Obama Gets One Right

I was teaching MBAs when the President made his State of the Union speech.  Frankly, I find SOUs from any President tiresome and insulting.  From the summaries I have read, this one appears to have been no different–a litany of hare-brained ways in which government is going to fix everything.

One item did catch my attention, though, and it is worth noting that I have finally found something on which I can agree with the President.  Get rid of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

First, let me express my unreserved admiration for the military.  We send these people to do the hardest job any of us can imagine–putting their lives at risk for a cause.  To anyone out there reading who has served, is serving, or will serve, you have my support.  Let me also apologize for the nation collectively for sometimes sending you to do idiotic missions with no moral justification.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why someone else’s sexuality is a cause for concern for anyone, anywhere, anytime.  Not once have I ever felt threatened by the presence of a gay person.  I have an excellent memory, and I don’t seem to recall gay groups ever banding together to force me to be gay.  I don’t recall gay friends ever being anything but, well, friends.

To me, it is insulting to think that people in the military cannot cope with their comrades’ openly declaring their sexuality.  My guess is that it would be met with a gigantic “ho-hum” and they would go on to deliver the outstanding service they always deliver.  Those who object on religious grounds will hopefully find that there are many ways to interpret a religious text.  Admonitions against private acts like consensual sex (straight, gay, solo, or otherwise) are misguided and mean-spirited.

In short, get over it.  Let gays serve openly.  Let the world know that the freedom we fight for includes the freedom to express your sexuality anywhere, anytime.  That person shoulder to shoulder with you on the battlefield is a soldier first; what he/she does off the battlefield is a distant second.


Terry hates bigotry.  He thinks that people who rail against gays, other races, and the opposite sex need more hobbies.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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2 Responses to Obama Gets One Right

  1. Great post Terry. Getting rid don’t ask don’t tell is one of two things that President Obama has recommended that I agree with.

    The other thing was, recommending that we all sneeze into our elbows rather than our hands.


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