Policy Should Never Trump Integrity
Maybe you’ve seen the video of Arizona Senator John McCain practically calling a reporter a liar when it comes to the military’s handling of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy effecting gays and lesbians serving in the military (click here to see the video). Mr. McCain was adamant. He didn’t care what evidence anybody could produce to the contrary. Mr. McCain was insistent that the military does not actively search the emails of its personnel to find people who were homosexual. Mr. McCain said he knew people in the military and based on that knowledge alone he would defend the entire military. It was impossible that anybody there would do anything otherwise. People in the military simply do not do anything that goes against policy.
And to think that at one time this man was the conservatives’ best shot at obtaining the White House.
Mr. McCain’s support of the entire military might have been admirable if it wasn’t so bullheaded. He simply refused, or at least said he refused, to understand that there are people in the military who would use military resources to actively find homosexuals in the military who never made their sexual orientation an issue of their service. Mr. McCain didn’t care what anybody said, it simply doesn’t happen. It is totally impossible and any thought of an investigation to determine if anything might be different is a total waste of time and not worth his attention. The military would never do anything to harm any gay or lesbian person serving in the armed forces. It simply isn’t something that people in the military are concerned about.
This is interesting because just the other day every last Republicans serving in the United States Senate voted against any change to the military’s policy towards homosexual serving because of its potential harm to the military machine. There are way too many people serving in the military who are so against anybody wearing their unorthodox sexual orientation openly that they would be willing to abandon their service to their country as a protest to an end to the current status quo. But Mr. McCain will insist that these same people would never do anything to harm the career of their fellow homosexual soldiers. Can you really have it both ways?
I suffer from no illusion that there are people who are willing to give up their military career to keep our homosexual brothers and sisters in their rightful place. A gay or lesbian soldier enjoying the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts is simply not the American way. Too many of us feel that we need to have strong reminders to people who are different in order to keep our mindset of heterosexual superiority.
Everyone knows that homosexuals serve in our armed forces right along with their heterosexual counterparts. Even the people in the military who would like to rid the military of all gay and lesbian personnel know that these people are serving. That’s probably why they would be so willing to break the rules to expose the homosexuals among us. To think otherwise is to pull a maneuver that’s the equivalent of sticking one’s head in the sand or plugging one’s ears with one’s index fingers.
Our military is not an organization of saints. This is the same organization that is associated with the Abu Ghraib correctional facility scandal that exposed the physical and mental abuse of so many Iraqi citizens at the hands of so many military personnel. True, only a handful of military personnel were prosecuted for those crimes. But to think that a few grunts at the bottom of the military chain organized that entire fiasco is to truly underestimate the deviousness of the military machine.
Like any organization of hundreds of thousands of people, the personnel that comprise the military run the gamut of human behavior. That’s why it’s such an asinine statement to say that it is totally impossible that anyone in the military can be bastard enough to destroy somebody’s career out of spite. Personally, I know a lot of people who have served in the military and a good percentage of those people don’t have the integrity to change a light bulb let alone keep their nose out of the affairs of fellow soldiers despite what Mr. McCain might insist on to the contrary.
Believe it or not, I can appreciate the military machine of the Untied States. I like the fact that the mightiest military on the face of the earth is intended to keep us safe. But that intention can be easily misconstrued for an alternative purpose. And just like the military keeps us safe, we need to do our best to keep our military safe. We can’t afford to pretend that corruption in our military is such an impossibility that we cannot entertain the thought of examining evidence that might prove otherwise. Our military deserves better. The people in the military serve to protect the freedoms of all Americans and not just the ones who happen not to be homosexual.
Some people are homophobic. They hate gays and lesbians to the point that they would actively wreck the careers of their fellow soldiers for whatever reason floats their boat. Like all citizens of the Untied States, people in the military are free to hate that which they may hate. But they cannot discriminate against people solely on the basis of that hate. People in the military are just as capable of breaking laws and policies as anybody else. You’d think that somebody who would want to be President of the Untied States would work to protect all its citizens despite their sexual orientation. Mr. McCain proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we cannot sit back under same false assurance that somebody else can handle things on our behalf.
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