Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg's National Service Plan Is a Really Bad Idea Whose Time Might Have Come

Mayor Pete pitches a vague policy as a cure to help fix "the lack of social cohesion" that he says defines contemporary America.


Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow recently that "national service will become one of the themes of [my] 2020 campaign." As the MSNBC clip below makes clear, the defining element of the plan put forward by the Afghanistan War veteran and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is its vagueness. In fact, it's not even clear if Buttigieg would make a year's worth of service for high school grads mandatory or not. At one point he says he hopes to "make it, if not legally obligatory, then a social norm," which can be read both as wanting to make it mandatory or simply a cultural expectation. There's no mention of a national service plan in his book, Shortest Way Home, and there's no mention of it on his campaign website either (in fact, I couldn't find a list of any positions or policies on his website, suggesting that the Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus is right when he claims that the candidate "has everything except positions on major issues").

Buttigieg invoked the World War II service of John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush and his own military service as positive examples of privileged people mixing with people they otherwise would never get to know (he implies that JFK served with African Americans, but the military was segregated during World War II). That sort of service across class, geographical, and racial lines, he argues, is good for America, especially considering the "lack of social cohesion" he says characterizes not just Donald Trump's presidency but our larger "era." Rachel Maddow piped up that she has long "struggled with the civilian-military divide" and "the easy answer is there should be a draft," even as she acknowledged that the Pentagon is firmly against conscription, believing it undermines morale and would pull in unqualified people.

The libertarian argument against military conscription was best summarized by Milton Friedman, who served on the federal commission that helped end the draft in the early 1970s. After listening to Gen. William Westmoreland, the U.S. commander in Vietnam, inveigh against an all-volunteer army as mere "mercenaries," Friedman replied, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" The same logic applies to mandatory non-military national service.

Buttigieg was emphatic that he's not talking about forcing people to serve only in the military. Again, there were no details, but his national service plan would include having 18-year-old kids sign up for the armed forces or for a wide variety of other public-sector jobs. National service, he avers, is "one of those ideas that's always popular but never urgent." That's true, regardless of political persuasion. Democrats such as former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley was also yammering on about it and the conservative Republican William F. Buckley, Jr. wrote a 1990 book, Gratitude, touting the idea.

Beyond being deeply illiberal, mandatory national service is profoundly at odds with the American experience. Unlike most European countries, for most of our history, we didn't have conscription unless there was an active war. It's true that during World War II, when essentially all aspects of the economy were put in service to the war effort, the draft took in a wide swath of men from all classes. But even then, well-connected folks got out of serving altogether or landed relatively safe military jobs (ask Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, whose desk-jockey assignments were seen as impediments to their post-war political careers).

More important, citing elements of the total mobilization of American society to fight World War II in order to sell peacetime policy proposals is a category error. Regardless of the lack of "social cohesion," we should not be looking for guidance now to a period when food, gas, and more were rationed and the government effectively controlled the economy and virtually all aspects of life. During the Civil War, wealthy northern conscripts could buy their way out of serving and in smaller-scale call-ups (Korean, Vietnam, the Cold War years), connected people always found a way around serving. There's every reason to believe the same sort of issues would plague any sort of national service plan.

In talking with Maddow, Mayor Pete granted that any sort of program would also cost a lot of money, which, along with the sheer vagueness of his plan, works against its odds of becoming a reality. Yet this may be a bad idea whose time is coming, especially as Millennials such as Buttigieg ascend into positions of power.

The Green New Deal championed by fellow Millennial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez includes a plan for the government to guarantee everyone a job, which is sort of the kissing cousin of national service and underscores younger Americans' anxiety about finding employment. And a 2017 poll of 18-to-29-year-olds by Harvard's Institute of Politics found 50 percent supporting voluntary national service (the good news: Just 7 percent support mandatory service).

Indeed, if politics teaches us anything, it's that bad ideas become laws all the time.

NEXT: Kamala Harris Offers a Crappy Apology to Parents Who Went to Jail Because Their Kids Missed School

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  1. I don’t want any of the “cohesion” this wierdo is selling. And I sure as hell don’t want it forced upon me.

    1. Don’t worry, Citizen. You’re past your prime. This won’t be forced on you, you’ll be too busy dying in one of the camps.

    2. Everytime one of these asshats start talking about cohesion, I am reminded that they are allergic to the work homogenous, and I wonder if they understand how many people 330 million is.

      1. *word

    3. Pete no doubt wants an army of LBTQR whatever citizens.. Brown shirted and all

    4. Mayor Pete says Bend Over, it’s coming if he gets in!

  2. To the extent that “lack of social cohesion” is even a problem in this country, it can be solved by allowing more immigration, especially from Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East. Because scientific studies prove diverse environments are always better.

