Friday, December 03, 2010

Can we all just agree that McCain won't ever support DADT's repeal?

The DADT report is out, and as suspected, it shows a military that is rather unfazed by the idea of gays and lesbians in the army being allowed to be openly gay or lesbian. This report was the BIG CONDITION that John McCain had on repealing DADT. That is, of course, after his prior condition that military leaders support the repeal actually came to pass. Now that the military leaders and service members have demonstrated their support for the repeal, McCain should support it, right?

Of course not! Now he has new objections to why the demonstrated support isn't enough to win his. He wants to have a study on the DADT study! It should be abundantly clear by now that the repeal of DADT will never win McCain's support, no matter how many high ranking members and reports tell him we should--because members support it and because it's just the goddam right thing to do. McCain is reneging on his earlier pledges to act because he doesn't want it repealed and will keep coming up with excuses as to why he shouldn't support DADT's repeal. Even if it means disagreeing...with himself.

Last night's Daily Show hits the nail on the head:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaypocalypse Now
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorThe Daily Show on Facebook

Watch here in Canada.

This is just one issue among McCain's several flawed lines of thinking regarding this policy: 

  • As long as gays and lesbians don't say anything, they are fine: not true, there are many ways that officers get around this, including invading privacy, to find out if someone is gay, aside from their telling.
  • Not being able to "tell" is a fine way to live: I'd like to see heterosexual people live the way gays and lesbians have to in the military, without photos of their partners, without being able to fly back home in the case of serious illness or death of a partner, without being able to say "I love you" on phone calls, of having to hide all those little things that part of our everyday lives that "reveal" our sexuality.
  • It's not hurting the military: anytime well-qualified women and men that we've invested time and money into is discharged under DADT, we lose.
  • The right question isn't how would repeal affect the military, but should it be repealed: no, this is a matter of justice. If service members don't really care about gays and lesbians being open, then it won't disrupt unit cohesion. If it won't disrupt unit cohesion, there is no logical argument for why it shouldn't be repealed, even for conservatives.
  • We should make civil rights decisions based on what won't disrupt the dominant group's lives or how people "feel" about it, rather than on what's right: if we had asked the south if schools and lunch counters should integrate, what would the response have been? In fact, the military was much less supportive of racial integration than they are of DADT. But the military integrated because it was right, not because it was popular. One important way that prejudice can be overcome is by contact in conditions of equality (i.e. peer-peer). Our nation's institutions should lead the way, not lag behind.
And who crowned McCain king of all things military? McCain is part of the old guard, the old ways of thinking--he's part of the generation who did not encounter gays and lesbians in every day life and his prejudice is steadfast. It's time to let the new blood make these decisions.

(Cross posted to Speak Truth to Power)

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home