The gnawing questions around our deep divisions as a nation inspired an opinion piece on the topic of national service I wrote recently for America, a widely read Catholic magazine of ideas.
The piece was sparked by a conversation I’d had at a recent dinner with two senior military officers, both fellows at the Council on Foreign Relations, on the subject of a mandatory year of national service. While the officers stressed that a return to the draft would be impractical, the conversation got me to thinking more broadly about the concept of shared service.
It’s been said that there are only two ways to unite a fractious nation: a common threat (as occurred in 2001) or a common project. My hope is that this proposal might help us think more along the lines of the latter — and less, the former.
I hope you’ll have a look at it… and add your comments.