    1. That is right. Deep and persistent ethnic and cultural differences are what make a stable society.

      1. Thankfully American culture is an invasive species. You don’t even need to live here to be an American. The kids that are born here don’t have a chance of escaping it.

        1. Yeah because of the magic dirt here. The magic dirt means that no one who hates this country would ever immigrate here and the fact that we once has an assertive culture that forced people to assimilate has nothing to do with the assimilation of past immigrants. Nope, it was the magic dirt that did it.

  3. “National service plan?”
    Sounds like this asshole wants to bring back the draft.

    1. Mao was really into National Sevice. I’m told people flocked to the farms to pitch in and due their due service, when Uncle Mao explained the value and benefits of volunteering their time and labor to help with the country’s cohesion.

      1. And it would have worked, if it wasn’t for those meddling economic realities!

  4. Rachel Maddow piped up that she has long “struggled with the civilian-military divide” and “the easy answer is there should be a draft,”

    Hmm. Does she want to make the military more civilian, or make the civilians more military?
    Both are really terrible ideas.

    1. Pretty certain she has no idea, but if it helps elect a D, she’s down with it.

      1. If you cant get a D erected, you might as well try to get a D elected instead, I suppose.

        1. Yes I doubt she can get this D erected I don’t think she could get any one erected

          1. You think if she whispered in Chris Matthew’s ear about the good old days when Obama sat on the Iron Throne, he wouldn’t get a tingle up his leg?

    2. She’s probably ok with a draft since she has aged out.

    3. I suspect she wants everyone in the military to do each other’s hair and makeup.

  5. If I have kids, and they try to draft them, I will kill all of the bastards*.

    *Meaning the being the people who try to enforce such an evil edict.

    I spent 4 years in the Corps, and 1 year in Haditha, and now I know better. The State isn’t worth serving, let alone killing for. It’s worth killing though.

    1. I have poor grammar when I’m angry, apparently.

      1. Thinking about your children being enslaved and sent off to kill or be killed has been known to make people angry. I think you’re excused.

        1. grammar-pass granted.

    2. I was in Haditha too. When were you there?

      1. March 2007 to February 2008. Civil Affairs. Technically a detachment of 5/10.

        Spent a LOT of time helping the locals do things like get driving permits and ID cards, wasting taxpayer dollars on roads, schools, bridges, etc. that both sides had blown up, and giving payments to people who were too dumb to not stop when the Marine waves a flag, shoots a flare, and shoots at you (while he sat behind a machine gun).

  6. “That sort of service across class, geographical, and racial lines, he argues, is good for America, especially considering the “lack of social cohesion” he says characterizes not just Donald Trump’s presidency but our larger “era.””

    I don’t have to be in some ‘service’ with you to dislike you immediately.
    The ‘lack of social cohesion’ is easy to solve; you and the rest of the D shitbags get your hands out of my pocket, and I’ll quit kicking at you.

  7. Why does everyone assume the only way to “serve” your country is to join the military.
    There’s already Americorp. Just funnel some of the cheese allocated for the DOD there. Then have it get in bed with the NFL/NBA/MLB etc and run patriotic advertisements touting how valiant Americorp service is. You could even give them nifty uniforms to wear.

    1. Why does everyone assume the only way to “serve” your country is to join the military.

      Because it takes too long to read an article and find the part where the people talking about the idea explicitly say military service is not the only way to “serve”.

    2. Does mandatory or heavily pressured service sound good to you even if it is not military?

      The funny thing is, and any Democrats would be horrified to admit it, is the type of cohesion he wants promoted is a nationalist project.

      1. Buttgag is ok with the state imposing his form of social cohesion.

        Just, you know, not that icky paleo con sort of social cohesion.

    3. Nice brown shirts?

  8. Buttigieg was emphatic that he’s not talking about forcing people to serve only in the military.

    As repulsive as I find the idea of a military draft, the “civilian service” option is morally even less justifiable. You can make a case (albeit not a very good one) that national defense is one of the few genuine public goods. Put simply, I can’t protect my liberty from foreign armies without protecting my neighbors’. In that sense, a requirement that the public contribute labor as well as money to that end to prevent free riders might be something someone could say with straight face. But, cleaning up parks in Montana or providing for teachers aides in Chicago doesn’t have that justification. It’s straight out demand for servitude to the state.

    1. Buttigieg seems to honestly think enslaving people for bullshit civilian service projects is okay. The guy is just a fucking moron.

    2. Call me when someone from the military protects my liberties. That’s the Constitution’s job. The military is there to protect our safety.

