Congressman Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat challenging Senator Ted Cruz for his Senate seat this year, believes that “every young person” in America should be required to do at least one year of national service.
Speaking at a town hall on Thursday in Corsicana, a city just south of Dallas, O’Rourke said he is planning to introduce “a national service bill that would require every young person, no matter how wealthy or how poor, to spend at least a year of their lives in service to this country; in a military unit, conservation core unit, in a medical unit, in a teaching unit,” according to San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT-12 News.
O’Rourke then offered a bizarre explanation of his thinking behind the bill, telling the audience that the young Americans forced into the program would suffer together: “in some way that they’re going to help make this country better and stronger and have to sacrifice together and leave that with a shared understanding of who we are as a people.”
The liberal Congressman subsequently tried to spin the authoritarian idea under a populist veil, adding that “no kid is going to be rich enough to buy their way out of it.”
O’Rourke’s campaign promise to conscript the country’s young citizens into government service is sure to alienate Texas voters who are skeptical of big, intrusive government programs. The former El Paso City Council Member has previously attempted to establish his libertarian bona fides by criticizing strong anti-drug policies.
O’Rourke is the clear favorite to win the Democratic primary on March 6th, although he trails Cruz by 18 points in the general election, according an internal poll recently conducted by the incumbent Senator’s campaign.
Stay tuned for more.
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