In an appearance today at the Heritage Foundation, U.S. Rep. Allen West, a conservative Republican freshman from Florida and a former Army officer, was asked about the impact of “social experimentation” on our military, an apparent reference to the abolition of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
West responded (see the 30-minute mark in the video below):
“Let me put it very simple, the United States’ military exists to win the nation’s wars. When you join the military, it takes individual behavior and conforms it the military. Now, if we start to have a perspective and belief in this nation that the military conforms to individual behavior, then we have lost the understanding of what it means to be in the United States military. The rules are very clear in the United States military. If you don’t want to abide by the rules of the United States military, then don’t join.
But the U.S. military is not there as a social experiment and for those who will sit up there and say, Congressman, you should understand because you’re black. Unless I’m Michael Jackson, I can’t change my color. But people can change behavior. And you do not base being a part of the military on adjusting to individual behavior. That’s my concern. And when you look at what our young men and women have to contend with, we’re talking about men and women fifth and sixth tours in combat zones. Now is not the time to appease a very small special interest group and I’ll leave it at that.”
I concur wholeheartedly with the congressman’s statement. If you don’t want to abide by the rules of the U.S. military, don’t join. The military should not conform to an individual’s behavior; the individual conforms to the military, and now is not the time to appease a very small special interest group. I agree with all of that.
So, if you are one of that ever-shrinking minority who believe that gay Americans don’t have a right to full participation as citizens, including the right to help defend this country, don’t join the United States military. If you do join the United States military, you better be ready to change your behavior to conform to military rules, which now outlaw discrimination against gay Americans.
Amen, Brother West.