      I know this sounds all proggie, but I would rather have my tax dollars paying for someone to clean up National Parks here in the U.S. than sitting around the Korean DMZ “protecting my freedoms”.

      1. That is only because the US military is so strong compared to the logistics of a foreign army invading that some other nation trying to conquer your section of the USA is nearly impossible.

        1. Can you imagine the ripple effects of the owner vacuum that would be created if the US military ceased to exist?

          1. Yes, and it’s not pretty.

    3. Can we finally get the left to give up using the word “liberal”?

      Because mandatory servitude or, as a softer option, government-supported enforcement of conformity to “societal norms” seems like the polar opposite of liberty.

      But now you can say “fuck off slaver” to Mayor Pete and really mean it!

    4. While “civilian service” may not be justifiable I would rather my kid be drafted to pick up litter than be shot at. If compulsory service is required I would prefer there be non-military options.

  9. People should want to serve the state.

    1. Or at least pretend to.

  10. The only guaranteed jobs plan I could get behind is that every election loser has to spend the next term on highway litter patrol, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, no vacations, no holidays. Minimum wage. Commute by the safety orange DOT short bus at their door to make sure the neighbors know it.

    The campaign ads would take an interesting turn.

    1. Why the election loser? The guys who lose are often the better candidate.

      1. I agree with John. I think a better rule would be making every elected official work for 2 years in each industry that they regulated while in office.

        1. Or just make them pick up trash and do other “community service” one day a week.

        2. I think a better rule would be making every elected official work for 2 years in each industry that they regulated while in office.

          Directly subject to the regulation. Otherwise, all the Bernies will just choose the one sustainable organic deodorant manufacturer in their state, ban the rest of them and go to work for the “winner”.

      2. That’s true, in a sense. I was thinking of just discouraging all these clowns, except it would make elections a lot more boring.

        New plan: After each term in office, serve one term picking up litter.

        Has the intended consequence of eliminating consecutive terms.

        1. I like the reversal and the one for one ratio. I dislike the 5×8, though.

          Seven 12s. No days off.

          And if it just *happens* to work them to death… Oh well.

    2. You are just raising the stakes of losing. I’m not sure you understand why politicians are so corruptable.

  11. One big problem with required service is who gets to decide what counts. High Schools with community service requirements have run into this. Many community service organizations have political and/or religious ties. The person in charge of granting “credit” for can restrict volunteers to only those that he or she agrees with.

    1. Great point. This will be nothing but forced Democratic Party activism.

      1. Free labor for corporate supporters of the deep state.

  12. he implies that JFK served with African Americans, but the military was segregated during World War II

    In the Navy during that time, African-American sailors were usually cooks or other service-type positions. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility that JFK “served” with them in the sense that they worked in the same building during his time as an Intel officer.

    1. I assumed he met some people he wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to know after the Amagiri segregated him from the crew of his PT boat.

    2. African Americans served JFK as cooks and waiters but that’s about it. They weren’t fighting together.

      1. Where it’s most likely that he “served with” African Americans would be if he were served by mess attendants in the galleys where he ate while in the South Pacific. While there were plenty of instances where African American mess attendants often battle station assignments that had them fighting alongside other members of the crew, there were no mess attendants assigned to PT boats, so JFK would not have “served with” any African Americans there, and none of his other assignments would have resulted in much likelihood of him serving alongside African Americans in a fighting capacity. So Buttigieg’s implication is probably false, although it certainly was true of other people who served in the Navy in WWII.

  13. Unsurprisingly, neither Buttigieg nor Maddow seems to have any idea where social cohesion comes from.

    1. The irony of these goofballs is that they’re hearkening back to a period of time when white people were a VASTLY larger percentage of the population, the urban/agricultural resident ratio was far closer, religious attendance at Christian churches across the Protestant/Catholic spectrum was far higher, the nation’s economy was far more industrial and blue-collar, and the US still cleaved to a Manifest Destiny-type cultural ethic.

      Maddow and Buttigieg’s fellow modern progressives and their ideological forebears have spent the last 60 years tearing apart the very things that the nation’s social cohesion of the early-mid 20th century was built upon. Hell, the first progressives were ethno-nationalists that used government structures to enforce and maintain an explicitly WASP cultural construct on the entire nation, until the Communist Party and its sympathizers began infiltrating and co-opting the movement in the 1920s and 30s.

    2. Buttigieg’s dad is Maltese. I’m sure he was regalled with tales of social cohesion and the kinds of “it takes a village” childhood stories that come from growing up on a homogenous island, 9 miles wide and 17 miles long. I know from first hand experience, having spent my childhood there, that its a utopian fantasy than cant possibly map onto a continent-sized coutry with a non-homogenous population of almost 400 million. Pete needs to wake the fuck up out of his dream-state.

