Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Politics of Don't Ask Don't Tell

The blogosphere is all a flutter about the vote to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.  This has been an issue on the left for quite a while and DADT was simply a panacea done by President Clinton almost two decades ago.  A comprise that was supposed to make both sides happy.  When in reality all it did was make both sides unhappy. 

One doesn't really need to read much to know where people fall, the left is glowing in the accomplishment and the right is tearing its hair out.  I know quite a few people that are currently serving or have since left the military and the majority of them are against the change in policy. 

One went as far to tell me a very disturbing story about a gay soldier being murdered because of his sexual orientation.  What I am looking for is a rational explanation of how it is going to change our military minus the dogma.  From what I can see what the opposition to this mostly has to do with an objection to homosexuality in general.  Some of which comes from conservative Christians who firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin that will be punished in the afterlife.  I don't want to get into that aspect because that comes honestly from their belief system and there is nothing that will change that.  I also read many saying that this shouldn't be discussed during a time of war.  I don't think making any major changes during a time of war is a good thing, but would these same people approve of the policy if we were not in Afghanistan?  It seems like a straw argument since the leaders of the military have said that the policy is going to be done slowly and carefully. 

It is a fact that our military has gay people.  It is a fact that many other western nations allow openly gay people to serve, and there doesn't seem to be the problems that some on the right say will happen.  But did we actually look into the what if any problems they do have?  What type of adjustments did Britain go through when their policy change?  Does the Canadians have any words of wisdom?  I heard the other day that while there is no reliable data on the percentage of gay people in our armed forces it is thought to be about 10% which closely resembles society at large.  Are the Canadians and the British having problems with straight people being sexually harassed by gay people?  Is there a rash of unwanted advances? 

Our military has very strict rules about sexual conduct and harassment already in place since women were allowed to enter.  These rules will not change or even be loosened by this policy change.  So my question is what do people who are opposed to this policy think will change? 

But, I also have questions about the other side of the aisle.  The far loony left has nothing but disdain for our military.  Some go as far as calling them murderers and other choice names.  The claims are baseless and make them sound like lunatics.  So why the big push to allow gay people to openly serve?  It doesn't make any sense to me.  Why would they push so hard to get a group of people that they champion for the right to serve in an institution that they have zero respect for?  It would seem to me that they don't anyone to serve.  What is the rational explanation?  I read something yesterday saying that if gays were not allowed to openly serve you must favor the draft then.  Where would that train of thought come from?  If it didn't get repealed we would have to go the a draft because no one serve?   We have never allowed openly gay people and our military for the most part has always been volunteer.  We have had drafts in the past, but generally speaking we do not.  The left wants to completely ignore the facts that this could cause major upset to the people who are serving.  There is always fear when any major change comes along.  The left is acting like this fear doesn't exist and it is simply bigotry.  It is more complicated than that.  It isn't black or white.  There is a great deal of gray here. 

Is this just one more example of people using an issue to push their own agenda without any thought to affect of what happens once the policy is settled?  This is an issue that is a big deal.  Our national security depends in part on a military than can protect us and our freedoms.  Why didn't we have an honest debate about the real issues and the things that really will change without all the flowery rhetoric?  Doesn't our military deserve more? 


hometown guy said...

The study that the Pentagon completed was, i believe, wide-ranging and in depth and studied all of the things you bring up. A lot of people inside and outside the military had the same concerns, which was one of the reasons such a comprehensive study was undertaken.
According to the study, the people who were most in favor of repeal were those who had served directly with a gay person.

Just a conservative girl said...

From what I understand it is the people that are on the front lines that are the most against it. The combat troops of both the Army and the Marines.

So, I think that these will be last to be integrated. Which I don't quite understand how one would do it that way.

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