Do I See A Hand Up At the Back?

You've heard it, someone saying, "I got out of jury duty by telling them. . ." Of course, there are a few valid excuses for not serving a civic role like jury duty. Mostly, though, people are just escaping personal inconvenience and putting their burden on someone else. Shame on you. Shame on me. But the country needs more than jury duty volunteers; they needed us during this election as poll workers. See, we were a half million poll workers short and that's not trivial given record electorate turnout. Unless we permit Privatization of the Election Poll Workers (Holy Gadzooks, what a great business plan!), we can't expect that companies are just going to let workers mosey on down to 'help out' out of the goodness of their hearts. Nah, won't fly. We can DO so much better. While we're examining how to DO better, put people to work, and build a better Democracy 'Plaza' [and I don't mean the one in NYC], we need to think about EQUITY -- sharing the responsibilities of democracy, b e y o n d the domestic front. If we can get workers to jury duty, then to election/poll duty, we can get them to International Service duty too. You know, let's give more of those 18-30 year olds who are serving abroad a break to come home for awhile while you and I temporarily fill positions in the commissary, supplies, laundry, transport, medics, chaplaincy and the like. Heresy? Nah. . . Just think about it. All of these major corporations that have invested millions in corporate training directed at following procedures, filing reports, customer service, and quality engineering like Dell Computer, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Walmart, Ford, Merck (they may have some time on their hands), and P&G. These are all skills that the military would highly value in non-combat roles. A month's exchange could be wildly enlightening to civilians about BOTH the needs of the military and those of occupied people. Going back to wearing that skimpy blue vest might look like heaven on earth after wearing 40 lbs. of armour. But most importantly, it's a way to give back and to share the load -- you know -- what we do when we act upon our civic duties by serving on Juries, by Voting and apparently by participating in bringing Democracy to another country. . . ready or not.