      1. How were the falcons there?

        1. Well cared for by the Knights.

  14. Increasing social cohesion is why I served along my fellow brave American brothers and sisters in the TSA.

    1. Thank you for your service, and give me back my motherfucking knife!

    2. It wasn’t to check out the hotties on the Rapescan?

  15. Why do leftists think that people of different races, classes, religions etc. will only associate if the government forces them to?

    Can you say ‘projection’?

  16. Nothing says freedom quite like compulsory government service.

    1. “You say compulsory government service I say honest work. And work is what makes you free.” — Pete Buttchug

      1. “And work is what makes you free.”

        Sounds better in the original German.

        1. “Work Makes You Fat Free” will work better on women and millennials.

      2. *applause*

  17. After taking the side that has consistently undermined traditional social cohesion in all forms for the better part of the last several decades, he can blow this socialist cohesion bullshit out of his ass.

    Not sure if he’s advocating a return of the draft or just cohesion camps, but the fact that Reason is backing it is pretty disturbing.

    1. China is filled with camps of vacationers learning new cohesion methods at the end of a whip

    2. Did you read the article. Reason isn’t backing it. The “time has come” phrase in the title was a statement of the idea’s possible inevitability, not a statement of support.

      1. Did you read the article. Reason isn’t backing it. The “time has come” phrase in the title was a statement of the idea’s possible inevitability, not a statement of support.

        Have you read the magazine? They’ve spent copious amounts of effort catering to and fawning over millenials and drooling over Buttigieg. At best “an idea who’s time might have come” is a milquetoast or lukewarm rejection for an idea so fundamentally at odds with libertarianism.

        1. *whose*

          Donald Trump’s disastrous trade policies continue to be a disaster waiting to happen and his unconstitutional immigration proposals (not all of which are unconstitutional) should be rejected outright and advocates should be recognized as the backwards-thinking nationalists they are. At the same time, socialism and libertarianism aren’t really all that different and, really, national service is an idea whose time might have come.

  18. Am I the only one that Buttigeig creeps the hell out of? I can’t quite put my finger on it but there is something about his mannerism and speech that just gives me the willies.

    1. It’s probably that he’s just a bog-standard, earnest Progressive that’s parroting the same line of bull that all the other candidates are spewing right now.

      Like one of our commenters pointed out, if he wasn’t gay, the media wouldn’t be giving him the time of day. There’s nothing else of substance about him that’s different from the other Dem candidates. Hell, he ran for head of the DNC and lost–if his own fucking party doesn’t trust him to be put in charge of its affairs, why should we trust that he can run the nation?

      1. I think that is it. Every word he says is a canned Prog talking point. He is like a real life borg.

      2. I believe he’s actually running for Vice President, not the top job.

    2. ditto

    3. Not sure John. Perhaps he is a ‘fingertip politician’ just like Biden.

    4. I don’t find him creepy but I’d be hard pressed to find a grown man who looks more like a ventriloquist’s dummy. Like 20 yrs. ago, Pinocchio became a real boy, changed his name to Pete Buttigieg and headed off to Harvard.

  19. Is Buttgieg stealing a page from the Clinton Fun Camp playbook? You decide!

  20. a cure to help fix “the lack of social cohesion”

    Hew lawd.

    1. Nothing says “We care about the lack of social cohesion” like forcing nuns to underwrite the cost of their employees’ fornication.

  21. Dear Democrats,

    People do not exist for the benefit of society.


    Ken Shultz

    P.S. Fuck you.

    1. P.P.S. Cut Spending.

      1. P.P.P.S. Cut your own thoat afterwards.

  22. It should be said, over and over again, that as Democrats become increasingly authoritarian and socialist, it is appropriate for libertarian capitalists to become increasingly Republican.

    I could get creative and talk about the formal definition of a limit. Suffice it to say, as the alternative to Trump continues to suck more and more, Trump himself continues to suck less and less.

  23. He is certainly an interesting guy. Just recently learned he speaks around 7 languages and is a very good musician.

    1. Well, maybe he would be an interesting guy to have a beer with, but he is too much up in everyone’s business to be given power.

    2. Unfortunately he doesn’t speak the language of freedom.

  24. Fuck off, slaver. The people are not the property of the state.


    1. It’ll be nice to finally meet all of you when we’re all in the labor camps together.

      1. Sorry. Politicals go straight to the ovens. The labour camps are for unrepentant Catholics and Evangelicals, Kulaks and phobes.

