Monday, December 20, 2010

equality in the military? Do tell!

This is a little off topic for me and for the general scope of this blog, but in recognition of the Senate's vote to repeal the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", I thought I would take a shot at placing the change in a broader context.

I was inspired to comment mostly because in the last few years, and particularly during the last round of presidential primaries, the repeal of "DADT" became a big deal, and in the popular consciousness DADT became a sort of shorthand for "closed minded" or "oppressive" policy; the more nuanced reality is that DADT came into being as a compromise in an era of more oppressive policies directed at LGBT people.

President Clinton had his good points and his flaws (that man wore his flaws on the outside like a tweed jacket), but he also knew how to compromise in pursuit of making an untenable and awful situation into one slightly less awful.

The repeal of DADT is a step closer to the utopia of all men/women being equal in the eyes of the law.

My hope is that at some point we all realize that we're in the same boat together.

1 comment:

  1. ... and tank ... and airplane ... and...

    But anyway, thank you for the post. I appreciate the nod to the nuance, and the discussion of compromise.

    I've been thinking in my engineering work about compromise. There's a guy questioning work I did a couple of years ago, someone who is in no position to do so, someone who has no idea the context in which the work was done. It's much easier to do perfect work, zero compromise, and get absolutely nothing done. Doing the extra stuff, the perfect-seeking stuff, makes things "better." Better, always with the assumption that something would have come to completion at some point. But that's a terrible assumption in engineering.

    I can totally see how Clinton holding out for total equality probably would have hit the wall. I just wish the DADT transition stage hadn't had to last so long.