There's been much controversy about a Pentagon survey that was sent recently to enlisted men and women, seeking their views on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).
The survey asks such questions as how unit morale might be affected under a gay commander and how a repeal might affect willingness to serve in the military. One multiple-choice query asks, “If a gay or lesbian service member was living with a same sex partner on base, what would you most likely do?” with the answer options ranging from “I would get to know them” to “I would probably move off base” to “I would key their car and write ‘F.A.G.' on their footlocker.” OK, the last one was not an actual option, but it might as well have been. The question is every bit as bigoted as if it had asked, “How would you feel if a couple of Jews moved next door?”
However, as obnoxious as the survey seems, the real question is: Why are we even asking the troops? It doesn't matter what they think. It wouldn't matter if every enlisted person, from brigadier general to the grunt who peels potatoes, were to express contempt for the repeal of DADT, because the military works for us. And by “us,” I mean the citizens of the United States, occupants of the land of the free and subscribers to an equality-granting Constitution, which, incidentally, every member of the armed forces took an oath to uphold and defend. It doesn't matter what they think about DADT because, in the military, it's Don't Ask, Just Tell—as in, don't ask the soldiers what they think, just tell them how it's gonna be and deal with it.
Proponents of the survey say it's important to learn how a repeal will affect the fragile egosystem that is troop morale, which is funny because I don't recall any surveys asking how their morale is affected by crappy medical coverage and inadequate armor. Nobody asked them how they felt about the probability of coming home with a craniumcrushing case of PTSD. I never heard of a questionnaire that asked the soldiers, “How will your morale be affected when your buddy's head suddenly explodes and his brainbits splash all over your face and neck?” We don't ask because the military is not a democracy. Neither is America, for that matter. We are, thank Christ, a federal republic.
The founders knew there was a problem with democracy, and the problem is majority rule, which sounds righteous except I've met The Majority and The Majority blows ass-clarinets. The Majority is arrogant, selfish and stupid. The Majority is a mob without torches and pitchforks. If a survey had been given to the students of the infamous, all-white Topeka, Kan., elementary school, circa 1951, asking if they wanted desegregation, the majority would have responded, “Are you flippin' nuts?!” Ditto the general public, which felt desegregation would damage student morale and disrupt the classroom. But it didn't matter what the students or the public thought. It mattered what the Constitution thought, and the Constitution thought segregation was fucked.
Which is why it's not important what the troops will say about repealing DADT, although I think I know. I think they're going to say, “Are you flippin' nuts?!” as if the moment DADT is repealed, a million gay boners will spring up in barrack showers across the country. And, really, isn't that what their reluctance is all about? That all these big, bad, gun-toting, macho, combat-warrior types are all wondering, “What if a gay hits on me in the shower? What will I do then?”
C'mon, Army dude. You're a big, bad, gun-toting, macho, combat-warrior type. Stop acting like a musophobic housewife standing on a chair, screaming hysterically as she whacks at rodents with her broom. You want to know what to do if a gay guy makes a play in the shower? You say, “Thanks, gay soldier dude! I'm totally flattered, but I'm straight,” and continue washing yourself (being cautious not to lather near your sexy parts). If he relentlessly persists, tell him to knock it off or you will key his car and write “D.O.U.C.H.E.” on his footlocker. Yeah, it's a shitty position for someone to put you in, but consider it ironic punishment for all your unwanted attempts to steal third base with the unsuspecting club-guppies you pulled at closing time.
Brothers and sisters of the military, I have a dream. I have a dream that you will prove me wrong. I have a dream that you will see this survey, and the repeal of DADT, as your golden opportunity to ditch your meathead reputation. I dream that you will complete the survey in a way that tells the Pentagon, “Queers welcome here!” And then you'll actually make a point to welcome them: You will be polite and kind. You will familiarize yourself with gay culture, learn how to speak Flamboyish and even paint one of the barrack's walls chartreuse. Call it the Cpl. Klinger Society Wall and Bulletin Board, where your gay comrades can tack up their firemen calendars and Lady Gaga Fan Club announcements.
But if you don't—if you marginalize and belittle, if you dehumanize or harm your fellow soldiers, fellow human beings—well, then, you are a hypocrite. You talk a big game about defending liberty, but you're just another tyrant who shoots guns in the air and grunts “oorah” as you masturbate over the Soldier of Fortune centerfold, proving that it's you, not homosexuals, who should have their military eligibility questioned.