We have entered a strange period in America, a time when most of us have begun to equate political leaning with ethical and moral belief systems. We seem to believe we can judge the goodness of heart, soundness of intent, and purity of will in another by simply viewing their voting pattern. And far, far too often, we are ready to excuse ethical lapses and moral turpitude when they are committed by those with whom we identify.
The issue of sexual assault in the military is the current best bad example, with people who ought to know better tripping over themselves trying to find justification and political leverage. Make no mistake, sexual assault in the military is a problem; females in the service are more likely (in some classes, as much as four times more likely) to be the victim of an assault than females outside of the military. And that really ought to be the sum of the problem; honor and discipline being paramount virtues of the military, there should never be an excuse or rationalization for the problem.
But excuses and rationalization are what our modern political culture does the best. It is not a coincidence that the same folks doing the rationalizing now, were fighting against the service of females in the first place. These individuals are now clumsily reaching for leverage, and instead are grabbing an argument on the wrong side of history. Given who the apologists are, the tenor of the excuses is stunning in its scope, vitriol, and complete abandonment of supposedly cherished principles.
26,000 rapes…what did you expect when you allowed women to serve?- Donald Trump
The young men coming to each of your services are anywhere between 17 to 22 or 23. Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of events to occur.- Saxby Chambliss
We could go on and on quoting leading lights, predominantly conservative leading lights (meaning predominantly Christian leading lights…allegedly.) But let me respond to these two examples.
We the people expect discipline in the ranks. We expect that the armed forces be able to focus on the job at hand and avoid acting like the primates found in a zoo. We expect that soldiers, people we generally (and typically with good reason) feel are the best of us, to act like the best of us. We expect that since we can work alongside women without raping them, that the members of the military can do the same. We expect that in the 21st Century, the sight of a women who we are attracted to, wearing clothing that she looks attractive in, is not considered an invitation to fornication.
We expect self-appointed arbiters of faith and decency to respond to all violations of faith and decency with the same vigor and fervor.
I can’t imagine a greater desecration of faith and decency than a man forcing himself onto a women, unless that forced act is committed by a man who has taken an oath to defend the weak and the honor of our nation. What a terrible tragedy it would be for one of those figures now using the epidemic of rape in the military to prosecute political agendas, to experience with a loved one the horror, the violation, the rage, the absolute loss of self that must be the result when one’s daughter, sister, mother, niece, or wife is violated. And if that women had chosen, from a spirit of patriotism which we supposedly value, to serve this great nation…what then?
The answer is simple, and requires no committee meetings, no politics, no soul-searching…
We will not tolerate crime in the military. We take it as an affront to the uniform, and a stain on the flag that these acts have occurred, because we expect to be the best of our nation, not the worst. We will never be perfect, but we will work tirelessly towards that definition of discipline and respect which has made us the best military in the history of the world. So help us God.
The Rational Middle is listening…