Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Obama's Service Plan

Jonah Goldberg demolishes Obama's idea, which I commented on here yesterday, to require service learning or "forced volunteerism." Said Goldberg:
There's a weird irony at work when Sen. Barack Obama, the black presidential candidate who will allegedly scrub the stain of racism from the nation, vows to run afoul of the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery.

For those who don't remember, the 13th Amendment says: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime ... shall exist within the United States."

I guess in Obama's mind it must be a crime to be born or to go to college.

In his speech on national service Wednesday at the University of Colorado, Obama promised that as president he would "set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year."

He would see that these goals are met by, among other things, attaching strings to federal education dollars. If you don't make the kids report for duty, he's essentially telling schools and college kids, you'll lose money you can't afford to lose. In short, he'll make service compulsory by merely compelling schools to make it compulsory.
As I stated, the idea of forced volunteerism is the paramount oxymoron. I don't like Obama's idea and I am not a big fan of any of it.

That being said, what about American volunteerism--which is far and away the biggest and most powerful force among all nations--that leaves a bad taste in candidates minds. When the excrement hits the wind creating device, Americans will sacrifice their money, their time, their sweat and their blood to help others, even on the side of the world. At home, the average person could drown in the the paper of volunteer opportunities, yet this is not enough? Americans have a long history of being involved in volunteer activities, why then put the tarnish of a governmental imprimatuer upon the deeply ingrained notion. Sooner or later, you end up with nothing in the volunteer activity but time clockers and ticket punchers. You have no passion, no desire and no caring. Is that what volunteerism is supposed to be about?

I didn't think so.

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