Monday, December 6, 2010

The same old tired argument

 From NPR News, December 2, 2010:
McCain Calls Pentagon's 'Don't Ask' Study Flawed

Sen. John McCain rejected a Pentagon study on "don't ask, don't tell" as flawed and said it would be dangerous to allow gays to serve openly in the military during a time of war.

"I am not saying this law should never change. I am simply saying that it may be premature to make such a change at this time and in this manner," the Arizona Republican told Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen at a Senate hearing Thursday.

McCain, a decorated war veteran who has helped block debate on the issue on the Senate floor, said he was concerned that the majority of troops surveyed in Marine Corps and Army combat units thought repealing the 17-year-old law would adversely affect unit cohesion.

McCain, to the right of Sen Carl
"Combover" Levin
Here we go again, down into the tired old valley of whether or not to allow gay people to be people.  I thought that the service trained people to be reliable and responsible, following orders and commands at the behest of any and all superior officers and non-coms.  So why the fear?  And if you've ever been a supervisor, you know how polls like that go...ask any group of semi-gruntled (not everyone can be fully disgruntled) persons if they'd like to "change everything around here" and you'll get a lot of "yes!"es!
If you're telling me that you are shamelessly trotting out the old clichés about gays, get ready to trot out the ones about straights, too.  "Oh no, we can't serve with gays because they might..." does not cut it.  You probably should give up thinking that every member of your same sex wants you horizontal right now, same as the members of the opposite sex.  And by the same token, does a gay person have to live in fear that some straights are going after him or her to make them change the way they roll? 
We always hear from everyone in service life that they are just too busy to worry about messing around with anyone.  So let's toss that argument aside, and top it off with this one: I say, if you want to question courage, it takes more courage to be gay than to be straight. 
Again, leave people alone.  This McCain, I have respect for his forbearance as a prisoner of war, but not so much for the way he came home and dumped his wife, who had waited for him so patiently while he was held captive, as soon as he put down his suitcase.  He just had to run off and marry a beer baron's daughter, and then run for DC, where he made some awfully dumb statements indicating that he thought Spain was a Latin American nation and some awfully nasty ones about Chelsea Clinton's parentage. And now the "old maverick" says we can't consider the issue now because the economy is down and I think you should click on the link above and read the article.  It contains a quote from the chief of naval operations, whose name is Adm. Gary Roughhead, and you know I could not be making that up.

I think it's also worth considering that the armed forces of a nation ought to be reflective of the nation. If a certain segment of the population is not allowed free entry, how fair is that?

To me, none of these objections mean that gays can't serve in the military.  I think it's up to them.  And I think if you're so worried about them, maybe you could look into what your issues are. 

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