      2. *glances at the gun safe*

        Yeah… I don’t think I’m gonna make it that far. I will undoubtedly be “shot while resisting arrest”.

    2. Once again, this is the kind of shit we have to look forward to if we don’t do something about our progtards. The NAP doesn’t work against slavers and tyrants.

      Sometimes we have to eat our hands dirty if we want to stay free.

  25. Democrats love them some slavery.Trump was right to doge the Vietnam draft. He showed intelligence and character in avoiding unnecessary war.

    1. That the Democrats started then tried to lose.

  26. nothing makes a more cohesive society than the hatred created by forcing people to work together. If you want a revolt, thats a quick way for people to gather and revolt against your cohesive slave labor

  27. That sort of service across class, geographical, and racial lines, he argues, is good for America, especially considering the “lack of social cohesion” he says characterizes not just Donald Trump’s presidency but our larger “era.”

    Yeah, our larger “era” would be the era of deliberately destroying social cohesion by means of the “divide and conquer” identity politics bullshit brought to you by the Left, the Left who would apparently rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven given the viciousness and hatred with which they attack anything that smacks of traditional values – i.e., the very institutions of social cohesion.

    And Trump is not some sort of example of the breakdown of social cohesion, he’s a very direct and transparent reaction to the barbarians at the gates. People are getting sick of this victim-mentality bullshit that the Left has been pushing for the last 50 years or so that makes posting an “It’s Okay To Be White” sign a staggeringly vicious and brutal hate crime.

    1. You don’t have to go that far. All Lives Matter is now Hate Speech.

  28. Apparently the wheel of time has turned and we are now back in the age when the Left fantasizes about the idea of a draft for the unwashed plebs’ moral character.

  29. Or we could go all “Starship Troopers” (the book, not the awful movies) and require a voluntary term of government service to be able to vote, hold elective office, or hold certain government jobs.

    1. See above regarding the rich “serving” by riding a desk back at HQ while the plebes work in the kitchens or carry the tactical portable nukes into the fray.

  30. I cannot fathom why Democrats keep floating this idea. Do they not know Americans? We want to be as lazy as possible, pay as little as possible, and still enjoy the fruits of modern civilization. Promise free stuff, no sacrifice. Sell it, just like Republicans do. Then when you have power, do whatever the votes in Congress will allow you to do.

    1. Well Tony, you certainly fit the bill. You’re the laziest, most selfish person here. You fit right in with the progressives.

      1. I don’t know any way to measure that, but I do aspire to be lazy and selfish.

        1. I know you do. You’re just an awful parasite, and you also seem to thrive on that.

    2. I would love to see national service in the heart of Democrat run inner cities. Maybe the Crips and Bloods can have a bake sale.

      1. Fat Republican Jesus fuckers have killed about 100,000,00 times more people than any gangbanger.

        1. No. You just hate the good guys because you’re a bad guy.

  31. …and underscores younger Americans’ anxiety about finding employment.

    Young people have no trouble finding employment – there are millions of job openings. It’s just that most of them think because they have a bachelors in feminist studies, that they should be VP of a company as soon as they graduate.

    1. And for a fair number of employers, a bachelor’s in Feminist Studies is a huge red flag.

  32. If Democrats do somehow get this done, wait till future President Pence and GOP Congress decide what this service will entail. I doubt the Progressives will like it very much.

    1. I doubt the Progressives will like it very much.

      Neither will Canada.

  33. You know what we really need? A good war. Not the crappy drawn out ones we have now. I’m talking more like the big one, WWII. John Wayne stuff with real evil enemies like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and we fought them on Iwa Jima.

    Nothing draws a country together like a fight for our freedom.

    1. Wars like that aren’t as much fun as they used to be because of nuclear weapons.

      1. Donald Trump says “Hold my diet coke.”

        1. Oh? How so?

  34. Democrats keep recycling this idea about every 20 years.

    1. With this and a lot of other recycled ideas, they seem determined to make them happen this time around, by removing all obstacles (Supreme Court, Electoral College, the Senate, viter registration, etc…)

    2. Not just Democrats.

      William F. Buckley Jr. himself was in favor of the idea.

      1. Wasn’t this also floated by George HW Bush during his campaign? Some crap about “midnight basketball” and the like?

  35. “Buttigieg served for seven months in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserves, returning to the United States on September 23, 2014. While deployed, Buttigieg was assigned to the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, a counterterrorism unit that targeted Taliban insurgency financing.”- Wiki

    Hmmm? So he was a credit manager? Something strange about his service. He’s a naval reservist sent to a landlocked country. He joined the reserves in 2009, ran for State treasurer in 2010 unsuccessfully and won the mayoralty in 2011. He wasn’t deployed to Afghanistan until 2014. He has ties to William Cohen and John Kerry. I wonder if they pulled strings to get him some resume enhancement.

