Wednesday, December 22

The DADT Dipsydoodle

I, like a lot of other people were captivated by the Don't Ask/Don't Tell debate that raged in Congress for most of the lame duck session and for the many years prior. As a firm believer in civil rights for all, it was not logical to be for a policy that said it was okay to serve, but don't act out sexually or talk about it--like anyone else could.

However, now that it has been defeated, I have some serious buyer's remorse. It began when I heard stories about Ivy League schools reconsidering their ROTC policies to allow on campus programs to be installed. Today, as I was reading an article on the Nation's website, it really hit home what one of the unintended consequences of DADT's repeal now is. It is an excuse to gin up the war machine's most valuable asset, new blood in the ranks and create the next generation of the Pat Tillman-like hero.

By virtue of gays and lesbians being able to serve as themselves, the message that is now out there is "if they can, why don't you man-up and join up?" It is cool to be a red-blooded American who defends the country against all enemies foreign and domestic no matter who you sleep with (except, presumably, the enemy).

For those of us who think that building up military might is against the idea of creating peace, the movement to make sure that we have the person power to fight any damn war that our government can get us into is always a bad idea. True we have a voluntary army, but now that serving is like taking up smoking--dangerous, but a rite of passage, what young person can resist?

On the other hand, if what it takes for this nation to embrace civil rights for all is heroism at war, then it could be a good thing--it worked out well for African-Americans didn't it? Didn't it?

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