Sunday, December 19, 2010

Democrats Do Republicans a Favor, Kill Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Saturday, Democrats and some Republicans banded together to kill the 17 year old "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy toward gays serving in the United States military. The vote was 65-31 to pass. Eight Republican Senators voted to end the policy.

Democrats did Republicans a huge favor.

This was one of those generational issues where Republicans were stuck on the wrong side of the issue, i.e. the side supported by older voters. Although Democrat Bill Clinton was commander-in-chief in office when the policy was enacted, the mood of the country toward homosexuality has changed significantly in the 17 years since the policy was enacted. People forget that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was at the time a compromise between those who wanted to boot all homosexuals out of the military and those who didn't want any restriction at all.

The polling shows DADT with little support among younger voters. Among elderly voters, the policy remained popular. My generation straddles the political divide with the result being you'll find many people my age on both sides of the issues.

DADT is not so much as a Republican v. Democrat, Conservative v. Liberal issue. It is a Young v. Old issue. Long term, the younger voters always win. Republicans were stuck defending a position supported by people who were dying off.

I don't understand about what all the fuss is about. All I care about is whether a solider can do his or her job. If someone is offended about serving next to an openly gay soldier, then that person has the problem, not the gay soldier. We should not have policies which force gay soldiers to remain in the closet for fear of losing their jobs.

The same "morale of the troops" argument was used against integrating our military. When President Harry Truman signed an executive order in 1948 integrating the troops, a Gallup poll showed that 63% of American adults endorsed the separation of blacks and whites in the military while only 26% supported integration. Truman proved to be on the right side of history on that issue. You won't find anyone - except perhaps those in the Klan- who would today defend racial segregation in the military. It will be the same thing a decade from now when it comes to homosexuals serving in our military.

DADT is gone. Good riddance.

1 comment:

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

You and I are in 100% agreement on this one, Paul!