Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Is No Longer The Law of the Land

From the Boston Globe:

No move is imminent, as there are remaining logistical issues that the university has to work out with the military. But (Harvard President) Faust’s show of receptiveness, which looks to be replicated at other universities with historically tense relations with the military, is a positive step. Bringing ROTC back would prove that the universities’ steadfast stances had been the product of honest and open concerns about discrimination, rather than an expression of reflexive anti-military sentiments. Students would have a better chance to serve their country, and the Pentagon would find itself with a new source of highly educated recruits at a time when its need for men and women with special training is at an all-time high. Whether in foreign languages or science, the skills learned at top universities are increasingly applicable to the military.
I can see no harm to either the military or to the Ivies from having ROTC on campuses. I'm adopting a wait-and-see approach, though, before I laud the Ivies.

I was with the editorial authors until I got to this part:

The universities’ anti-ROTC policies were justified during the long period when the military discriminated against gay and lesbian service members.

The military discriminates against all sorts of people--as it must, by federal law. It's not the military's policy that was against gays, it's the law. It's not the military's policy that keeps women out of direct combat roles, it's the law. It's not the military's policy that keeps all sorts of people out, it's the law. These schools should protest against the Congress, not the military.

My favorite funny example: when I was in the army, and I kid you not on this, all males had to have a penis. No winkage, no service. What possible legitimate reason did that rule have? I can't think of one, except for an inability to participate in the "this is my rifle, this is my gun" chants. If we kept out people with no balls, our current president and the vast majority of the Congress couldn't have served. Of course, most of them didn't.

My point in all this is, do we "justify" keeping ROTC off of campus until every social goal is accommodated in the military? Of course not. So why do we focus on DADT? To ask the question is pretty much to answer it.


MikeAT said...


Remember my comment on “...the Pentagon hasn’t moved far enough in integrating midget transgendered male lesbians into the submarine force and we cannot support ROTC on campus until that abuse of equal rights is corrected…”

A Rational Republican said...


I share your frustration. I paid my way through Stanford on an Army ROTC scholarship. The school was perfectly happy to take the money, but would not allow ROTC on campus.

It always felt to me like the DADT policy was simply another excuse for Stanford to maintain its anti-military bias. Before DADT, it was the Vietnam War. I wonder what Stanford's next excuse will be.

While the switch to an all-volunteer military was an overwhelmingly positive development, I think our country lost one important thing - a deep connection to our nation through military service. Now most Americans are completely disconnected from the force while very small percentage of the country carries the weight of everyone else.