For those slow on the uptake, the following piece is satire. It provides an opportunity for young and old men to reflect on the way they treat each other. Eds.
Old men have sent young men off to war as long as there have been wars. Today the alter cockers are still hollering for blood. Remember Will Rogers, who never met a man he didn’t like? Well, Senator John McCain (R- AZ, age 80) never met a country he wouldn’t like to invade.
Sure, it’s easy to advocate foreign wars when you don’t have to fight them. Old men don’t fight wars, but some of them fought when they were younger. Some shudder at the memory of it and wouldn’t wish it on anyone else; others say something to the effect of, “I did my part, now it’s your turn, young man. I’m not asking you to do anything I didn’t do myself.”
Clearly, it’s a guy thing. Jeanette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, went on record as the only member of the House of Representatives to vote against a declaration of war against Japan. “As a woman I can’t go to war,” she said, “and I refuse to send anyone else.” Of course, that was back in the days when Congress used to actually declare wars.
Well, John McCain is not a woman, and he did go to war, but since he spent more than five years as a POW in North Vietnam, you’d think he’d hesitate to send anyone else off to a foreign country to effect regime change or impose democracy or build a nation or an oil pipeline or whatever.
The U.S. role of global enforcer persists no matter who occupies the oval office. Apparently, this deep state dictum cannot be countermanded by the shallow state. So if we’re stuck with it, can we at least make it more efficient?
Draft registration is still a fact of life in the U.S., and we may be just one international incident away from reinstating the draft itself. For that reason, I propose that we give some serious thought to overhauling the system. And I don’t mean by drafting women.
Instead of registering men at age 18, let’s register them at age 62. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), another screeching warhawk, turns that age on July 9, so he might be the ideal sponsor of such a bill.
Now I can hear you objecting that old men can’t hack it! Their strength, health, and physical stamina are way past their peak. War has always been a young man’s game. Well, it has been to this point in history. But maybe Henry Ford was right when he said, “History is bunk.”
If you go to an old graveyard, you will be impressed by how few people ripened to an old age in days of yore. Old men were not involved in combat because there were so few of them! That is no longer the case.
Thanks to advances in medicine and better public health, seniors comprise a bigger and bigger share of the population. And thanks to the chilling effect of the demographic winter, the proportion of young people is growing smaller and smaller. So the traditional draft pool is decreasing.
Also, let’s not forget all those young men out there who are making the transition to females. I predict that if the draft returns (and females are not included), more and more young men will commence that transition if it eliminates them from the draft pool.
If you want to raise an army, you have to go where the recruits are! And old-timers are an immense untapped resource. If you wear one of those T-shirts or ball caps that says “Old guys rule,” here’s your chance to prove it!
The AARP magazine is full of articles about active oldsters. Geezers are running triathalons, for God’s sake! So don’t tell me they can’t handle desert warfare. Ever notice how many retirees live in Arizona? If they can play golf in Scottsdale in the summertime, they can handle combat in the Middle East.
Nevertheless, I realize many senior citizens don’t get around as easily as they used to. Can we really send old guys with walkers or wheelchairs into combat? Can we enable the disabled and eliminate the 4-F classification? I answer in the affirmative.
Isn’t it better to send a mobility-impaired old man into combat rather than an able-bodied young man, who may come out of combat mobility-impaired? Why take a chance on damaging the good stuff when you already have damaged goods to put in harm’s way?
Now we all know that old people, even if they’re not impaired, don’t move as quickly as they used to. When the bullets start flying, codgers make bad dodgers. They’re more likely to stop a bullet than dodge one. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Remember the old Spartan maxim of “Come home with your shield or on it”? How about “If you don’t have a shield, be one.” Old people make superb human shields. Younger people move faster, so they’re more likely to run away.
Admittedly, if we employ old men on the front lines, the casualty count will approach 100%. With apologies to Douglas MacArthur, we can say “Old soldiers never fade away, they just die.”
The benefits of using old men as cannon fodder are impressive, but they aren’t limited to the battlefield. The home front will also prosper.
We all know that Social Security is on shaky ground. When it was set up in the 1930s, few men lived beyond age 65, so it was financially feasible to set that age as the minimum to collect benefits. The feds thought there would always be far more people paying into the system than living off it.
Today, with fewer and fewer jobs paying less and less money, it’s not possible to support the system when people are living longer and longer. Well, one solution would be to have more men employed in good-paying jobs. But that cuts into corporate profits so it’s a no-go.
The best way to keep Social Security afloat is to drastically reduce the number of beneficiaries. We can’t have a Logan’s Run domestic policy (that is, euthanizing people once they reach a certain age), but why not have the old men perform a useful function as they expire? Like kamikazes but with a new wrinkle…actually lots of wrinkles. If some old guy goes down and hollers, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”…just leave him there. If no one’s looking, you can administer a compassionate killshot and put him out of his misery.
Of course, bolstering Social Security alone would justify drafting old men. But there is more.
Medicare is in as much trouble as Social Security. A high body count of geezers would go a long way towards putting this program on a sound financial footing. Think of the millions saved by eliminating old guys before they get to those expensive knee and hip replacements, not to mention chronic cardiovascular problems, kidney dialysis, or cancer in its numerous manifestations.
Ironic, isn’t it? For generations, social critics have lamented that the warfare state has diverted funds that would be better spent by the welfare state. Now we can turn the tables so the warfare state benefits the welfare state!
But I’ve saved the best for last. Namely, the benefits for women!
As we all know, men die earlier than women. All well and good, but the guys aren’t dying off fast enough. By accelerating the death rate for men and reinforcing Social Security and Medicare, there will be more funds available for women in their golden years. Call it posthumous white-knighting.
Speaking of women, for any senior who manages to survive combat, there may be some young hottie out there who’d love to be a war bride. Judging by all those internet pop-ups, there are countless Russian, Asian, and Eastern European women out there who want to meet American men regardless of age. What better way to meet foreign women than a foreign war?
Now I’m not expecting old men to be overly enthusiastic about my proposed policy. They may conclude that the USA is no country for old men and the time has come to emigrate. During the Vietnam war, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau welcomed American refugees from conscription. Start drafting old men today and perhaps we’ll be able to say that again.
All men, young and old, must acknowledge their disposability. That being the case, doesn’t it make sense to dispose of the old and unproductive and keep the young and productive…until they become old and unproductive?
The welfare state can be a well-oiled machine if we’re willing to lubricate it with the blood of old men.
Come on, grandpa. You can’t live forever. Why not take one for the team?