It’s the breeding ground for dependency and distributive thinking.

We say lock up the schools for a couple of years and teach our kids about the real world.

Get them on the streets… get them in the woods… and get them in the fields.

Oh sure, they may see how dirty and disgusting government really is.

But, dare we think it, they may then do something about it instead of sitting on their couch tweeting about it.

Let us not forget… the government is a reflection of its people.

Better people… better government.


You do know that what you are proposing is “involuntary servitude,” also known as “slavery,” right? Theoretically, banned by the U.S. Constitution. And I noticed you restricted your proposal to males only. Why not females, too? Kind of sexist of you, don’t you think? Reader J.D.

Slavery? Don’t be ignorant. We’re paying our folks for their work.

They’ll earn it.

As for why we’re aiming our two years of service at men… that’s a good question. We get it a lot.

Let’s face it… Men today are broken.

They’re walking into churches and shooting their neighbors. They’re killing themselves at unheard-of rates. They’re leaving their families. They’re abusing women.

It’s a rough time for men.

This isn’t about fairness and equality – powerful ideas that have been trashed by the masses.

This is about fixing what’s wrong… even if a few feelings are hurt.

The “Ayes” Have It

But don’t worry. Most folks agree with our idea.

We’re picking on the outliers only to sharpen our own point.

ANDY, WE LIKE YOUR PLAN!! IN FACT, WE LOVE IT!!! IN FACT, IT IS FANTASTIC!!!! It ought to be shouted from the rooftops, put up on sides of highways like the old time Burma-Shave signs, and floated behind balloons over all the major cities!!!!

Israel thinks like you do. Every young man, and even young women, must serve in the Israel Defense Forces for 2 years after they finish high school. And talk about a strong, productive nation, amazing, so small, and so powerful. – Reader H.J.

Thanks. But, again, this isn’t about only serving the military. That’d be an option for men who want it, but a country of our size with a military of that size (and the mindset that comes with it) would be a dangerous thing.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, it’s best to speak softly and carry a big stick.

The easiest way to lower our voice is to get our youngest generations involved… get them to understand how the government works… show them its power… its flaws… and let them touch and feel the privilege and obligations of freedom.

One more to get us back to whence we came.

I am so glad you republished this digest on making young men put in 2 years of service to our country in some way. Have you written to President Trump about this idea? I am sure he would read it.

Of course if HE were to propose something like this, the opposition would call him crazy and of course “Hitler,” one of their favorite disparagements.

I do think you should start to get the idea into some heads in Washington because it is worthy and a smart way to solve a very dangerous situation that we face as a nation. I believe Israel has a similar program and it appears to be working well.

Thank you for your wonderful writing and inspirational thinking. Reader P.M.

We get this a lot. And we appreciate it. We really do.

But we aren’t all that thrilled when folks ask us if we sent something to Washington or some other powerful leader.

After all, we send our thoughts each morning to tens of thousands of folks.

We’re doing what we can.

It’s up to others to push that message as far as they can.

Too often our culture relies on somebody else to do what’s right for us. It never works out.

If you want change… make it happen.

We need more action and fewer words.

Make it happen.

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