October 18, 2004

Draft training.

I don't know if this is going on elsewhere, but in Madison, two draft training sessions were held over the weekend. (The October 15th session, by the way, took place at what is the most architecturally significant building in Madison.) Wisconsin Public Radio had did a long piece on one of these meetings in their morning news. (No clip on their site yet.) [UPDATE: The audio clip of the story is there now.]

I was a bit disturbed that WPR stoked the opinion that the draft would come back, but its story did include a clip of Bush saying clearly that he wasn't going to have a draft, and the explanation of why some think the draft is returning was that the military was "stretched so thin" that either candidate would need to move to a draft. Still, covering the story at all would seem to help Kerry who is trying to leverage his candidacy with fear of a draft. Wisconsin is, as we all know, a battleground state, efforts are being made to encourage voting by the large numbers of students in our state, and the draft is the issue designed to scare otherwise apathetic students into voting.

What might not have been a justifiable story for WPR may have become one simply because groups were willing to hold these sessions. One of the many reasons why I think there will never be another draft (unless there is a cataclysmic war) is that resistance to the draft would make it far less effective than the alternative of vigorous recruitment (with improved pay and benefits). That resistance gets under way with an unfounded rumor is only a hint of what would be to come. On the other hand, maybe these sessions were merely held to procure media coverage for the issue, in order to affect the election. Only fifteen persons attended the meeting WPR covered.

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