Regarding the “plant”, retired Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr, that you sent to ask me the question at the CNN-YouTube debate last night in Florida …
Malkin says Hunter is one of her favorites in the GOP field. On the basis of how he answered the question last night I’ll have to respectfully disagree. Here’s how Hunter defended the military policy of DADT:
“General, thanks for your service, but I believe in what Colin Powell said when he said that having openly homosexual people serving in the ranks would be bad for unit cohesion.
“The reason for that, even though people point to the Israelis and point to the Brits and point to other people as having homosexuals serve, is that most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives,” Hunter said.
“They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them. I agree with Colin Powell that it would be bad for unit cohesion.”
I don’t doubt that it’s Colin Powell’s opinion that open homosexuality in the armed forces would be bad for unit cohesion. I just don’t think he believes it’s for the same reason Hunter does.
I put emphasis on the word open because I’m assuming what Powell meant was that if gays are flaunting their sexuality in the military that it wouldn’t be received well. Of course it’s not a good idea for heterosexuals (men and women) to be overtly sexual in a military setting either, but nobody uses that as an argument to bar women from the military. The impasse in the debate over gays in the military is that many people don’t differentiate between homosexual behavior and homosexual orientation. It appears that the distinction often isn’t even understood. But this is a topic for another post. I want to get to Hunter’s take on it.
According to him, the fact that many people have certain religious beliefs or other prejudices that lead them to believe certain groups of people should be excluded that’s a good enough reason to go ahead and exclude them. Using this thinking, the military would be justified in barring any group of people from serving in the military simply because others are prejudiced against them.
Hunter would have done better to distinguish between behavior and orientation. Acting out sexually, especially in the close confines of a military setting, of course would be bad for unit cohesion – just as it is if the situation involves heterosexual men and women. Another potential problem would be people getting entangled in romantic affairs that distract from the jobs they’re supposed to be doing. Again, this concern is also present when the setting is men and women serving together. Yes, I realize that in opposite sex situations there’s a much greater likelihood that the sexual and romantic attractions will be mutual, but shouldn’t that make the situation twice as troublesome? Yet nobody is suggesting women should be barred from serving.
By answering the question the way he did Hunter played right into the hands of the left, that wants to believe any argument against gays serving openly in the military is based on prejudice, when in fact it often is a result of many people not really knowing what homosexuality is…that it describes a type of person, not just a type of behavior.