Do you support or oppose mandatory national service or military duty? Why or why not?

What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States of America? What are the obligations and responsibilities of citizens? It may surprise you know that the country asks very little of you. Citizens vote, serve as jurors, pay taxes, obey laws, and if a young male, register for the draft. In return we are to receive from our government the representation of our collective interests by way of public policy making. So is there a problem here?
Many would say there are serious problems affecting the citizenry of this country. Notably, we don’t seem to be getting along. There are divisions along the lines of wealth, race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, partisanship, and more. If the saying United We Stand, Divided We Fall is true, then we are falling down. Another serious problem is low voter turnout in elections. Democracy is predicated on the involvement of citizens in the construction of government. As Abraham Lincoln intoned in his great Gettysburg Address, this government of the people, by the people, for the people, is worth preserving. But turnout in national elections, if lucky, involves only 60% of eligible voters. Is this acceptable?
For many years, Americans of different stripes have advanced the idea of mandatory national or military service to help bind us together and to promote our collective civic interests. Several countries require one or two years of national public service or military duty. Should we?
For background information on the issue of national service, please read a 2002 article written by journalist E.J. Dionne.

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United We Serve?: The Debate over National Service

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http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2002/09/fall-civilsociety-dionne

Then I’d like you examine the pros and cons of national service by visiting:

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National service should be re-introduced

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http://debatewise.org/debates/123-national-service-should-be-re-introduced/

After considering the elements of citizenship, the constitutional extension of individual freedom, the sociopolitical needs of a united population, and the challenges facing the United States in the 21stcentury by reading the assigned material for Module 4, please respond to the following prompts:

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1)     Do you support or oppose mandatory national service or military duty? Why or why not?

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2)     Do you see any conflict between mandatory national or military service and the freedoms granted Americans through the Bill of Rights?

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3)     Looking ahead, do you think the Congress and the president would back national or military service at this time? Why or why not?

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4)     What have you learned about American politics by doing this exercise?

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