(CNN) –On the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama each take the stage to discuss service and civic engagement in a forum at Columbia University.
What do you think of their ideas? How does the role of service determine what kind of nation we live in? What does national service mean to you?
Along with CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider, CNN Political Analyst Roland Martin, and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan, thousands of you weighed in.
Click "comments" below for a look at the entire conversation.
Obama is arguing for a smarter use of our military.–I love it!!!
YIKES Aubrey, you are the problem!
Determing who gets our votes in November should be simple, but it is not. How any voter with their mind on the process, and our recent history, can consider voting for Senator McCain is way beyond my comprehension. He struck a deal in 2004 with the RNC, selling out the very people he purports to "put first," with the promise of getting "his turn." To transfer the lease on our White House from George Bush (after fumigation) to John McCain will tell the world U.S. voters just don't care – about themselves, their country, or the world. I am beyond fearful that John McCain will win Election '08, and perpetuate the destruction of our country according to the Bush Plan. God help us all!
I am insulted on so many levels at the arrogance of Obama to suggest that compulsory military service is an obligation Americans are ready for. If he felt that way why in the hell didn't he serve in the armed forces when he had a chance? But listening to him claim you or your children need to serve is beyond elitism, it is communism.
McCain rightly pointed out that as government programs displace formerly volunteer programs people quit participating because they are now paying for those services to be rendered through taxes. Worse still, those benefiting from what was formerly a volunteer program start to feel "entitled" to these programs because the taxpayer is providing it to them for "free". That is the real cancer of socialism, apathy. Why should I volunteer, when someone else will do it.
Why is it that McCain adopted the "change" platform long after Obama had already made that part of his forefront? I am guessing because McCain saw that it was working, and that change is what people want. Though I applaud him for holding his ground on many issues, does this not show that McCain is just another bandwagon politician?
Oh,Bay!Come on,you talk about unity and all your statements are so very partisan.Come on!
I think his ideas on a well-rounded service plan, including actual civic troops for rebuilding Iraq (and you could apply that to the infrastructure here in the States, as well), is an excellent idea.
"Some people think the government should give them everything."
Oh, like big banks, you mean?
I agree Peace Corp. is a great organization providing excellent service to the world. I think both candidates need to address the issues at home (U.S.) frist. We need the same services that both candidates mentioned. Should be providing other countries these services first?
I don't think people have a problem serving their Counrty, I think the problem is staying in one place for seven years and seeing no way out.
Concerned: I couldn't have said it better myself!!! That's exactly what we need to do.
Why hasn't anyone focused on the simple fact that Obama has about as much time in major office as Palin?
Half-term senator (and half of that campaigning for pres) and a half-term governor.
Guess elitists like Obama cannot stand that she went to IDAHO, not HARVARD and – my gosh – doesn't even have a law degree!
Let's get clear on why this campaign is in the gutter.
McCain took it there. He's the one who brought in Rove and his cohorts.
They're the ones who are spending time on lipstick, pigs, etc. instead of concrete issues like health care, because they know they can't win if people look at the issues.
They're the ones lying their heads off, for example, saying that Obama wants to raise taxes, when the truth is everyone but the wealthy will have lower taxes with Obama than McCain.
And the media follows right along with the crap stuff instead of issues, and rarely calls them on their lies. Nice job, guys. Didn't learn anything from your rah-rah leading up to the Iraq war, did you?
Well, Obama managed to win even though Hillary got desperate and went for the gutter. Let's hope when the dust settles he'll win in November and McCain will be left in the gutter.
Risky move by Obama to support ROTC in campus. Good point Bill.
Obama is right about us needing civilian workers. My father worked as a civilian for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools, and that was a valuable service to military and civilian families alike. Now he's going to Iraq with the Red Cross. We need a lot more American civilians to go overseas!
Judy just said the magic word-Draft! How do you relive the beleaguered troops that have served two and three tours in Iraq or Afganistan?
ron – I agree with you – if asked to help, I will. I don't like being enlisted to volunteer (so the speak). My family has to come first.
I agree with you Lt Col – Sorry Roland. Who's fault is it that the inner cities are bad? I feel sorry for folks who might live there.
But there is no way you can compare it to military service (in a war zone, in a POW camp) and personally if for no other reason, McCain deserves to be President.
True Roland ... Very True
Sounds like there are alot of Democrats on the blog whining because they were out performed on the VP selection. I think MCcain will make a great President and he has skillfully picked a VP who is far more talented than both Obama and Biden. As I see it the election has been won by the enduring service John has gven and his ability to recognize talent in a VP candidate. This alone is a fine example of how well he will do as our President. Come on Republicans- step up to the plate and lets get this over with so we can get on with a prosperrous 4 years. Let Obama keep playing high school games of invstigating his oponents and trying to find another loop hole to get elected.
Dear concerned - I think you are absolutely right.
Basically he's saying keep the ROTC away from underpriviliged neighborhoods let's see how many students of elite educational institutions take the military up on their offers. 50k plus a year for school uhhh whose gonna join ROTC lol
I believe there is a shortage of Military personal is directly due to our leadership and the war in Iraq
When our leader sends our military to a war that our country and allies do not support – they should not expect people lining up to join the Armed Forces as they did in WW2
I'm Ok with R.O.T.C. on campuses.......but again when Senator McCain was serving in Vietnam there was a draft.......Senator Kerry graduated from Yale and "ENLISTED" yet his service was denigrated in the 2004 Presidential campaign by Karl Rove and the Republicans while President Bush went into the Air National Guard so he wouln't have to see "COMBAT" during Vietnam.
both canada (my country) and america are going to the polls in the next 2 months. we both want change. Jack Layton, the leader of the new democratic party admitted that his campaign has been inspired by Obama's campaign. I wish the best of luck to these leaders as only they will bring change to a prosperous North America.