February 16, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

Happy Presidents’ Day weekend, readers. Today and this entire week we in America will  celebrate the lives of two of our greatest Presidents: George Washington, the father of our country, and Abraham Lincoln, the savior of our Union. It is regrettable that, were each of these men alive today, they would be sorrowfully hanging their heads in utter shock, disbelief, and horror at the state of our government today. They would recoil from the way large multinational corporations have turned our once proud democracy into a plutocracy designed to overwhelmingly aid the very wealthy and powerful. They would be alarmed at the infestation of the Republican Party by tax and federal government-hating Tea Party rabidly-extremist fanatics. They would be appalled at this party’s obstructionist tactics: its refusal to aid victims of natural disasters; its utter refusal to raise taxes in the face of mounting debt; its refusal to curb reckless and wasteful spending on both a bloated military and on ridiculously unneeded projects like bridges to nowhere; as well as the contempt it has shown the current President for nearly four years now – from holding his Attorney General in contempt of Congress for groundless political reasons to refusing to allow a confirmation vote on a perfectly-qualified war hero candidate’s bid to become the President’s next Secretary of Defense during a time of war.  They would also be greatly upset with the way this wretched party has liberally and routinely abused the filibuster to turn what was once settled by a simple majority vote into now needing a super-majority of 60 Senate votes to pass! Finally, they would NEVER have approved the perverted change of the Second Amendment from not impeding the citizens’ right to bear arms only as part of a locally-organized militia to this insane current misperception that everybody has the absolute right to his or her own personal handgun, semi-automatic, or automatic military-grade weapon!

These great Presidents would be completely justified in hanging their heads in utter disgust at how this nation they helped forge and preserve has deteriorated to its current miserable state.

A little more than two years ago, on Wednesday, June 10, 2010, I posted  a piece called “The Un-tied States of America” over at my first, location for this site. I did this prior to my moving the site over here to In this post I observed how politically fragmented we were becoming. This, of course, was long before the evidence of the disastrous influence of Tea Party infestation had become fully apparent. Judging from the number of dissenting comments I received from that piece, it was clear to me that a number of these dissenters had missed my point and thought I was referring to mainly geographical or economic differences, as we had undergone during the Civil War of Lincoln’s time. The points that were missed were that I was referring to the hugely prominent differences we are experiencing now socially, culturally, politically, and economically rather than geographically. Today, for example, many evangelical Christians have little time or use for liberals, minorities, Catholics, Muslims, or Jews, and vice-versa. The wealthy, with rare exception, avoid the poor and working class like the plague. It was abundantly clear from the 2012 election campaign that the major conservative Republican candidates not only didn’t understand those below them on the income scale – they looked down on them in utter contempt and disregard as well. Conservative Christians by and large view Muslims with deep suspicion and make little effort, if any, to try and understand the history, social mores, or the actual teachings of the religion of Islam. Altogether too many ethno-centric Americans look upon Europeans with disdain, and automatically assume, without even bothering to first investigate, that all things American are somehow or in some way “better” and that foreign-made goods and systems are therefore automatically inferior or suspect – and thus, so too must be their people. Those of us who reside in the real world know how baseless these beliefs are, and one need look no further than imported automobiles, electronics, or even European health care systems for abundant proof of the fallacy of such ignorance! This is especially true when it comes to politics and economics. Here, many Americans simply refuse to believe that our form of government and our economic system are not always the world’s best, or that they are often rife with corruption and economic policies blatantly favoring the very wealthiest citizens. Instead, many make absolutely no effort at all to learn about possibly better alternatives, and prefer to go on living in blind faith that all things American are always the world’s best and can’t, or shouldn’t, be improved upon. Worse yet, they often dismiss other possible alternatives by referring ro them as “socialist” or “fascist” without having the slightest clue as to what constitutes socialism or fascism!

Our country cannot remain a world leader in an increasingly competitive global environment while fostering such ignorant, narrow-minded, and delusional beliefs!

We have become an intellectually lazy people. We are immersed and inundated with entertainment and fantasy rather than reality. When the “adventures” of “Honey Boo Boo” are allowed to dominate our thoughts, we are ALL in VERY deep trouble! We constantly take the easy way out rather than allowing ourselves to be challenged and then successfully overcoming the challenge at hand. We claim to be the land of the free, but we quickly try to limit and sometimes eliminate the social and economic freedom  of immigrants, minorities, or dissenters. We demand that poorer countries adopt our political and economic systems, even as we exploit them and even as we exploit our own labor force! 

We CANNOT keep living like this – something MUST change! 

We desperately need to broaden our horizons and re-establish our original tendencies of tolerance, innovation, dedication to learning, and community spirit. We must renew our tradition of civility to others and acceptance of new ideas which marked the early decades of the country. Failure to do so will inevitably result in a dissolution of unity and our collapse as a nation. We can no longer afford to be a warring, un-tied country of individual nation states with conflicting ideologies within its population.  We must again become the truly UNITED States, with the federal government leading the way. 

The best way to achieve this, in my opinion, would be to institute a program of UNIVERSAL, COMPULSORY NATIONAL SERVICE, in which ALL persons, regardless of race, background, or creed, would be required at age 18 to begin. This would be a two-year, government-supported tour of duty in either the Peace Corps, VISTA, or the military. This huge force of able, energetic young people could be used to clean up and renew our decaying inner cities, repair our sagging bridges and highways, help construct a much-needed new electrical grid, or help growers in the fields. They would be paid and taxed at a fair market value by either the federal government, a combination of the federal government and private employers, or the military. In each case, the participant would be awarded a specified number of school funds upon successful completion of the tour and participating employers bwould be awarded tax breaks once the participant had finished the tour of duty satisfactorily. 

