It’s hard to put a good face on a “Civilian National Security Force” like the one candidate Obama promised to create during the 2008 campaign. The media didn’t pay much attention then, and most of us have forgotten all about it by now. But the idea is rearing its ugly head again, as the embattled (but re-elected) Congressman, Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is now proposing the Universal National Service Act.
It might not be fair to characterize such a security force without a complete knowledge of exactly what it would entail—but let’s do it anyway. Obama said it would be “just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the U.S. military. Well, that would only cost another two-thirds of a trillion dollars – pocket change to this administration, especially now that it is backed up by Fed Chairman Bernanke’s printing press.
Perhaps it would just be some kind of “community service” organization that would get people involved in worthy causes. But Obama did call it a civilian national security force. Maybe Rangel’s plan is different…or maybe not. His brand of universal national service would require all men and women between 18 and 42 “to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security.”
What could that mean? It sounds like a government-run civilian militia, which is an oxymoron. A government militia, like the National Guard, is a military force. A civilian militia is what the second amendment allows us to organize on our own in the event that a tyrannical government tries to trample our rights.
But, of course, the National Guard can be called into active duty in time of war. But wait…Rangel’s plan authorizes “the induction of persons into the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.” It sounds like everyone will spend two years in the national guard, and the only way to avoid it will be to enlist in the “volunteer” army.
No doubt an army of people helping our communities has an upside both for the communities and for those who would serve. But the opportunity for treachery would be too big a gamble and a dangerous price to pay. The prospect of a government spy in every household might seem like paranoia, but there would definitely be some instances of that. No intrusive government organization gets its claws dug into the social infrastructure by declaring its sinister intent up front. And even well-intentioned plans can become insidious when too much power is entrusted to a powerful puppet master.
There are plenty of ways to facilitate public service without creating a coerced civilian government army or national police force. The government has a chance to indoctrinate our children through twelve years of public school; they don’t need another two years to turn them into government issued drones and clones. At best, this national security force is another entitlement we can’t afford that pays people to stay out of the workforce for a couple of years.
At worst, it is the end of a free society.