Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Repealing "don't ask, don't tell"

There is a lot of talk in the news these days about "don't-ask-don't-tell." Have you noticed that the discussion is always framed as if the issue was repealing don't ask don't tell?

When you repeal something, you go back to the way it was before. For example, when prohibition was repealed, we went back to the way it was before prohibition was passed.

So if we really "repealed" don't-ask-don't-tell we would go back to the way it was before. In other words, we would go back to the pre-Clinton days when  no gay people were allowed to serve in the military. Of course that is not what gays want.

So gay rights advocates don't really want to repeal don't-ask-don't-tell. They just frame the debate in these terms because it would not be nearly as politically effective to be honest and say,
"We were never satisfied with Bill Clinton's "don't-ask-don't-tell." It was all just a ruse to get the camel's nose in the tent. What we really want is more and more and more rights. We want gay rights to trump even the first amendment! Not even churches, religious schools or missions should be allowed to exclude openly practicing gays or even preach against homosexuality. In fact, we will never be satisfied until all public opposition to homosexuality is squashed like a bug--through intimidation, the law or even violence if necessary."
Not all gay people feel this way, of course, but this certainly seems to be the agenda of many gay rights advocates.

The point is that argument about "repealing" don't-ask-don't-tell is a dishonest political ploy designed to win the argument by framing the debate. Its a little like having a debate over whether President Obama should stop beating his wife or not. If you allow the other side to frame the debate, you've already lost.

To my knowledge, no one has even challenged the way this debate has been framed.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Good post.