This is not my original idea. Democratic New York 12th District Congressman Charles Rangel has long supported such a plan, and various similar plans have been successfully implemented in Europe and Israel for many years. In our case, young participants would, over an extended period of time, learn teamwork, self reliance, proper work ethic, self discipline, self awareness, consideration and respect for others, knowledge of the world beyond that of their home, and a sense of community, among dozens of valuable and important other lessons in the process. Wealthy suburban kids would be paired with and forced to interact with various minority, inner-city, poor, and middle class kids. and each would receive an eye-opening understanding of the others along the way. Such understanding would continue well into each participant’s adult working careers and would completely dispel today’s tendency toward avoidance, self-indulgence, or arrogance. It would produce a country filled with intelligent and responsible employees for industry, rather than saddling business and government with an unsuitable lot of misfits, malcontents, dropouts, or loafers with no goals or future in sight. Instead, the entire nation would benefit tremendously from the civility, respect for fellow citizens, and instilled work ethic which would invariably result. It would also promote good, responsible citizenship.

I would strongly urge you to write or call your Representative and Senator – and even the White House – TODAY– and urge them to forge a successful plan of this nature! Let’s all line up behind and strongly endorse and support an idea whose time has definitely come: the creation of a universal, compulsory National Service program for young Americans!        

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
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  1. infidel753 says:

    I’ve addressed this idea here.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Infidel 753,
      I am amazed at this, not only because you and I are usually on pretty much the same page on most issues, but also because I do not in the least view this as “forced labor” or “evil.” No more so than I view the requirement for a youngster to attend school, be it public or private, between the ages of 5 and 16, an evil undertaking. I view it a FAR GREATER evil to permit young people to stagnate and devolve into prejudiced, ignorant, and cynical Tea Party types with no sense of self-worth or purpose in life than allowing them to experience the opportunities and togetherness such a program would offer if enacted. I am further willing to believe that most readers will view this proposed program as a chance for valuable self-advancement rather than an evil undertaking of any kind! Of course, if one would prefer see young people wasting their lives playing video games, hanging around shopping malls creating mischief, getting involved in guns, drugs, or gangs, or joining hateful groups like al Qaeda or the Klan, one would obviously disagree…

  2. J.O.B. says:

    Off topic Jack. I loved the show. I found it through Engineer’s blog, but I think I may be a regular listener. Good job!

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you and I’m glad you liked it. We’re on almost every Sunday at 6 PM. Tell your friends, and please feel free to dial in and comment! 🙂

  3. swa44 says:

    Proposals for some form of required public service are put forth periodically and have been for a long time. The idea has much to recommend it. Potential benefits to individuals and the country cut across many areas.

    BTW, I expect conservatives, libertarians especially, to fight any such program tooth and nail. Those would be the same conservatives who are so enamored and protective of Israel. They might be interested to know that (unless something has changed in recent years) Israel has long had compulsory military service for all capable men and women. Beyond that, for a long time and maybe now, too, young people were expected to spend part of the year doing mostly agricultural work in rural kibbutzes (sp.?)

  4. Good post, Jack.
    re: “each would receive an eye-opening understanding of the others along the way.”
    I have a far-right, Rush-listening neighbor who I’ve long believed would benefit greatly from having some actual interactions with the “lazy” poor and black people that he routinely disparages. Like most Rush listeners, he is convinced that African-Americans sit around all day, living off their welfare checks.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you, Marc, for reaffirming the value of this proposed program. The stereotype of most blacks being lazy and shiftless is a long-held misconception among angry and ignorant whites. In my very own neighborhood, kitty-corner from me, resides a great black family who dutifully lives the perfect middle-class existence – keeping up the yard, never causing any type of problem, not noisy, with both parents working two jobs each, the husband active politically, the wife active in their church, and the two boys going to school and never causig the slightest bit of ruckus. This exact same scenario exists in tens of thousands of communities all across this country. I am proud and glad to have these folks as neighbors. They conduct themselves more responsibly and more civilized than do many white families!

      • timothy knowlton says:

        The proposed program amounts to edintured servatude plaina nd simple. It is slavery! There is no logical justification for proposeing such legislation. As a former service memeber, I did not, did not do 4 tours in Iraque, fighting for freedom to have my child become a slave. Such legislatioin will, will result in civil revolt. You will have many, many vets on the side of the civilians. There will be blood in the water is such an idiotic bill passes.

        It is policies like this, weather proposed or passed, that we as Americans need to cling tightly to our 2nd amendment rights. It is apperant that freedom in America is becomeing a thing of the past. Freedom is wone by the blood of patriots and taken by the policies of governments.

      • jackjodell53 says:

        I couldn’t possibly disagree with you more on this! MANY other countries have such programs for young people in effect, and they do not have the same types of social problems we see here, nor do their people view such programs as “slavery.” In fact, their children grow up with a sense of responsibility and self-respect altogether too many lack in this country. I find your comments to be extreme and quite a bit of an overreaction, especially the one about freedom being “taken by governments”. This is a far, far cry from the likes of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, or today’s Syria! Quite frankly, comments like this do not belong here. Still, as an American, you have the right to express your opinion. However, I will simply exercise my right as owner of this site to ignore any future absurd comments you may try to post here.

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