What’s Right – Volunteering Your Liberty

So remember that part of 1984 where George Orwell describes the program where college students and recent graduates spend a few months doing mandatory governmental service? No? Whoops, I confused Orwell’s prediction of a government-controlled society with reality! Sorry!

You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? Then obviously you have not read the text of HR 1388 or HR 1444, which would enact into law service with the Civilian Community Corps. This new organization would require three months of mandatory “volunteer” service, an oxymoron at best and a completely unconstitutional violation of rights at worst.

HR 1444, or the Commission on Civic Service Act, has gone to committee, and HR 1388 has already passed–albeit without the “mandatory” bit, which surfaced again with the introduction of HR 1444. I give you section 5 and part of section 6 of HR 1444, which states that the Commission would investigate: (5) The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service. (6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed…

It’s all part of Rahm Emanuel’s plan, and he laid it out in his aptly titled book, “The Plan.” He proposes that all 18-to-25-year old citizens must spend three months “volunteering” for the government. Regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic class, marital status, or whether you have children, your government requires that you take three months out of your life to “volunteer.”

Now what will you do? Details here are fuzzy, but on Obama’s Change.gov website, he implies that this will basically be a compulsory extension of the AmeriCorps program, in which participants have spent time performing overtly partisan activities like protesting Republican initiatives and working for ACORN.

Of course, the government understands that you can’t force everyone to “volunteer” for no pay; after all, that’s slavery. So I’ll show you what you’ve won! For three months of indentured servitude, you’ll get, as laid out in HR 1444: allowances for travel expenses, quarters, subsistence, transportation, equipment, clothing and recreational services and supplies.

“Quarters”–does this mean barracks? Because I think it means barracks. Certainly not a hotel. And if the government expects citizens to loan out their guestrooms for a three-month homestay, then get the pitchforks and torches ready. Our founders revolted against this concept when Parliament introduced the Quartering Act. And “clothing”–this implies a uniform, whether it’s as obvious as an orange jumpsuit or as seemingly innocuous as a t-shirt with Obama’s face on it. Japanese internment camps, anyone?

Also, you get paid, as taken from HR 1444: “Not in excess of the amount equal to 100 percent of the poverty line that is applicable to a family of two.”

Yes, my fellow Colgate students, who pay $42,000 a year to get an education that will presumably help you find a six-figure job in the future. You will have to use three months of your time before your twenty-fifth birthday to fulfill your government-required “volunteering” so that you can make poverty-level wages and learn “what it means to be American.” Thank you, Rahm.

Stalin just called Marx and they’re having a dance party.

Oh and if you won’t do this, Obama advisor Richard Danzig says an additional five percent surcharge on your taxes every year for the rest of your life. He adds in his book National Service: What Would It Mean? that “individuals claiming conscientious objection, hardship, school or occupational imperatives, or physical or mental deficiencies would receive no exemption.”

Rahm Emanuel explained the program best when in an interview he said, “If you’re worried about people having to do 50 jumping jacks, the answer is yes.”

Do I even have to explain this idea’s fundamental un-Americanism? We live in a country that was founded on the basic principle of personal liberty, not performing governmental servitude for beans.

And since when is volunteering mandatory? Or paid? Or does it impose a penalty if you don’t do it? You volunteer because you want to help others, not because someone forces you or pays you! The doublespeak has to stop–this is indentured servitude.

It’s not a partisan issue, either. All of you, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, anarchist, whatever should fight it. If you value your time and your freedom, don’t let this happen. Our founders intended for government to have a very restricted reach over personal liberty. If this plan becomes reality, for three months you’ll have none.