Rand Paul

Rand Paul to Introduce Muhammad Ali Bill to End Selective Service

The House, meanwhile, voted to extend it to women.



Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he'll be introducing legislation named after boxer Muhammad Ali that would put an end to the selective service, a system put in place to make instituting a draft in times of war easier. "I agree with Muhammad Ali," Paul told reporters in Louisville on Monday while campaigning with state senate candidate Shenita Rickman, "if a war is worth fighting for, people will volunteer." He also noted selective service, like the criminal justice system, exhibited racial disparities.

The United States has used the draft on numerous occasions, starting during the presidency of George Washington, when the draft was used to raise enough men to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. That draft, like many others, was met with resistance, protests, and even riots. The draft was used most recently in the 1960s and 1970s to conscript men to fight in Vietnam. Muhammad Ali was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world in 1966 when he famously declared he would not go to Vietnam to shoot at "poor people" when it was America, not Vietnam, that was oppressing him.

U.S. men aged 18 to 25 are required to register for selective service. Last month, in an effort to highlight what he believed were the dangers of allowing women in combat, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) proposed an amendment to the defense authorization act to expand the selective service to women. He did not support it, but it ended up passing. Don't play sarcastaball in Congress.

I'll be on KTSA in San Antonio to talk about Paul's proposal at 5:35pm Texas time, tune in if you're in the area or listen online.

Watch Paul's comments, via CN2, below:

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  1. “The United States has used the draft on numerous occasions, starting during the presidency of George Washington, when the draft was used to raise enough men to put down the Whiskey Rebellion.”

    The differences are

    (a) that draft call was based on the Congressional power to call the militia into federal service to enforce the laws, repel invasions, or suppress insurrections – a power which contemplates using draftees in the U.S., not outside the country. The modern draft is based on a made-up power to force people to join the Army and go into some other country to Spread Democracy.

    (b) For those who are literal-minded about the Constitution, the 13th Amendment had not yet been ratified.

    1. It sounds like the first use was for cronyism:

      The United States has used the draft on numerous occasions, starting during the presidency of George Washington, when the draft was used to raise enough men to put down the Whiskey Rebellion

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      1. OK, but it was cronyism within U.S. borders, not off in Southeast Asia somewhere.

        1. Southeast Asia was too far away back then. It was much easier to crony at home.

          1. North Africa was far away, too, but we sent a volunteer navy there.

        2. It being inside the US does not make it better.

      2. Wasn’t it about federal excise taxes? Not sure how cronyism comes into it.

        1. G. Washington also made whiskey. Some call it a conflict of interest, but I think G. Washington was a bit better than most other politicians, then or now. More likely, he realized that the federals only had a few limited sources of revenue, and he did not see it as immoral since Congress had passed it.

    2. And speaking of the 13th Amendment, “United States” is plural, not singular.

      As the states-rights fanatics who wrote the 13th Amendment in 1865 put it: “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.” [emphasis added]

      Notice that it says “their,” not “its.”

    3. Sure, Washington using the draft may have been legal. That doesn’t mean it was good.

      1. I didn’t say it was good.

        1. But at least the constitutional theory under which they *used* to use the draft had a limiting principle – the purposes of the draft related to action *inside* the country.

          Without that limiting principle, the draft has grown broader.

          1. Some libertarians seem to have a virgin/whore dichotomy by which everything short of purest libertarianism forms an undifferentiated statist blur, and there’s no point distinguishing among different degrees of, or rationales, for statism.

        2. Indeed you didn’t.

    4. The similarity is that that draft call (The Whiskey Rebellion) is still slavery.

      b) The Thirteenth amendment no more gives you the right to freedom than the 1st gives you the right to free association – it merely says that the government explicitly aknowledges that it has a duty to protect that right that you already have.

  2. Awesome. This is the Rand we need.

  3. Instead of worrying about the potus race, libertarians should focus on getting more Rand Pauls elected to the Senate.

    I fear that the presidency and the judicial branch are already a lost cause.

    1. If the Presidency and the judicial branch are lost causes, then the Pres will rule by decree, bypassing Congress, with judicial consent.

