Granted, this guy has been pushing hard with his opinion column in The Washington Post to be “village idiot” in a town full of them, but this is one of the best examples: Here Milbank desperately tries to find a point while arguing — unsuccessfully — for reinstituting the draft.
Okay…;et’s try and break this down in fifth grade dummy speak:
1) Compulsory military service is not why we have more gridlock in Washington (a good thing), but the increase in Progressive busybodies who are in direct conflict with real liberals who just want to be left to their own devices. These Progressive technocrats, who populate both major parties’ leadership, are joined by a number of super-wealthy elitists that see their success as giving them a mandate to dictate to us how to live. (For a great example, look at any disastrous Common Core curriculum note — written by people who know nothing about child psychology or development.) They are, in their minds, the New Elect — anointed of, not God, but History to rule the rest of us. For our own good, of course.
Opposing these Scions of History are the “New Media”, the technically proficient renegades, the “do it yourself” society of authors, musicians, 3D printers, Bitcoin traders, and other rebels spread around the globe. the explosion of information technology empowered these people for a brief time, but the dinosauric nation-states are finally starting to catch up and use the same technology that freed minds and ideas — and more importantly regularly exposes the ruling class for the collection of frauds, liars, and morons they are — to oppress and disinform their people.
2) The draft is a direct violation of the notion of self-ownership. Referencing Switzerland and Hellenistic Athens does not make this any less so — the Athenians and Spartans uses conscripts who were considered little more than pieces on a board to be played with, the same as every other European nation with conscription down through time. You were property of the King or State — of course they could compel your service and/or death.
A truly free society should have people who choose to serve, and a society that reveres service so that those that might put on a uniform feel inclined to do so. The attitude toward the military toward by politicians is that of a blunt instrument, to be hauled out and thrown at someone for the greater glory of whoever is in office. Despite this, the military regularly makes mission for recruitment, and has since 9/11.
3) A particular point on the Swiss, whose military is compulsory, but who do not field people around the world. Their military are required to train with the military hardware they have in their homes (oops! Sorry, anti-gunners, but that means gun=violence correlation isn’t causation.) and to muster for the defense of the nation. They aren’t being stationed in 93 countries around the world to little effect, and aren’t in uniform most of the time. Imagine how much more safe the nation would be if these people were positioned on the borders to defend against attack…but that would stop an important voting bloc from coming over the border without signing the guest book.
4) Compulsory service has always been less effective than voluntary service. Even the grousers in voluntary service have to admit they chose to be in service. Impressing someone does not gain you loyalty, hard-work, or a desire to get your brains blown all over a rice paddy. You get drug abuse, a failure to fight effectively, human rights violations, and a population that is so damaged by their enslavement that they have a much harder time integrating into society. (Your most recent case studies here would be the Korean and Vietnam wars, folks.)
5) Leaders with military experience are not more effective administrators or leaders of the public. From the brilliant strategist Julius Caesar, who was overtaken by avarice and powerlust, to his more subtle but just as tactically talented and oppressive successor, to modern examples like Presidents Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower who had administrations that were loaded with corruption and abuse of power, military leaders are used to the idea that their subordinates are lesser beings to be used as needed; they are not exemplars of civil discourse, respect for property rights and individual freedoms, nor efficiency.
6) The point of compulsory service, as with health care “reform”, Common Core, and gun control, is to create a new American who is cowed, disempowered, and rendered property of the State, and whatever man happens to claim the mantle of faux emperor because a plurality of people voted for him in an election rigged to give you two shitty choices. To that end, the political class has infested the news media, making up more than half of the pundits, experts, “reporters”, and anchors on radio, television, and “Old Media” internet services. These people seek to lie to the population in general to protect their friends. Men like Milbank are the court jesters, desperate to be invited to the American Versailles, so that they can be part of the privileged few.