Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Right Wing Propaganda

Here's a little history lesson drawing from the right wing hysteria in the US about gays in the military would be an unmitagated disaster. This is from a post by Nora Bensahel on Thomas E. Ricks' The Best Defense blog:
Some 70 percent of serving military personnel said that allowing gays to serve openly would damage combat effectiveness. A full 74 percent said that it would be difficult to maintain discipline. And 66 percent said it would damage recruiting.

Every single one of them was wrong.

Even though President Obama has now certified that the military is ready to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, many people remain worried that this policy change will harm the military. Yet the experience of the British military -- our closest ally and fighting partner -- should put those fears to rest.

The numbers above come from a 1996 survey of British military personnel conducted by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) about whether gays should be allowed to serve openly. The vast majority opposed the change and predicted dire consequences. In 2000, a European court decision forced the MOD to allow gays to serve openly. Soon after the policy change, something remarkable happened.

There's more. Read the whole post.

Keep the above in mind when right wing politicians tell you things like:
  • (circa 1955) racially integrated schools will destroy education in America

  • (for the past 30 years) increasing the minimum wage will destroy jobs in America

  • (for the past 60 years) Democrats are "soft" on defense (funny how George Bush said he was going to get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive" but it was Barack Obama who got him)

  • (for 30 years)government is the problem and not the solution (I would have thought that 9/11 was a good counter-argument to that, or any of the many e-coli outbreaks with deaths, or the atrocious educational achievement tests showing America students lagging the world, or the fact that the US has the worst longivity and the most costly health care system in the world)
It wasn't the Democrats who refused to compromise and who claimed that a default of debt or a debt rating downgrade would be "no big deal". No. That was the Republican party. And... the fact that the US market fell by 10% after the debt ceiling "deal" and the S&P debt rating downgrade proves that it was "a big deal". To have a major political party willing to play chicken with the economy and threaten the jobs, the economy, and the financial security of Americans is outrageous.

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