      1. Isn’t that almost the case now? Either the GOP just rubber stamps whatever Obama wants to do, or he does it anyway and the judicial will reinvent the law, word meanings, physical science if they have to, to make it legal. Wait until Hillary is done. She’s already been bragging she’ll go way farther than Obama did with executive orders. Why not? No one has tried to stop him.

  4. Not bad, Rand. Not bad.

  5. Let’s keep pounding home two things to the Progs:

    1. The draft was ended by Nixon.

    2. The draft was re-instated by Carter.

    1. It’s ok when they do it. Seen any war protests going on the last 8 years? Neither have I.

    2. That’s the difference between a Quaker and a Baptist, I guess.

      1. My Quaker wife insists that Nixon was the wrong kind of Quaker. I don’t understand that shit, but I smile and nod when she explains it so that I can still get laid.

    3. If you’re going to defeat the Republicans in the War on Women and the War on Poverty, you need to be able to draft foot soldiers.

  6. Realistically, given all the electronic data bases in existence, there would be no need to register for s.s. because the government could probably locate 95% of the 18-25 population in about three days. Given a scenario where a
    terrorist invasion fleet was sighted off Cape Cod, there would probably be enough volunteers step forward without resort to a draft.

    1. Well, maybe not Cape Cod, but certainly Virginia Beach,

    2. the government could probably locate 95% of the 18-25 population in about three days

      Could, yes. Would? Nope. Instead they’d create a new and much needed mega bureaucracy to handle it. Things are more complicated these days you know.

    3. I think you are assuming way too much competency in the government.

    4. Its not really about convenience anymore – the likelyhood of a draft call-up is pretty close to 0.

      It is, IMO, about cultivating a culture of *compliance* though. Force a draft registration, fill people’s heads with the idea that they have this potential obligation hanging over their heads and then some day, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service to me.

  7. Now we need the Kimbo Slice Act to subsidize underprivileged street fighters.

  8. Eugene V. Debs agitated against the draft way before Ali existed and received longer and harsher punishment for his actions. So what’s Debs, Leberwurst?

    Anyway, aren’t bills named after people sort of looked at askance here

    1. As a general rule, yes. But that doesn’t mean you don’t judge a bill on it’s merits.

      Actually, the real red flag is when a bill is named after the victim of some horrible crime or tragedy. Those are almost always really bad.

      1. Well, putting a guy in a cage for the crime of minding his own business, in violation of the Constitution, seems like a tragedy to me.

        1. It’s the putting in the cage part which is in violation of the Constitution.

        2. You know what I mean.

    1. You didn’t build that garbage.

  9. Ali is given credit for explaining how he didn’t have anything against the Vietnamese, because they had caused him no harm.

    Bullshit. Just like all other yellers and screamers back then, he was against the draft. They didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Vietnamese, and couldn’t have found Vietnam on a map. There’s a huge difference.

    Once Nixon ended the draft, all of a sudden, all the protesting stopped. The US could have nuked Vietnam into the next century, and these people would not have cared a whit.

    1. Can you be against the draft and still have nothing against the Vietnamese?

    2. If you can’t find Vietnam on a map then its likely because you are not holding any grudges against them.

      His ignorance of Vietnam is kinda irrelevant – he doesn’t have to *love ’em* in order to be justified in not wanting to kill them over their own civil war.

      Imagine if a European (or Asian!) nation had sent soldiers to the US to support one side or the other during the Civil War.

  10. Whew! National Crisis AVERTED!

  11. It’s odd to only focus on a draft with SSS, since the nature of a growingly high-tech military means that the likely of any future draft is ever-increasingly more remote. Rather, libertarians in particular should be concerned as much with the other “benefits and penalties” linked to registration. Young men seeking financial aid, federal job training, government jobs, or incoming citizenship need to be registered into that system (and tracked over age 18-26) where women do not. The broader question of either requiring both sexes to register or preferably doing away with SSS (any unlikely future emergency draft could be based as easily on Social Security Number or the like) should look at the broader details of the program.

  12. Rand Paul has a point: No Vietcong ever called him (Rand Paul) “Nigger”.

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