Even as the U.S. confronts two long wars, neither Sen. John McCain nor Sen. Barack Obama believes the country should take the politically perilous step of reviving the military draft.
But the two presidential candidates disagree on a key foundation of any future draft: Mr. Obama supports a requirement for both men and women to register with the Selective Service, while Mr. McCain doesn't think women should have to register.
Also, Mr. Obama would consider officially opening combat positions to women. Mr. McCain would not. [...]
Mr. Obama has said repeatedly that he will draw down the U.S. military presence in Iraq if he becomes president, but he has also said he would increase the number of troops in Afghanistan, where Taliban forces have seen a resurgence in recent years.
During a CNN/YouTube debate for Democratic presidential candidates last year, he said he doesn't "agree" with the draft.
But he did say women should be expected to register with the Selective Service, comparing the role of women to black soldiers and airmen who served during World War II, when the armed forces were still segregated.
"There was a time when African-Americans weren't allowed to serve in combat," Mr. Obama said. "And yet, when they did, not only did they perform brilliantly, but what also happened is they helped to change America, and they helped to underscore that we're equal.
"And I think that if women are registered for service -- not necessarily in combat roles, and I don't agree with the draft -- I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they've got obligations to this great country as well as boys do."
So, according to Obama, the only reason women have been excluded from combat roles in the military, and from registering for the draft, is because of discrimination, just like the bigotry and discrimination that kept African-Americans out of combat roles. It has nothing to do with the fact that women, generally speaking, aren't as strong as men are; and we're also generally smaller. The average height for a woman in America is 5'4"; of course, many branches of the military currently accept people less than five feet tall. But for combat?
In reality, the reason that Obama can say something so insulting about women realizing they've "got obligations" to this country is because he, and many other Americans, particularly the liberal Democrat ones, no longer value the one unique obligation women used to have, and used to be appreciated for: the obligation to be mothers to the next generation of citizens, to raise them, nurture them, oversee their educations, and make sure that in terms of virtue and a sense of responsibility they were ready to do their civic duties when the time came.
Democrats no longer believe in motherhood. They haven't for a long time, now; I realized when I read their party platform back when I was eighteen (sadly, it wasn't a presidential election year) that this was true. The party platform was full of sorrow for mothers--all those poor, poor mothers out there who couldn't even afford day care for their children, and thus had to live empty meaningless lives at home while their husbands worked in fulfilling jobs! Universal government-sponsored day care was one of their big issues then, though they've shifted now to health care instead, and are hiding the day care mandate under the cute label "early childhood education." (Motto: let's get those newborns into school! The sooner they start being exposed to the teachers' union, the sooner they'll all be good Democrats!)
Today, with so many mothers of young children working full time, the notion that a child needs anything special from his or her mother probably looks pretty stupid to the average American. Even active-duty military moms aren't discharged for pregnancy anymore, and are only given forty-two days leave after they give birth; what baby needs his or her mother longer than that? With the advent of the same-sex marriage era, we're being taught that children can be raised by two men or two women just as well as by one of each; so children just need some kind of caring adults around--or even uncaring but well-paid ones--and they'll thrive. Mothers are just incubators, and after that they're completely unnecessary excrescences, totally and absolutely replaceable. In Barack Obama's America the idea that mothers of young children--or of any children--ought to be exempt from a military draft on the grounds that their children might need them will be laughed to scorn by the feminists who hate the whole notion of motherhood.
Some of us still believe otherwise. Some of us believe that mothers are not replaceable in their children's lives. And we value fatherhood, too; but there is a difference. For we admire those fathers who serve our country; and though we know their absence is not without cost to their families, the fact is that even in a biological and psychological sense infants and young children need their mothers' nurturing and nursing and bonding in a different way than they need their fathers' presence.
Societies and cultures that forget this tend to be destroyed easier than societies and cultures that don't. A mother is not just one of many random adults who can help take care of a child; she is vital to the child, and her actions and words will have a greater influence in her children's lives than she can even imagine.