The following is an unsigned editorial published by The Daily Princetonian on Feb. 12, 1980, during the tenure of Elena Kagan ’81 as editorial chairman.
An anti-registration, anti-draft, anti-war movement again sweeping the country? Not quite, unfortunately. The only “movement” we can see today is in the other direction — toward an era in which myopic and over-sensitive “national pride” precludes the thoughtful search for alternatives to an unnecessary draft registration. At today’s noon rally, however, Princeton students can demonstrate that they view registration as a dangerous and unacceptable method of settling our current problems.
Some have argued that registration can be separated from the possibility of draft and of war — that it is in fact a “peaceful” move, more likely to deter than encourage war. We do not believe this is so. The threat of a military force is implicit in draft registration. Thus, to say that the proposal is a peaceful move, in this developing cold war atmosphere, is misleading at best. Registration is a necessary condition for wartime mobilization. And if war is not inevitable, neither are its prerequisites inevitable — nor desirable.
At stake is not simply the adoption of Carter’s proposal — although it is, in itself, something we deeply oppose. After all, the rally is not just for the 19- and 20-year-olds recently pinpointed for registration. We should also demonstrate against the proposal because it is a manifestation of a growing militarism in which politically motivated bravado plays too large a part.
We urge all students to attend the anti-registration rally at noon on Cannon Green today. By showing concern, we can impress upon our leaders our opposition to their unreasonable, militarist policies.
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