It’s a long way to Lent yet, but I guess I am going to have to start reading Barack Hussein Obama’s speeches. I caught his latest musings on “national service” thanks to Instapundit, but that came via Jonah Goldberg from PrestoPundit. How is he going to back away, triangulate, move to the center on this?
when I’m President, I will 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. This means that by the time you graduate college, you’ll have done 17 weeks of service. We’ll reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, we’ll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities.
The real name for this, as PrestoPundit noted, is a return to serfdom, i.e., the intrusion of the coercive arm of the state into everyday life.
For example, in France, citizens were required to perform public service building and repairing roads and other public projects for hundreds and thousands of hours a year. Serfdom wasn’t eliminated in France until the French revolution, one of the “liberty” parts of that revolution. It was largely the American revolution which inspired this escape from serfdom. Indeed, the American revolution was all about escaping from the European model of servitude, with the American’s insisting that even very moderate taxation without representation was a form of oppressive servitude. Incredibly, Barack Obama somehow believes that advocacy of a return to European style serfdom is a good way to celebrate the American Declaration of Independence from the oppression of English tyranny.
Let’s hope that people wake up to what an Obama administration would really be like–that they wake up to the coercive reality behind the bloviating rhetoric–before it is too late.