    1. Could be he pushed for the deployment as a resume builder but then again so do career military folks. It makes sense they would assign him to Intel. He is a very smart guy, Harvard, Oxford, a gift for languages and he worked in some kind of business management firm for a while.

      The financial Intel wing was and is a very important part of counterterrorism.

      So I find it difficult to hold that part of his resume against him.

      This idea is ridiculous and will never happen.

    2. As a retired Navy Reserve intel officer who sat on selection boards for direct commission intel officers, I can tell you that his service doesn’t ring any alarm bells for me. His resume in 2009 would certainly have been enough to get him selected, even without a letter of recommendation from Cohen or Kerry. He wouldn’t have had to have any strings pulled to get him the assignment he got – that’s about as standard, run-of-the-mill sounding an assignment for an intel officer as they come.

  36. To help fix America’s ‘lack of social cohesion.’ may I suggest that America come together at Woodstock, New York, where the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival will be held this summer.

    The LSD will be free and so will everything else.

    Woodstock’s Original Cofounder Announces 50th Anniversary Festival

    1. Please say Ja-Rule is involved in this project.

  37. In WWII, we were fighting an industrial power led by literal-Hitler, and the Japanese ally of that power.

    Now we’re supposed to be mobilized to fight malaise and social isolation?

    1. Dude, check your history. Trump wasn’t even born in 1945.

      1. Beat me to it.

  38. So 50 percent support voluntary national service? Apparently not, or there would be 50 percent of them already volunteering. I guess they mean the other 50 percent.

    This is sort of like the polls that show 50 percent would give up coffee for a year for one thousand dollars, which is obviously not true, because they could already give up coffee for a year and save the thousand dollars.

    1. Are these 50% unaware that there are literally tens of thousands of volunteer opportunities at nonprofits? Find a group that you like and give them a call. Voluntary collective action is a beautiful thing. Why are these fucking sheep so into mandates?

      1. “Voluntary national service” and “volunteer opportunities at nonprofits” are not the same thing. I’m pretty sure that none of the people who support voluntary national service think that it would be unpaid national service.

  39. especially considering the “lack of social cohesion” he says characterizes not just Donald Trump’s presidency but our larger “era.”

    Hey, you want more social cohesion, try a little harder to get along, and cut the President some slack when you disagree with him.

  40. Buttigieg [said] “national service will become one of the themes of [my] 2020 campaign.”


  41. Yeah it’s a pretty terrible idea. Slavery is slavery.

    1. Yes Pedo Jeffy, I’m sure the chldren your illegal friends rape learn that the hard way.

  42. His book is called “Shortest Way Home?”

    Then his campaign song should be “Take the Long Way Home” by Supertramp.

    1. “Supertramp” would be a good nickname for a candidate – maybe Bill Clinton?

  43. Your website is garbage and your magazine is shit and this whole enterprise seems designed to discredit minarchism and/or elect communists. I curse thee…I curse thee..I curse thee…

    1. Don’t forget the eye of newt.

      1. Three times cursed.
        A triple curse. Very powerful.

        I counteract the curse with three blessings. Life, liberty, happiness.

        Trying to make light here siv. Get what you are talking about. If we can’t have some fun what is the point. Stick around if you want.

  44. They guy who fixes your car, of course, is simply a selfish capitalist – not doing any *real* national service.

    For real national service, you need to have him mingle with other national servicepeople picking up litter on highways.

    Maybe make license plates.

  45. Regardless of the lack of “social cohesion,” we should not be looking for guidance now to a period when food, gas, and more were rationed and the government effectively controlled the economy and virtually all aspects of life.

    So… that’s a pretty good description of why so many people will cheer it on. :'(

  46. Is national service really such a bad idea? As a mandatory requirement I would say yes. But as an expectation I would say no. We expect many things from people and maybe some time contributing to the your country, state or local community could be included. Pete Buttigieg is getting attention because he has a record of service. If I were advising a young person with goals I would point to him as a example of how this works in your favor.

    1. Volunteer at a nonprofit. Encourage your kids to do so and lead by example. No government coercion needed.

  47. Also, I can’t believe no one else went here already.

    Hey, Pete?

    Fuck off, slaver.

  48. Every time I see that verminous shitbags’ name, I read it as Buttplug. Anyone else see that too?

    And yea, I’m gone for like a week and a half and Reason goes and upgrades the Comments section. About damn time!

