I posted last week about Meghan McCain’s essay blasting the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and her specific complaints about Pres. Obama’s lack of decisive action on the issue. The fact that the author is daughter of conservative Republican Sen. John McCain certainly adds a sense of notoriety to the subject.
I didn’t dig too much into the public disagreement between the two McCains, but I thought Sen. McCain’s recent statements about DADT warrant an examination of their opposing positions.
Meghan McCain doesn’t hold back in her post, as she addresses the very real impact that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has on our military readiness:
Now, I cannot speak for my brothers, but I know many men and women who serve in the military. Let’s give them more credit. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, I suspect it could be said that there is no homophobia in foxholes either. I find it hard to imagine that when a soldier is in a Humvee fighting terrorist insurgents, that the thing on his mind is who his fellow soldier chooses to sleep with when he’s off duty. …
Of all the things I worry about in my life, my country’s national security is by far at the forefront. I am a daughter of a famous military hero and the sister of two soldiers. Mr. President, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell makes my family and this country less safe. Put a timeline on repealing it, stop making speeches, and show me the bottom line.
Now, for a counter point… Contrast Ms. McCain’s comments with with her father’s recent statements about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy… Senator McCain, a former Navy pilot, argues that one of the keys to U.S. military power is, “good order and unit cohesion, and … any practice which puts those goals at unacceptable risk can be restricted.” His statement continued:
It has helped to balance a potentially disruptive tension between the desires of a minority and the broader interests of our all-volunteer force. … It is well understood and predominantly supported by our fighting men and women. It reflects, as I understand them, the preferences of our uniformed services … while still allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country in uniform.
I know I’ve got strong opinions about this, but I also know that my readers come from a variety of political, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds… (And yes, I really just wanted an excuse to use the phrase “socio-economic” in a sentence.)
So I’m asking for your comments. What do YOU think about the ongoing debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the U.S. military? Reply below! (No really… reply below. Do it!)