Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
It was the Obama Administration's push for the institution of a
national service program back in 2009 that was the impetus for my
original essay launching the
Pledge, along with this accompanying blog. You can find past
articles on the subject in the archives under
During the first term, government sponsored organizations like the
National and Community Service received massive increases in
federal funding, with the intent of allowing them to place
of new workers (improperly
called "volunteers") on the federal payroll at taxpayer
expense. However, the protracted fights over Obamacare and the
budgets diverted attention away from work designed to transition
these programs into a mandatory requirement of National Service for
The reelection of Obama to another four year term portends ominous
possibilities in all areas or life including national security,
health care, economic stagnation, inflation of the currency, further
erosion of the rule of law, and increased intrusion into the private
lives of every citizens. And as I have been predicting for quite some
time, it will also reactivate the push to dramatically expand
programs for national servitude. Well, it didn't take long.
An organization called Service Nation, which prides itself in
"played a leading role in the drafting and April 2009 enactment of
the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized the
greatest expansion of national service in America since the creation
of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression."
has just published an article which details their renewed commitment
to these activities.
Does The Election Mean For National Service?
Here's what the reelection of President Obama means for national
In 2008, then Senator Obama pledged to make national service a
cause of his presidency. In the first 100 days of his administration,
he turned his pledge into action by signing the Edward M. Kennedy
Serve America Actthe boldest national service legislation since
the era of FDR. The bill promised to more than triple AmeriCorps from
75,000 to 250,000 AmeriCorps by 2017, to grow Senior Corps, and to
advance impact volunteerism and proven social innovation.
Unfortunately, the growth of national service stalled when
Congress and the President did not invest fully in the promise of the
Serve America Act. Today, we have about 80,000 AmeriCorps members
when the number should be 140,000 and growing. There are also 100,000
fewer Senior Corps members, and the entire Learn and Serve America
program was eliminated.
As the President and Congress focus on fiscal priorities, they
must spend limited resources on efforts that return financial and
social benefits. National service meets this test. National service
unites political parties, trains young leaders, tackles problems, and
reinforces commitment to country.
With so many Americans looking for jobs, so many challenges in
our communities and schools, and our nation looking for unity,
national service should remain a top priority. It should not only be
the cause of a presidency, but also a cause of our nation.
In last night's victory speech, President Obama said: "The role
of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America has
never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done
by us, together."
That is exactly right. We need to demand that the President and
Congress fulfill their promise to expand opportunities for Americans
to serve their nation. The only way this will happen is if you speak
up, take action, and we work collectively and relentlessly moving
forward. Will you take a first step by sharing our "1 Million New
Jobs" petition on Facebook and Twitter?
Ken, Zach, Morgan, Jerry, and the entire ServiceNation +
As a consequence of the rapidly increasing size and scope of the
entitlement state coupled with the very real difficulties of paying
for all of these unearned benefits, I predict that during the coming
months there will be renewed calls by politicians for the institution
of a mandatory national service program, giving the government access
to a massive pool of cheap labor to carry out it's programs. All of
this will be justified as being only fair that Americans be asked to
"give back" something in payment for all the goodies being dolled out
to them by their benevolent masters.
Once this is accomplished, the Civil War will have been fully undone
and the 13 Amendment which reads:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a
punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject
to their jurisdiction." [Emphasis added]
without challenge, will simply have faded out of existence.
C. Jeffery Small's blog is Small Thoughts for a