After the election, Congress called for an investigation into the usefulness of the military draft and whether women should be forced to register. While President Trump’s position on the issue is uncertain, many members of both parties have shown their support for the change. Others, such as Senator Rand Paul, have called for the abolition of the military draft, hoping that conservative outrage over this new legislation will turn Americans against the draft entirely. Senator Ted Cruz, who has two daughters, has harshly condemned the legislation:
“Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous. And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong, it is immoral.” Senator Ted Cruz
While Cruz-like conservatives respect individual choices and support the brave men and women fighting in our military, they also recognize that allowing women to serve their country is far different than forcing all women to register for conscription.
This investigation, which may provide a great political opportunity for Senator Paul, is the most recent development of a bitter, year-long debate on the issue.
In early February 2016, the House of Representatives debated opening all combat roles in the military to women. In an effort to sabotage the bill, Congressmen Ryan Zinke and Duncan Hunter insisted that if women were allowed to serve in these combat roles, then women should also be forced to register for the military draft. Instead of causing the defeat of the legislation, this provision was simply added to it. The bill passed in the Senate, as Senator Mike Lee’s efforts to amend the bill were rejected.
During the months in-between, Republican candidates such as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush endorsed the idea of drafting women, while Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats backed the change. However, circumstances changed after the election as both the Senate and the House opted to remove the requirement and investigate the issue further. President Obama later announced his support for the previous legislation even though it was no longer under consideration.
Although Hillary Clinton was defeated and Congress decided against the change, the bill’s initial success in Congress and the support it received from members of both parties indicate that the conversation is not yet over. A majority of our elected representatives were willing to pass the original legislation with this language attached, and many presidential candidates agree that women should be forced to register for the draft.
Conservatives who don’t believe that their sisters, daughters, or wives should be pressed into military service must remember this and contact their elected representatives throughout the investigation. Libertarians who believe that no one should be drafted into the military can seize the opportunity to find conservative allies for their cause. The future of the draft, regardless of the results of the investigation, rests in the hands of conservative constituents across the country.