I’ll go one step further. I was in high school during the Vietnam War, and my male classmates were subject to the draft after graduation.
Virtually NOBODY wanted to fight in that war. Every single friend or friend of a friend I know tried to get out of going. Here were the methods:
- Get a medical deferment. These were hard to get, unless you actually HAD a disqualifying medical condition, and otherwise limited to people with “pull”.
- Get into the Reserves. Few slots were available, and thus this was also well known to be limited to people with “pull”. George W. Bush used this route.
- Head for Canada. In that I was in New York close to the border, there were no shortage of these.
- Try for one of the rare academic deferments. These got rare after enrollment in college stopped being an automatic deferment. It was reserved for unusually high achieving students. Bill Clinton wrote many letters to many important people insuring he stayed in this classification.
- Enlist in the Air Force or Navy. The worst and most dangerous classification was an Army draftee; you were going to end up infantry in Vietnam. OTOH, if you were already in the Air Force or Navy, you weren’t going to be an infantryman. This pretty much insured you would have a more comfortable and safer assignment, but you had to serve longer, usually five years (draftees served two).
- Enlist in the Army. This seems counterintutitive, but if you were drafted, you were low man on the totem pole and you were going to spend your two years in Vietnam infantry. If you enlisted for a longer term, the Army considered you a possible career soldier, and you had a high probability of being billeted outside of Vietnam.
In the 1990’s, the GOP lambasted Clinton for being a “dodger”. This was incredibly hypocritical, because the people doing the lambasting knew full well what I posted above. Anyone who could get out of that nightmare did. In fact, most of the lambasters tried to get out of it as well, then pretended they didn’t (unless they did).
Now, it’s probably a bit less hypocritical for a guy like Cenk to go after Trump this way — — after all, Cenk is a younger person who has no experience of actually BEING a young man of draft age in the 60’s and early 70’s; he was still being bottle-fed in the early 70’s.
But it certainly, as you point out, exhibits a rather amazing lack of knowledge of those years. Nobody wanted to go; almost everyone did what they could to avoid it. If Trump used daddy’s pull to avoid it, more power to him. Vietnam was a morally illegal exercise, and there is no reason why the citizenry should blithely cooperate with their government when their government goes out of its way to kill them.