I never thought I’d hear conservatives vying to show who is most supportive of registering young women for the draft. But it happened in a recent GOP presidential debate.
The question was relevant because, recently, all restrictions against allowing women to be assigned to combat positions were lifted. Certain military leaders are talking about requiring women to sign up for selective service just as men do. It’s the logical next step because a 1981 court decision prohibiting drafting women was based upon their exclusion from combat.
Here’s the question ABC News debate moderator Martha Raddatz directed at Marco Rubio: “Many of you have young daughters. Senator Rubio, should young women be required to sign up for selective service in case of a national emergency.”
He prefaced his response with support for women serving in combat as long as standards are not compromised, and then continued: “I do believe that selective service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted.”
Martha Raddatz turned the question to Jeb Bush, asking him, “do you believe that young women should sign up for selective service — be required to do so?”
Governor Bush answered: “I do. I do.” His answer communicated that he does not think the draft will be reinstated and there was an exchange about military readiness and morale.
And then Chris Christie jumped in mentioning he’s the father of two daughters and “there is no reason why one young woman should be discriminated against from registering for the selective service.”
It’s not about discriminating against women it’s about requiring them, making them sign up for selective service so that if we ever have a draft again, they could be drafted. Political correctness has run amok in the military, so I’m not shocked the idea of drafting women is being floated. But for mainstream politicians to accept the idea that we as a country would ever force women into military service and into harms way in combat positions is, to say the least, worrisome.
Ted Cruz wasn’t asked about drafting women that night. He told his audience at a town hall a few days later that, as his fellow candidates answered the question, he was thinking “Are you guys nuts?” He said, “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….”
It’s been 40 years since we had a military draft in this country. There’s currently no sign that we’ll reinstate the draft. Congress is supposed to approve or disapprove consequential changes in military policy and a discussion is beginning. California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Marine veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced the Draft America’s Daughter’s Act, not to pass it, but to start discussion so this isn’t forced on the country.
We must never ‘draft America’s daughters.’