June 7, 2016—In a video shared on his official Facebook page recently, Sen. Rand Paul promised to introduce an amendment to the upcoming defense bill that would eliminate the risk of allowing the president to use vague authorities to ship American troops to war without the approval of Congress. In the video, Paul explains that “one generation cannot bind another generation to perpetual war.”
But it was an op-ed written by the senator that helped us have a better grasp of Paul’s ongoing fight against abusive Executive powers as a representative of Kentucky in Washington.
“When [Muhammad] Ali was drafted, he did not run away,” the Kentucky Republican wrote. “He did not go to Canada. He did not ask for special favors, treatment or even try to get a deferment.”
“He was a conscientious objector and practiced civil disobedience, a proud American tradition that runs from the Founding Fathers to Thoreau and all the way through Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ali’s own time.
The Vietnam War was regrettable for many reasons, but among them was that we forced men or women to fight in a conflict so much of the country was beginning to see as not in our national interest.
Today, we have a voluntary military that stands as the best in the world. I recently introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would end any possibility of the draft occurring ever again.
This week, in honor of Muhammad Ali’s life work, I will introduce the repeal of the draft as stand-alone legislation with his name on it. (emphasis added)”
According to Paul, Ali wasn’t against self-defense, instead, what he urged others to embrace a sane foreign policy. He was a fighter who did not leave his passion for justice in the boxing ring.
“In Ali’s day,” Rand Paul continued:
“…he spoke out against the War as well as the draft while many politicians defended it. Half the country cheered Ali’s stances and the other half booed.
But all can appreciate his efforts as we look back on the remarkable life of a true champion and Kentuckian who exemplified our ‘unbridled spirit.'”
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