Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not Asking, Telling or Caring

It seems "don't ask, don't tell" (which our media, at least, insists on designating as "DADT") is done--DADTID?  It was a strange policy, motivated by apparent concerns which I've always thought strange as well.

I've never understood the view, which is apparently still held by some, that gays don't make good soldiers.  It seems to have no basis in anything resembling reality.  History informs us of the Sacred Band of Thebes, reputedly magnificent warriors, and there is always the ultimate warrior of antiquity, Achilles, and Alexander, whom we know was a great military leader if only because "great" is part of the name by which he is known.  The cavalry of ancient Rome was said by some to be the branch of its military favored by gays.

If there is no basis on which to believe gays make bad soldiers (and the very idea that certain "groups" make bad soldiers is odd) what is/was the concern which motivated the policy, or any policy prohibiting a military career to the gays?  Fear that passes will be made on unsuspecting heterosexuals?  Hasn't Nancy Reagan had the answer for this (and of course drugs) for some time now?  If sexual assault is the concern, is there any reason to believe gays are more inclined to this than straights?  If the concern is that unfortunate prejudices will create discord, that would seem to justify all sorts of exclusions.

I don't really know just how the end of this policy will effect the processing of people into the military, but hope that the result will be that no inquiry whatsoever is made into sexual preferences.  We Americans have been fascinated by sex for far too long (perhaps this is part of our being a "Christian Nation").  I also like to think that no need is felt by any soldier (or other person) to trumpet his/her sexuality.  Simply put, sexual preference shouldn't be a concern in such circumstances.

We are an odd nation in some senses, when you think of it, that sex should be an overwhelming political concern, i.e. one which our legislators must address when there are other, seemingly more important, concerns to address.  We've always been fixated on the personal conduct of others in such matters as sex, drugs, and alcohol and have spent far too much time and money trying to regulate that conduct.  We must learn to accept the fact that this is one of many things government can't do for us.

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