Do you remember the 2004 military draft scare?
Political rumors held that if President George W. Bush won reelection, he was going to reinstate the dreaded military draft by mid-2005. I didn’t think a draft bill existed and the rumors were created to increase the turnout against the President.
I was wrong.
Right before the 2003 invasion of Iraq Black congressman Charles Rangel introduced a bill to reinstate the draft. The bill had 14 co-sponsors, many were members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Rangel told the press his purpose was twofold. One, to jolt Americans into realizing a possible unilateral strike against Iraq. Two, to make it clear that if there were a war, there would be more equitable representation of people making the sacrifices.
Elaborating on the second point, Rangel stated those who made decisions to go to war would feel the pain involved if the fighting force included the affluent and those who historically have avoided this great responsibility. In other words, the bill was introduced to remedy the historical complaint that only the poor were drafted for war. (The Democrats always preach the rich need to pay their fair share, but this time it meant their fair share of body bags. There are no Geneva Convention rules in class warfare.)
After the invasion, Rangel’s first point was obsolete, but the jolt was realized during the election when rumors spread about “Bush’s secret draft plan.”