The View From 1776

Creating A Problem

Liberal-progressives who believe that there are no essential differences between men and women go recklessly far beyond offering equal opportunity to women.  Mandating complete interchangeability between men and women in military combat roles creates a serious problem that is easily avoided.

Thomas Sowell summarizes the issues.

In The Liberal Jihad: The Hundred Year War Against The Constitution I noted the results of an earlier thrust of feminist zealotry based more on politics of the day than upon reality and military readiness:

On the negative side, look at what results when liberal planners decide to root out old traditions and impose new “traditions” with regulations from intellectuals whose minds are uncluttered with any sense of reality. The notorious 1991 “Tailhook” controversy illustrates social engineering in action.

For many years, Naval aviators had met annually for pep talks, presentations of awards, and partying in a gathering known as Tailhook (named for the mechanism that stops a plane landing on an aircraft carrier’s flight deck). Tailhook was the occasion for special recognition of meritorious combat performance of the Navy’s top pilots. Liberals strenuously oppose such “elitist” ideas, working to reduce everyone and everything to the lowest possible level of dull equality.

In 1991, when the Clinton administration made feminism official policy, a female Navy officer filed a complaint that she had been groped by drunken sailors at the Tailhook meeting. Led by Patricia Schroeder, then liberal-progressive-socialist Congresswoman from Colorado, a delegation of women in Congress demanded punishment for the military’s insensitivity. Supported by the New York Times and other socialist propaganda media, they blitzed the public with the message that things had to change; the military “just didn’t get it;” ideas about combat readiness and fighting spirit were out of place in the new era of gender equality.

To appease Congresswoman Schroeder and her fellow feminists, the Navy’s most senior officers with combat command experience were forced to retire. President Clinton appointed as Chief of Naval Operations a personnel officer with almost no sea duty and no combat command experience. His job was to make the Navy into a model work force with the primary mission of being nice. Naval officers who failed to commission a female aviator candidate simply because she repeatedly failed her flight tests were forced out of the service. Getting more women pilots, to achieve statistical equality, was more important to liberals than worrying about the dangers of an incompetent aviator landing a multi-million dollar fighter plane on a multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier loaded with men, aircraft, munitions, and fuel.

Liberal-progressives reject altogether the traditionalists’ belief in an unwritten constitution based on fixed moral principles. Making “value judgments” about right and wrong is unscientific ignorance, they say. Liberal-progressives prefer the view that economic and social equality, not individual morality, is the proper target of political and social action. For them, there is no difference between moral traditions that have gained general acceptance over centuries of usage and brand new regulations to be promulgated tomorrow morning by government regulators. Any tradition that stands in the way of egalitarian social justice is to be peremptorily scrapped.