Thursday, September 11, 2008

National service as therapy

I'm watching CNN's national service forum. Obama and McCain seem to agree national service is the way to go. If you're feeling selfish, lazy, or pathetic, serve the nation. If you're otherwise just down in the dumps, serve the nation. If you want to be social and connect with others, serve the nation. If you want to be helpful and charitable, serve the nation. If you want to kick some aaaaaass, serve the nation. If you want to do something greater than yourself, you need to serve the nation, fool. (Mr. T for president!)

Interestingly, one of the interviewers (not Judy Woodruff) brought up Touqueville's observation that American's are crazy about voluntary associations. Then the interviewer asked if national service crowds out voluntary service. Obama: "No. Those are old arguments. ... Part of my job is to make government cool again." I guess Hitler, Stalin and Mao kinda gave it a bad name?

OK, Obama would say that's extreme, instead the problem is the special interests. I agree, so how the fuck are you going to keep special interests out of the national service racket?

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