Here are some fundamental issues that our legislature and the military are going to have to address (in the long-standing spirit of our government passing laws first, then figuring out how to implement them and deal with the consequences later).
First and foremost, the Pentagon performed a survey, in which 115,000 military personnel were surveyed and 70% said they felt serving with openly gay service members would not affect their unit's ability to function. They said the Marines and Army combat units had a lower result, but ironically, did not say what percentage that was (ironic, because they flaunt the 70% in the face of opponents, but throw out a magical un-quantified number, that hurts their cause - a typical media and political ploy).
A Pentagon study released earlier this month concluded that allowing openly gay or lesbian troops to serve in the military would have little lasting impact on the U.S. armed forces. Opposition to the change was much higher in Army and Marine combat units than in the military as a whole.So how does that 115,000 stack up to the total military size?
As of September 30, 2010 1,430,895 people are on active duty in the military with an additional 848,000 people in the seven reserve components.That is 2.3 million, so the survey considered roughly FIVE PERCENT. Well, why is this bad? You might say this is a good number, considering most national polls survey a few thousand, out of hundreds of millions? WELLLL it's because while the mysterious number of Marine and Army Combat unit members that they kept a secret from us in their articles, DID indicate opposition to this measure, the MAJORITY of people surveyed were not the men and women fighting in the trenches, marching down streets in Iraq, or located remote bases in Afghanistan mountains... those would be too hard to get to. So where do you get 5% of your feedback in under nine months? Yeah, state-side units, reservists, shore duty, or maybe a survey distributed on a ship/boat by the Commanding Officer (no intimidation factor there... don't make the boss look bad or it's your career).
The point being, a state-side supply or administrative unit may not be affected by serving with openly gay members, but men and women in the trenches, fighting and dying, DO FEEL that this would impair their ability to fight. Does it matter if someone can't file a form properly? No. Does it matter if people can't trust someone to fight by their side, and that their COMBAT unit's ability to effectively perform is impaired? Hell yes it does. The military is about combat, not administrative finesse. If the combat sector feels this is going to detrimentally impact combat operations, then that should be the number being looked at, NOT the overall whole number supporting this legislation.
Next of course, is the manner in which this bill was pushed through:
Obama and fellow Democrats were pushing for a speedy repeal, before the more conservative incoming Congress is seated the first week of January. Gates warned that court challenges to "don't ask, don't tell" could force an abrupt repeal of the policy, rather than the process in the legislation that would allow the military to manage the change on a longer timetable.So, you get your ass handed to you in the mid-term elections, then quickly, in a lame-duck session, try to shove your liberal agenda down the throats of not only the men and women serving and risking their lives, but also down the throat of the American people that just sent the liberals a huge message (a provervial "middle-finger" if you will) in the elections, not even two months ago...
I am tired of reading about what surveys say. "Random" surveys are crap. We do not know the demographic, who got selected, how or why, and who was excluded and why. We do not know how many were sent out, and who chose not to respond. If surveys were a legitimate form of government, we would not need to vote, because CNN, NBC, and FOX news could just do a brief survey of a "representative" population, and just go with that. Remember when John Kerry was supposedly beating George W. Bush in the exit polls on election day? How did that work out for him? You can make statistics say anything you want to, with the proper manipulation, inclusing, exclusion and interpretation of data. That's why statistics doesn't fall under a math major in college, but is it's own field of study... BECAUSE IT IS NOT MATH.
I passed up an exit poll on Bush-Kerry election day, because some hippie looking girl with crusty dreadlocks, sitting on the hood of her car that was all plastered up with bumperstickers promoting peace, every Democratic candidate in the last 20 years, the environment, anti-war, anti-establishment, and anything else liberal you could imagine, stopped me on my way back to work, to ask me if I would talk to her about who I voted for. I passed... I imagine welfare-moms, the unemployed, liberal college kids and the otherwise outspoken albeit misguided liberal activists, couldn't pass up an opportunity to tell someone what they thought, but some of us had work to get back to, and are a bit more grounded in reality. There's your first error margin in your "random survey".
More significantly, however, is the risk any service member would take, by actually stating their opinion on the matter. State you are against gays in the military, and a few months down the road, get a few openly gays in your unit, reporting to you... anytime they get disciplined or written up (a fairly frequent occurrence in the military) it's now because you are anti-gay. You recommend someone else for a promotion, or give someone else better evaluations, and again, you are discriminating. No intelligent soldier/sailor, with any amount of foresight, would put themselves in a position to be rail-roaded later on, for stating their honest-to-god opinion... their careers would be over being honest in a random survey. There is your other error margin in your "random survey".
I like how Hillary Clinton said:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Saturday's vote a "historic step forward ... toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values."In other words, a politician who NEVER served in the military, NEVER risked her life (unless you count the fabricated story she told a few years back about arriving on an airfield, under fire, having to run for cover... that COULD have been very scary if it were true) and knows absolutely NOTHING about military life and values, can make broad statements like this and feel justified in doing so. Wasn't her husband a draft dodger? Just saying...
From the link above:
In the 111the 110Reserves and the National Guard. Several members, in both the House and the Senate, are stillserving as Reservists. As noted above, one Senator is a former Secretary of the Navy.The number of veterans in the 111Representatives, 69 Senators) in the 91th Congress there are 120 members who have served in the military, six fewer than inth Congress.The House has 95 veterans (including one Delegate); the Senate 25. These members served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, as well as during times of peace. Some have served in theth Congress reflects the trend of a steady decline in the number of members who have served in the military. For example, there were 298 veterans (240 Representatives, 58 Senators) in the 96th Congress (1979-1981); and 398 veterans (329st Congress (1969-1971).
"...the military is not a democracy. Sixty-three years ago, the question waswhether to racially integrate the armed forces. About 80% of servicemembers opposed the idea, but President Truman enforced the shift by executive order in 1947. A segregated military is now unthinkable. Today, the troops are far more accepting of change, but some lawmakers are blocking the move for reasons that smack largely of politics or prejudice."