Why Rick Santorum is Right on DADT

Santorum may have been trying to say that homosexuality is not a race, religion, or gender and is, therefore, not a protected class anymore than the obesity, the alcoholism, or those with flat feet. Hence, he may have meant to conclude, as a condition that disrupts the military’s mission, homosexuality should not be tolerated. Santorum did try to make some of these points during the Fox News Republican debate. He also seemed to make part of one of these points after being trapped by Chris Wallace on Fox New Sunday. Wallace used a flawed analogy about racial integration and Santorum’s comments on homosexuality, but Santorum’s defense was cut short and then ignored.

 If Rick Santorum was hoping to be given the opportunity to make this classic argument, an argument that was part of the volunteer army’s recruitment policy until the Clintonadministration, he must have been greatly disappointed. Even after the lawyers of the Clinton era postulated a celibate homosexual, forever in the closet, who was such a pillar of homosexual virtue that he was too pure to lie on his application, even after this imagined homosexual saint was permitted to avoid questions about sexual orientation as part of the application for service, the idea that homosexuality was forbidden in the military continued. Nevertheless, such inconvenient truths cannot be permitted in a political debate on the national stage. Santorum should have known this, and he may have. The rest of Santorum’s sound bites contain axioms that, given a little thought can help even the most well-educated among us understand that homosexuality is different than homosexuality.

 When Rick Santorum said during the Fox debate that, “Any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military,” his sound bite again abbreviates the point. Obviously, men and women in the military marry and have children. Santorum’s point is that all of this takes place outside the military workplace.

Santorum went on to assert another rushed series of undefended axioms when he said, “The fact that they’re making a point to include it (sexual activity) as a provision within the military — that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege in removing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ I think tries to inject social policy into the military.”  

The axioms are:

1) Whether male or female, heterosexuality does not belong in the military workplace. The service of the nation comes first.

2) With the removal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” homosexual soldiers are allowed to insinuate sexuality into the barracks, the fox hole, and the submarine. Rather than forcing homosexuals to ignore their sexuality, as is the case with heterosexuals, the military is giving this sexuality a higher, protected status.

Someone will have to ask Santorum what he means by “social policy.” Does he mean that certain advocates for the homosexual life-style are successfully using the military to make law in a clear circumvention the democratic process? If that is what he meant, he was certainly correct.

Proposition 1 is not difficult to defend (See “Three Reasons Gays Should Not Serve Openly in the Military”).  Therefore, proposition 2 is axiomatic. However, buried within proposition 2 are two more self-evident propositions:

3) Homosexuality is not the same as heterosexuality.

4) Therefore, a homosexual’s speech about his or her homosexuality is not the same as heterosexual’s speech his or her heterosexuality.

Although Proposition 4 is self-evident based on deductive logic, consider the empirical evidenced also. For instance, under DADT, heterosexual soldiers can talk about their loved ones and put pictures of them on their desks; however, gay soldiers cannot. This is because having a picture of a wife on one’s desk is different than bringing a girl into the barracks. In the first instance, the soldier’s speech is not work related. In the event of homosexual speech, the workplace is directly impacted.

Even if every member of the barracks is homosexual, the work environment is directly impacted by homosexuals speaking about their orientation. Once a homosexual has announced his intention of having sex with those of the same gender, he has bought a woman into the barracks, and a guy into the girls’ shower. The soldier’s intention does not matter. He or she may fully intend to confine his or her homosexual interactions to areas beyond the workplace, but homosexual speech injects sexuality into the workplace in a way heterosexuality does not.

This is because heterosexuality is not the same as homosexuality. One area of speech is like crying fire in a crowded theater. The other is not. The two types of speech are NOT equivalent.

By the way this is the absolutely simple argument that apparently no one in the military could make before the Ninth Circuit court of appeals in San Franscisco. Whether the ninth circuit could have understood such an argument is a separate issue.

As a matter of practicality however, one of Herman Cain’s approaches to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a superior to Rick Santorum’s. Cain told the Huffington Post: “I would not seek it (repealing DADT).. the day that I take office I’m not going to stir that pot because I think it is an unnecessary distraction. It is settled at this point. If the military comes to be and say that they want something different, then I would listen (Paragraph 8).”

Recruiters and boot camp non-commissioned officers should be consulted frequently. They should be made aware that accuracy not political correctness is the path to advancement. These officers should be assured that they will not be named as part of the public record. Currently, homosexual speech is now free, but a lot of other speech is now being quashed. This should be reversed, and we all should listen.


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