    1. Where’s that edit button?

  49. I see where he’s coming from, but compulsory service doesn’t really promote cohesion. Every cohesive country that has compulsory service has something most people don’t want to talk about; racial and cultural homogeneity.

    Korea could end their conscription program tomorrow and it wouldn’t change the social fabric of the country because it’s 99.9% Korean. Japan could initiate a conscription program and it wouldn’t change anything either because the country is 99.9% Japanese. America made its bed with the meme of multiculturalism and now we’re lying in it.

    1. Yup.

      Nobody likes to talk about it, but most of the problems America has to today are specifically because we’re NOT a cohesive nation. We more or less were, other than black folks, and magically we didn’t have a lot of the issues we do today. Blacks were enough to cause a lot of problems themselves, and now that we’ve thrown all these others into the mix… It’s a shit show.

      It’s as simple as this: If you have a negotiate a deal, it’s not THAT hard when there are more or less two parties to please. You can hammer shit out reasonably easy.

      Now imagine you have to hammer out a deal that 50 parties all have to agree on… It’s virtually impossible.

      This is the mess we have now. We basically destroyed America as a functional nation to pursue a utopian dream that was never gonna work. Now America is already beyond saving. Thanks a lot delusional utopian assholes!

      1. We basically destroyed America as a functional nation to pursue a utopian dream that was never gonna work.

        For the sake of argument, let’s play along with the first half of this.

        But it wasn’t done to “pursue a utopian dream”. It was done for money. Immigrants, no matter the era or group we’re talking about, have always been a source of cheap labor. Even the “highly skilled immigrants” Trump likes to talk about are only pursued not because you can’t find those skills in Americans, but that you can get them cheaper from a foreigner.

        So nope. Not in service of a utopian dream. In service of a capitalist dream.

  50. Oh, what a wonderful idea! I can think of lettuce that would better highlight the difference between the Liberal and Conservative ideas of service.

    This is nothing but the train wreck of ‘Public Service’ high school graduation requirements writ large. And I don’t know what that has been like all over the country, but everywhere I have lived the school ‘authorities’ have been absolutely astonished how many parents tell them to take their list of ‘approved’ community service projects and use them for a suppository.

  51. In truth, in a society that wasn’t run by lunatics and wasn’t so dysfunctional, this might actually be something that could do some good… But not in this country at this point. And even in a better country it shouldn’t be by law, but more by social expectation.

    We really have fallen apart as a society, and it’s NOT a good thing. But as homeboy above mentioned it’s nothing that can be fixed… It’s because we’re no longer a racially, culturally, religiously homogenous(ish) nation like we once were.

    America will ALWAYS be in a perpetual state of being at each others throats nowadays, because of the above. That is if we don’t split up peacefully, or have an actual legit civil war and settle it all with violence. So people better get used to perpetual instability because that is what the 1965 immigration act gave us, and that is the “strength” that diversity provides out in the real world when one isn’t wearing rose colored glasses.

  52. […] first came when South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow “national service will become one of the themes of [my] 2020 campaign.” He said he hopes to […]

  53. […] while polls show some support for the idea in the abstract, recent evidence indicates that the young people impacted by it don’t like it as a concrete plan.  In January 2018 during his U.S. Senate campaign in Texas, Beto O’Rourke announced his support […]

  54. […] while polls show some support for the idea in the abstract, recent evidence indicates that the young people impacted by it don’t like it as a concrete plan.  In January 2018 during his U.S. Senate campaign in Texas, Beto O’Rourke announced his support […]

  55. (he implies that JFK served with African Americans, but the military was segregated during World War )

    Although the military was segregated, there were blacks in the military. Most cooks and servers in the Navy were black. So JFK probably was served by black sailors.

  56. There is plenty of evidence concerning Butt Pigs positions:

    Buttigieg has said the Democratic party needs to be in conversation with labor unions and supports the economic opportunities presented in the Green New Deal.
    Buttigieg joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which supports comprehensive background checks and opposes guns in schools and permitless carrying.
    Just expressing one war vet’s hurt at seeing weapons of war used on peaceful Americans here at home.”
    “We can quibble over marginal tax rate levels, but we know that a lot of people in this country are not paying their fair share. There’s this talk about this being some crazy left-wing position, but I think the idea that some people aren’t paying their fair share, and we’ve got to change that, that’s something most Americans get.”
    Buttigieg supports increasing the minimum wage…He also told the podcast Pod Save America that he thinks it’s worth taking universal basic income seriously, saying, “It’s the right moment to have the conversation.”
    we need to depoliticize the Supreme Court, with one option being expanding the Supreme Court to 15 justices with 10 appointed “in the political fashion” and five appointed by a unanimous agreement of the other 10 justices.
    Buttigieg has made it clear that he believes climate change deserves crisis-level attention from the United States government
    he also spoke about voting reform, including creating automatic voter registration, giving people the day off on Election Day, and allowing Puerto Rico to have a voice in the electoral process for presidency. He is also on record as saying “the electoral college has got to go.”

