Congress has been very willing in recent decades to give the presidency its constitutional authority to start wars. That is not the province of the presidency. Our Founding Fathers [gave that responsibility] to Congress. Only Congress can declare war.
Here’s my idea: any time Congress or the President or both are about to plunge our country into war abroad, every able-bodied and age-qualified child or grandchild of every senator and representative is immediately drafted into the armed services.
This prospect will ensure that Congress will pull back its responsibility to declare war and will have a deliberative, open process of committee hearings and witnesses, all the way from citizens to retired admirals and generals—who tend to be more willing to wage peace, having known the bloodiness of war.
It’ll be a one-page bill and it will prevent a lot of wars, a lot of human sacrifice here and abroad, a lot of boomerangs against our own safety, and a lot of taxpayer dollars that would be better applied rebuilding America than blowing up countries overseas, countries that never threatened us.
Ralph Nader is a political activist and consumer advocate. He’s run for president multiple times, most notably as a candidate for the Green Party.