It turned out that the Vietnam War never really ended — it changed its name and location, but as far as I can see, the questionable justifications have not changed. Politicians tell us that the people “over there” are different from us, but really those people are our cousins. I think we need politicians who will try harder to make diplomacy work. I hear stories all the time about people joining the military because they can’t find a decent job. Forty years after the draft dodgers were offered pardon, their message still matters: being able to choose what you’ll fight for is a freedom worth fighting for.
The 1960s were a volatile time for America, and the embodiment of that turmoil can be found in the Vietnam War protests. Many men showed their defiance of the War by dodging the draft. Unfortunately, these men have not been recognized as the cultural heroes that they are: they have not been pardoned for their then-illegal actions. By issuing a pardon, our President would issue a broad societal acknowledgement of the power that war protest can have.
I personally do not agree with the idea of a draft, unless in extremely dire circumstances. No person should be forced to fight against their will. Enough people sign up for the military that I don't see where a draft would be necessary. Let's let the people who volunteer take care of it, and leave those who don't want to alone.
It won’t be just those who are forced to enlist who will harbor negative opinions about the government and military. Loved ones and anti-war advocates will also be disapproving of the idea, especially since they know it is putting the lives of so many young citizens at risk. Rallies and demonstrations were very common during the Vietnam War draft.
Draft dodgers of Vietnam should not have been issued pardons. The law stated, at the time, that those drafted must serve, but for narrow circumstances. For these people to be pardoned is a slap in the face to every soldier who was drafted and served, who were injured or died.