There are times I respectfully disagree with people with regard to their political stances. In fact, I would say this happens the vast, vast majority of the time when I hold a different view. The FOX News clip I just saw, however, lands far, far beyond the pale. Outrage would be an incredible understatement. For the record, I am not gay, but listening to what Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, had to say about Don't Ask, Don't Tell had steam coming out of my ears.
The recent poll of military personnel itself finds that a small majority oppose repealing the policy, 71% would continue to serve, 10% would not re-enlist, and 14% would consider not re-enlisting. I could not find the margin of error. As someone who has worked with polls, there is one glaring problem with gauging the accuracy of this, even if the numbers are taken as-is: how many of those 24%, especially the 10% who say they would certainly not continue in the military, would actually be true to their word. In other words, how many are merely issuing a knee-jerk anti-homosexual response but if they really thought about it, would not drop out over something that has little-to-no influence on their service?
Of course, FOX News trumpeted up the poll as a mandate against the policy, and in the process, gave Donnelly far more time than her counterpart. But that is to be expected. The words that came out of her mouth, however, were nothing short of startling. I have only found the video via Yahoo! - you can watch it here - but here are some of the, to put it mildly, incredibly offensive remarks I've transcribed that Donnelly shared on national television:
"You're going to have forced co-habitation with homosexuals."
"You cannot complain because your motives would be questioned."
"The new policy will be forced co-habitation, open co-habitation in conditions of little or no privacy."
"That would put severe hardships on the young man who decides to join the military. What is he supposed to do? He's supposed to go along with it." "You're going to have male-male incidents."
She must have used the phrase "forced co-habitation" at least a half dozen times. Why are people allowed to get away with diminishing gays to, quite literally, a sub-human level? Forced co-habitation!? I'm willing to bet that slaveholders and sexists used the same or similar arguments of past centuries - do these people have no humility whatsoever? Am I living in the same America as these people? No, I'm not naive and know about the policies and positions of the far-right, but to hear her say these kind of things without so much as an adequate rebuttal or "how dare you?" blew me away. While I'm on the subject, the pro-gay lobby has to do a better job than setting up a milquetoast telephone interview for their defense.
No mention of how many gays are discharged or choose not to enlist because of the policy, no mention of the accuracy of the poll, as I alluded to earlier, no mention of the pure hatred that came out of Elaine Donnelly's mouth. No mention of the fact that a majority of Americans want to see Don't Ask, Don't Tell repealed.
For those wondering about Donnelly herself, this is the same woman who testified before Congress that allowing gays to serve would spread "HIV positivity" through the ranks of the military. She also touched on the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression." As Congressman Snyder rightfully points out, lesbians have the lowest incidence of HIV in the country. To say the woman is disrespectful would give a whole new meaning to the word.
Oh, did I mention that Ms. Donnelly has never served in the military?
I apologize for the vent, but this was just making my blood boil.