In his State of the Union message, President George W. Bush announced a new volunteer effort dubbed "Freedom Corps." The same month, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) introduced legislation allowing shorter military enlistments coupled to financial incentives. Although both initiatives are admirable half steps, we need a program of universal national service.
Advocating such a policy in the pages of Proceedings may not seem terribly radical. What makes it surprising is that it reflects the sentiment of a growing contingent of downtown Manhattan (read liberal), Ivy League parents—like me—whose kids soon will be graduating from "elite" private schools.