I was extremely disheartened — indeed disgusted — by the responses of Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie to the idea of drafting women equally with men into the military, now that Obama has decreed they can volunteer for combat duty. (There is, of course, no draft currently so the question is whether women should be forced to register for the draft as men are, in anticipation of future need.)
I could give you arguments on women in combat, but for the moment I will defer to those of Marine Captain Katie Petronio on the way combat-like conditions deteriorate women’s bodies more than men’s. My reaction was more visceral than that, and it was intensified by the way one candidate — Christie — dragged his own daughters into the conversation. Really, you big tough guys running for commander-in-chief want to send your daughters to war on an equal basis with your sons? Really?
Here is a clip of Rubio’s and Bush’s and Christie’s responses to the question of drafting women:
Ted Cruz was not asked the question, until he hit the campaign trail, when Cruz’s answer on drafting women made me, for one, want to stand up and applaud:
“It was striking that three different people on that stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military,” Cruz said. “I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was: Are you guys nuts?”
“We have had enough with political correctness — especially in the military,” Cruz said to loud applause in the town building. “Political correctness is dangerous, and the idea that we would draft our daughters, to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close contact — I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.”
Cruz pointed to his daughters to complete the contrast with those rivals.
“I’m the father of two little girls. I love those girls with all my heart. They are capable of doing anything in their hearts’ desire, but the idea that their government would forcibly put them in the foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them, doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.