Proud to be an American

Published: Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 12:14 a.m.

In her commentary, Jan. 7, UF law professor Diane Mazur advocated a return to the military draft, perceiving a drift of our volunteer forces from society at large. Mazur laments the inattention given to a bill in Congress proposed by U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel to reinstate the draft.

Some time ago I heard Rep. Rangel discussing his bill on Fox TV news, his argument being that our military services are mainly populated by youths from the lower economic rungs of society and that privileged families are not sharing the burden of defending the country.

Rangel's proposal sounded like political class warfare and would not succeed in diversifying our armed forces any more than school zoning prevents privileged families from sending their offspring to private schools. In the same sense colleges and universities would become a safe haven from the draft.

Mazur is alarmed that the military has discarded its traditional neutrality and become openly aligned to the Republican Party. That is correct. The realignment began when Ronald Reagan restored pride and dignity to the U.S. military after four years of neglect and starvation by Jimmy Carter. The realignment swung farther right following Bill Clinton's infamous declaration that he "loathed the military."

I find offensive Mazur's comment that admiration for our troops is "empty patriotism." I sense she hearkens to the Vietnam War era when showing patriotism was considered fulsome by the liberal left. Despite continuing attempts by the media to exploit the weakest chink perceived in the morale of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, what I see on nightly television are dedicated young men and women that make me proud to be an American.

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