America Serves. It sounds so patriotic. Who could be against Americans serving?
Forcing students into community service, possibly against the wishes of their parents, is overstepping the role of government. And all these new "Corps" Obama is proposing. Is he just creating government programs so students will have someplace to go to perform their required service? (See update below!)
As for individuals over age 55, there are plenty of worthwhile organizations where they can volunteer should they decide to. I'd say folks over 55 don't need Obama to tell them what they should be doing with their time. (Speaking as one who will be in that group in a couple of years, I'll be working for Julie Corps).
Obama has called repeatedly upon America's people to sacrifice. What's not yet clear is whether this will entail sacrifice in the common defense of liberty, or whether it is liberty itself that will step by step be sacrificed in the name of the common good. If the latter, the implications are indeed world-changing. For the past century, America has stood as the world's great bulwark of freedom. That can no longer be taken as a given. Americans will be hard pressed to support freedom elsewhere if they do not protect it at home.
...if America is to remain a great nation, what must somehow be restored as the centerpiece of the nation's goals is not collective "change," but individual liberty.
This is not Barack Obama's vision for our country.
This is getting a little scary.
And it's just the beginning.
***UPDATE 6:47 PM CT***
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Obama's pick for Chief of Staff favors compulsory universal service for all Americans ages 18-25:
As chief of staff, Emanuel will not be in a position to directly introduce public policy, but his enthusiasm for compulsory service, combined with Barack Obama's own plan to require high school students to perform 50 hours of government-approved service, suggest an unfortunate direction for the new administration.
***UPDATE 10:16 PM CT***
Obama's America Serves page has CHANGED:
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Notice the word "require" has vanished. Well, he did promise change. Oh, and now he's going to PAY college students to serve. (Or rather taxpayers will PAY). Forty bucks an hour!!! Middle and high school students will be serving for free. Subject to change, of course.
(Cached version of the original here.)