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: