A Green Party colleague from Maine was so inspired by the speech I gave in LA that he came forward to share his speech from 2005 and gave me permisson to post it, so here it is:
It has been at least 35 years since I had the occasion to deliver a rousing speech on the moral monstrosity called The Draft, one of the most putrid violations of progress toward civilization ever invented by those sinister, morally retarded people in power. Upon birth, the universe gives us a tiny sliver of time out of its billions of years of evolution with which to live out a life. That times belongs to each of us individually. The idea that our very lives belong to this or any government is infinite obscenity. This infinite obscenity purports to require us to donate our children as human sacrifices to their god of war and mindless accumulation of wealth for a tiny few of this marvelous planet’s human inhabitants.
The innate love for our children is betrayed by those in high office, including, I must say in all truth, some Democratic liberals who propose conscription as an antidote to the existing poverty Draft which targets children of the poor. This poverty Draft is connected to the export of jobs policies of this adminstration. But to say that the way to correct the class inequalities of the poverty Draft is by instituting conscription is just like saying in 1860 that since slavery of black people is immoral and unjust, that therefore we must enforce slavery on white people too! Same argument! Don’t buy it! All conscription would do is increase the power of tyranny by giving them yet another weapon to use against us who yearn for truth, justice, and peace. Why would we agree to that? The Draft is human sacrifice, not with a single hapless individual as in some primitive societies, but by thousands at a time–a barbaric relic that has no place in real civilization.
The Draft is a death sentence from which one may get a reprieve, depending on luck of the draw. The Draft IS the supreme example of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the 13th Amendment to our Constitution, which reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (like Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib)
If our goal is to alert vulnerable young people about this devastating issue, it is imperative that the effort be increased exponentially. The central task is getting information directly into the hands of students, drop-outs, and recent grads. Lots of information is available from folks of my generation. To them, I say if you can work with us older folks to make this happen, then we can create an avalanche of truth and justice.
Concluding, it is up to us, the people, the ultimate sovereign for whom this government was created, to enforce the meaning of “No involuntary servitude.” We cannot expect the current corporate government to be on our side. Those who, no matter of what party, seek to impose a military Draft in whatever name they call it, including “national service” are calling upon our young people to become hi-tech gladiators (kill or be killed) for their wealth accumulation. Those people are truly as Dylan said forty years ago in his song of the same name, Masters of War. About those, the Halliburtons, the Bechtels, and so on–he said, “Not even Jesus could forgive what you do.” Indeed, promoters of those who persist in imperial aggression have already betrayed the spirit of Jesus who declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” He did not say “Blessed are the Dow-Jones averages for corporate munitions makers.”
Brothers and sisters of all ages, WE are the Paul and Paula Reveres of our time. We must warn our fellow citizens: “Take cover and prepare to resist. The imperialists are coming!”
When the warmakers say, “But we need more personnel to carry out the mission,” what should we say? Our answer must be: “That mission has no truth, no honor, no justice! END THE EMPIRE!
Jon Olsen 3/19/2005