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In today’s (western) world of bloated defense budgets and
imperialistic tendencies, those seeking to remodel U.S. forces for the
21st century ought to take a serious look at the Swiss military
The Swiss, you see, have been called, “The most armed, most free
nation on earth,” and they have remained so for over 400 years. The
manner in which they have fashioned their armed forces have kept them
out of innumerable conflicts, most notably both World Wars. They don’t
spend much time sending troops or, as is fashionable these days,
“peacekeepers,” to far corners of the world to be killed, sniped at, or
humiliated. And they don’t have to worry about being invaded because —
by adhering to a time-honored ideal — they know that no one is stupid
enough to take them on.
Why? Because every male in Switzerland is — by law — armed,
complemented with full military gear (required to be kept at home), and
is responsible for the defense of the nation (as well as the care of the
weapon and gear, not Swiss taxpayers).
So responsible, in fact, that the Swiss military has less than 4,000
“active duty” full time personnel but maintains an overall force larger
than the standing armies of Britain and France — at 360,000 personnel.
But more than just saving Swiss taxpayers money, this concept of
defense has long-reaching, life-saving attributes we could use in this
For example, because the defense structure is so heavily ingrained in
the Swiss psyche, untold millions of Swiss lives have been spared the
horrors of warfare that has swept Europe and the world in the 20th
century. But more than that — and because Swiss males are allowed to
use their military-issued “assault” rifles in a self-defensive manner —
Swiss society is not only extremely free, but extremely safe.
You hear that, Handgun Control, Inc.? Swiss males walk Swiss streets,
often carrying fully automatic weapons, and they don’t get hassled by
autocratic and authoritarian government bureaucrats, the police or —
most importantly — criminals. After all, what criminal in his
or her right mind wants to face a trained soldier sporting an automatic
Should the U.S. have “soldiers on the street?” Of course not — at
least, not in the sense that image conjures. But could this “militia”
model be applied to our country? You bet; the results would be an
entirely larger force (for less money), less foreign adventurism, more
lives saved (both civilian and military) — and we’d foster more respect
for our American traditions and values.
I say it’s past time for something like this. Keep enough
full-timers on to man our ships, advanced fighters and nuclear weapons
infrastructure, but take the bulk of our forces from the Swiss model of
an armed “militia.” We can — and should — do this, in the interest of
saving American lives.
No Place for the Feds
The expansion of federal law enforcement is so pervasive that earlier
this year, even the chief justice of the Supreme Court asked Congress to
quit passing so many laws requiring federal intervention. Nobody on
Capitol Hill — as usual — was listening, however, because the federal
laws and statutes are still being churned out by the reams — and this
in a supposedly conservative congressional environment.
A couple of stories yesterday illustrated just how pervasive the
federal government has become in our lives.
In New York City earlier this week, four police officers shot and
killed a Hasidic Jew who was threatening them with a hammer. After
macing and repeated attempts to get the man to drop his makeshift
weapon, he attacked a zone sergeant and another officer and had to be
put down. But since this is NYC — and anything the cops do must first
be considered unfair, racist or authoritarian until proven otherwise —
an outcry ensued in the Hasidic community where this man lived. And
now, the man’s mother is begging the feds to come in and
investigate. But the feds don’t
need to investigate this because it is a matter for New York City to
investigate or, at a maximum, the State of New York to investigate. See
the Tenth Amendment.
The second story involves child restraint seats — now the government
has issued new rules saying
seats have to have extra restraining devices to prevent them from flying
through the car due to a parents’ lack of understanding about how to
install the things.
If it were not for intrusive federal regulations, Americans would not
have been forced into buying expensive and cramping car seats in the
first place. But that wasn’t enough — now we have to have new
regulations mandating even further restrictive car seat use because —
obviously — the federal government doesn’t think you know how to take
care of your own kids.
The point — which is always the same — is this: If you let the
federal camel stick its nose under your tent, you’ll never get rid of
him. And really, we don’t need this kind of nanny watching our kids.
The GOP’s Third Party Excuse
A popular talk show host — I won’t mention his name — was lamenting (again) yesterday
that the reason why Bill Clinton is in office is because third party
candidate Ross Perot “spoiled” the 1992 and 1996 elections.
Consequently, he warned his audience, if a prominent third party
candidate again makes the 2000 election scene, Republicans are in danger
of losing the White House once more. That, he admonishes, can’t be
allowed to happen because … well, he never really elaborated on the
This is nothing but an excuse, and frankly, it’s getting old — no
disrespect to the host intended.
If you’re like me, you’re sick and tired of hearing Republicans and
their cheerleaders whine about losing the White House because of a third
party candidate. Buck up, boys and girls; you didn’t lose because of a
“third party candidate.” You lost because you allowed too many
Americans to entertain the notion of a third party candidate.
Republicans still don’t get this phenomenon but really, it’s quite
simple. If the mainstream candidacies of George Bush (Sr.) and Bob Dole
had been more — well — conservative, then fewer people would
have felt the need to leave the GOP in the first place.
Republicans don’t need to blame Perot or — if he goes, Buchanan —
because of the popularity of their third party candidacies. They need
to blame themselves for chasing these people away with left-leaning
shifts to the pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-government crowd
I didn’t see any prominent third party challenge to Ronald Reagan’s
presidential candidacies — I wonder why that was? It’s because Reagan,
for his faults — real and perceived — was indeed a real
My advice to the Republicans is this: If you want to keep your core
constituency from abandoning the party once again in 2000 and “spoiling”
your chances for victory, then quit alienating them by trying to emulate
the “moderate” wing of the Democratic Party. It makes conservatives
view you as exactly the same party as the Democrats. And why vote for
more Democrats — just because they have an “R” after their name?
No one wants a true conservative in the White House more than me, but
I don’t want a repackaged moderate made to look conservative for another
four — or even eight — years. We’ve just gone through two presidential
terms filled with abject socialism; we need to balance that with two or
more terms of in-your-face, abject conservatism. That may not
happen if the Republicans don’t nominate one — and soon.