    A Progressive Democrat by any other name

  57. And what better way for the government to collect massive amounts of information and provide a year of universal indoctrination—for your own good, of course.

  58. There is already mandatory community service as part of the curriculum in many high schools. As far as I can tell, the only outcome is to make teenagers resentful of it.

    1. Good point. In fact the whole compulsory public school system could be seen as a 13-year-long draft.

  59. Oh, it’ll come, and it will be voluntary, and it will be a massive Green welfare scheme. Millions will sign up for it because the payments will be generous, the outcomes will be nebulous and squidgy, and it’ll be seen as a transition step to a Universal Basic Income, which a lot of folks calling themselves libertarians seem to have a hard-on for.

    Nick, stop calling him “Mayor Pete”. It smacks of being a giggly fanboy.

  60. […] the Pentagon’s concerns, Reason‘s Nick Gillespie cites Milton Friedman to argue the libertarian position on forced military service. To sum, it is better […]

  61. […] the Pentagon’s concerns, Reason‘s Nick Gillespie cites Milton Friedman to argue the libertarian position on forced military service. To sum, it is better […]

  62. As a Libertarian, I see National Service as a compromise to the welfare State.

    If you want a “free” education, “free” healthcare, and “free” shelter, join up for national service. (Habitat for humanity, National Park service, Local municipality service, Doctors Without Borders)

    Take the ASVAB to see which field you qualify for. Show up to MEPS and be physically/mentally qualified.

    After the ASVAB/MEPS; receive OJT , 3 hots and a cot while you work. During your National service, we’ll provide training to help improve your ASVAB scores so that you may better your job prospects. If you can raise your ASVABs to a more lucrative position, you’ll receive additional training and a transfer to another job.

    After 8 years of National Service, you’ve received OJT, training and experience. You can get out and seek employment or, you can remain in National service (but remember, while in National Service, you’ll get nothing but 3 hots and a cot).

    If you find employment, no need for welfare, “free” healthcare, or “free” education. You’ve received all that during your National Service and now your paying for all those things via employment.

    If you get laid-off or your job simply goes away, you can re-up to National Service except this time, you’ll already have OJT and job experience. You’ll not need to start at the bottom of National Service and in addition, we’ll retrain you in a different career path so that you may again seek employment.

    To those that do not want to join a National Service, we can always bring back the WPA/CCC for those who still want “free” healthcare and welfare.

    1. False premise. You don’t need to “compromise” with the welfare state. The welfare state is immoral insofar as it requires the theft of wealth from one person and the doling out of it to another. You are compromising with an immoral act. You are enabling an immoral act.

      And for the sake of what? So you can virtue signal, buy votes, assuage your own guilt?

      1. I agree that the welfare state is immortal.

        But I also know, given the hundreds of thousands, and multi-generational dependence on the welfare state, you’re not going to turn off the welfare state like a light switch.

        So then, I am willing to spend $X in the attempt to turn off the switch than continue to spend $Y and have no hope of turning it off.

        Insofar as compromising immoral acts; you see someone drowning and sit back to describe the water. None here, including you are innocent and without compromise. If so, name 5 actions in the last 5 months that you have partaken in that did not involve rule, law, statute, ordinance or sanction from the state. You can’t do it.

        You simply compromise just as much as anyone on a daily basis, and assuage your own guilt by virtue signaling on a message board.

    2. People here are just bitching how the US is beyond fixing. How national service is slavery. Well, I’m for something that can potentially fix the situation before we get to civil war. There are so many degenerate/entitled imbeciles that we need to shake them up. National service would help. Take all the elites and their children, all the poor, every single person from the left, particularly the MSM. Make them ditch ditches, clean out pigpens, build trails, construct stone walls, build affordable housing. We need to reestablish a work ethic, personal responsibility, and humility.

  63. “And a 2017 poll of 18-to-29-year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics found 50 percent supporting voluntary national service (the good news: Just 7 percent support mandatory service).”

    Translation: it is okay to have a national service requirement imposed, so long as it isn’t imposed on me. Typical of Leftists to tell us what “we” should do while being damn sure not to be required to do it themselves.

  64. National service is just pure evil and should be fought on moral grounds, not practical grounds. Slavery for cohesion, equality of service, military misadventures, etc. are all equally immoral. Candidates who proffer these concept should be shouted down and run out of town.


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