Friday, May 28, 2010
Our Gay Army: Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell
By Alan Caruba
I suspect there were always gay soldiers in any army throughout history. I also suspect most of them kept their “sexual orientation” to themselves. Armies are composed primarily of men and they still do the real fighting.
One can reach back to World War Two to recall women’s units that served our nation well. In Israel, women are an integral part of its defense forces because it has always been a tiny nation under siege and must perforce include them.
On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to approve an amendment to the Defense authorization bill that would repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”, a policy initiated by the Clinton administration as a sop to its liberal base. It was not the most auspicious start to his two terms. An amendment by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) passed the House on a 234-194 vote. It would repeal the policy that prohibits homosexuals from serving in the military.
Rep. Murphy is an Iraq war veteran and former West Point professor. At least he served. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee who has no military experience released a statement saying, “By sending home more than 13,500 qualified patriotic service members willing and fit to serve this country since 1994, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has not helped keep us or our families safe.” Rep. Rothman deemed the policy “unjust.”
More damage has been done to America in the name of “social justice” than can be enumerated here.
I served in the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, most of the time at Fort Benning, Georgia. There were one or two gays in my unit. I assume some of the men with whom I served knew it and none to my knowledge expressed any concern because it did not personally affect them. One would think, based on this, I would favor gays in the military. I don’t.
I have never met an officer who thought it was a good idea. A lot of them think mixing young men and women with raging hormones is a bad idea. I do not have the statistics on how many of the women get pregnant on duty, but I suspect it may well equal the number of gays sent home.
What we are witnessing is one more example of how the mentality spawned in the 1960s regarding social and sexual issues has reached its culmination. Those were the years when women’s rights and gay rights began in earnest and, of course, when the civil rights movement gripped the nation.
These movements transformed the nation is much the same way President Obama entered office promising “transformation.” Change is not always a good thing, but no one would argue that, a century after the end of the Civil War, the nation had to finally grant full equality to Afro-Americans. The other two movements, however, have proven problematic.
To begin with, women are different from men. And gays and lesbians are different from heterosexual men and women. Women entered the work force in great numbers, often putting off marriage and babies. The divorce rated doubled. When they had babies, they often turned them over to nannies or daycare services.
A lot of children have grown up without fulltime nurturing, taking their cues about life from television, movies, teachers, and their clueless contemporaries. That half constitutes the nation’s liberals. The other half grew up in traditional families with traditional values. They are politically conservative and many have joined the Tea Party movement.
Gays (I will use the term to include lesbians) grow up with a whole set of problems heterosexuals rarely glimpse. They are, by definition, different from the majority of the population and this is cause for a great deal of emotional anguish. The gay movement has primarily been on a quest for self-esteem and, secondarily, an end to the legal hurdles they encounter.
The push for gay marriage is wrong on many levels for a society, but there is little harm in removing some of the legal obstacles they face when they choose a life partner. Even gays mimic heterosexuals when they divorce.
Letting gays serve in the military, however, is an extraordinarily bad idea.
There are distinctly male values that have real value for society. Those values are integral to military service where large groups of men serve in close quarters. Add gays and women into the mix and it creates problems for everyone. Women are still prohibited from serving in combat.
You have to be there to understand this. The fact that we have a volunteer military has deprived a large segment of our population, a younger generation, from the experience, the duty, and the honor of serving their nation under arms. Most professional military, however, believe we have a superior military because of it. We have a very "politically correct" military with all the problems attendant to that.
Those who volunteer to serve in our military are owed a debt of gratitude. However, expecting men and women to serve with gays undermines a core element of a successful military, the morale and esprit de corps vital to a fighting unit.
Removing “don’t ask, don’t tell” is just one more way to reduce the effectiveness of our serving military. It is a distinctly liberal idea, a notion of “equality” that does not reflect reality.
© Alan Caruba, 2010