Armed Political Correctness

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From an Army officer:

Lew, I’ve been a big fan of your site since I got introduced to it about a year ago by Reason magazine, of all places. Since I’ve never been one to read a criticism and not go straight to the source afterwards, I logged onto LRC to see for myself. I was hooked from the beginning. I thought your combination of historical analysis, journalism, and paleo-libertarian common sense was better than 90% of what passes for journalism today.

Right now I’m still on active duty for another six months. Yesterday we had our brigade level equal opportunity inspection. To the Army’s credit, race relations have largely become a non-issue since my father enlisted in the 70s. I and others do have mixed feelings about the EO program; it has both improved understanding within the ranks, but has also, for example, defined as “hate-symbols” common designs like the Presbyterian cross or the Islamic crescent. The inspection included a “focus group session” where a number of staff officers were interviewed in a group session. While most of the questions were straight forward and professional, I was taken about when the inspectors asked if anyone had been upset about the race of President-elect Obama. While racial prejudice is unacceptable, I can’t imagine the inspectors asking a similar question about McCain, or any of the other presidential candidates.

I’m starting to think that the following administration will merge the politically-correct and blind obedient strains of military “professionalism” that pervade the ranks. I’ve seen critical analysis of strategic subjects shoved aside to meet the neo-con view of military force the last few years. God help us if that mindset combines with the messianic tendencies of the left. It’s bad enough when a technical subject is corrupted by allegations of “not being patriotic”. Imagine how much worse it will be if the powers that be add “racist” to the “unpatriotic” slur when critiquing military policy.

3:01 pm on November 20, 2008