You Gotta Serve Somebody
Sen. John McCain's vision for national service is somewhat closer to James's"moral equivalent of war." In October 2001 McCain called for a quasi-militarized domestic national service corps as a way to address a"spiritual crisis in our national culture." What Senator McCain envisions is, well, rather creepy -- a sort of jackbooted Politics of Meaning.
McCain praises City Year, an AmeriCorps initiative operating in 13 cities:"City Year members wear uniforms, work in teams, learn public speaking skills, and gather together for daily calisthenics, often in highly public places such as in front of city hall." He also endorses the National Civilian Community Corps,"a service program consciously structured along military lines," in which enrollees"not only wear uniforms and work in teams… but actually live together in barracks on former military bases." McCain calls for expanding these two initiatives and"spread[ing] their group-cohesion techniques to other AmeriCorps programs."
"Group cohesion" and calisthenics in front of city hall reflect a version of patriotism, to be sure, albeit one that seems more North Korean than American....
comments powered by Disqus
Jonathan Dresner - 4/29/2004
Actually, I suspect that there was a pre-POW experience (usually POW experiences are preceded by other, fairly specific, instances of calisthenics and social/sartorial cohesion), though that did probably train him pretty well for the other.
Keith Halderman - 4/28/2004
When McCain was in that North Vietnamese prison camp did they not do calisthenics everyday, all wear the same uniforms, and develop group cohesion?
- Parsing Ronald Reagan’s Words for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- For G.O.P., Support for Israel Becomes New Litmus Test
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer
- Role-playing history game gets students jazzed