Don Young on DADT: Don't trust the Generals

When Rep. Don Young was asked by Matt Felling of KTVA News if he supports the repeal of the military's gay ban, he answered that President Obama and the Generals don't have contact with the troops, so the troops should decide instead of the leaders.
Asked whether he would support the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell. Young replied:

Probably not. I think the system has worked. I think we have to recognize that. I am not at ease saying that this would be a plus for the armed services. And I think we ought to stop going to the heads of the so-called military, and the politicians and ask the troops and see how it comes out. That would tell you a lot more. We have a tendency to think that we know more than the common folk. And Obama and Nancy Pelosi is an exaple of that in the health bill.

[Felling] So you think that the Secretary of Defense, and the Generals don't have the best sense…

I actually don't think that they… They're like the President. They don't have any contact with their troops. The troops in the field, the guy that's got mud on his boots, and pulling that M-16 trigger, he's got armor on his chest at 110 degrees, you ought to ask him.
The so-called military??

As for asking the troops what they think, the troops have been asked, more than once. Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds town hall sessions with troops. At a recent session,
which included not only Marines, but members of the Army and the Air Force, both male and female service members explained their indifference to the issue: They'd already served with gays and lesbians, they accepted that some kind of change was imminent, and, they said, the nation was too engulfed in two wars for a prolonged debate about it.
Even in earlier studies:
  • 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).
  • The younger generations, those who fight America's 21st century wars, largely don't care about whether someone is gay or not, and they do not link job performance with sexual orientation.
  • One in four U.S. troops who served in Afghanistan or Iraq knows a member of their unit who is gay (Zogby, 2006).
In addition, the public overwhelmingly supports lifting the ban:
  • Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal (Gallup, 2009).
  • Seventy-five percent of Americans support gays serving openly, up from 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).
Rep. Young needs to hear this, and he needs to hear that Alaskans support the repeal of DADT.

Congress is likely to vote on the repeal this summer. Young might even vote for it, if we remind him of all the Alaska earmarks he can sneak into the bill. He voted for the Hate Crimes Act for that reason. The Don't Ask repeal will probably be added to the Defense budget, one of his favorite earmark targets.

Call Rep. Don Young and tell him to stop saying weird sh*t... ahem, that you support the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell and you encourage him to vote for it.
Representative Don Young: 202-225-5765
(Thanks to The Mudflats for transcribing the KTVA interview in Don Young in His Own Words. Again.)

No comments:

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.