Rick Perry’s No-So “Strong” Ad

December 15, 2011

- See all 35 of my articles


We’ve all seen it. And if you haven’t seen it, you’ve at least heard of it. Rick Perry released a new ad titled “Strong”. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here.

The ad was posted a week ago. Why is that important? It already has over 600,000 dislikes. That makes it the most hated video on youtube….even more than Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. If you haven’t heard that song and you don’t enjoy good music, feel free to view it here.

And I knew it wouldn’t be long before “Bad Lip Reading” jumped on it. And they did.

So why is everyone so upset about Rick Perry’s ad? Well, I get his point. I understand what he’s saying. I do think it is wrong that our kids can’t say “Merry Christmas”…but I tell them to. We celebrate Christmas in our home and we say “Merry Christmas”. 

I need to address the “gays serving openly in the military” line. I think I come from a unique background. While my husband was serving in Iraq, I moved in with my sister-in-laws…who are now legally married. I asked my husband his feelings on gays in the military and he said it didn’t bother him “as long as they don’t make an issue out of it.” That’s the key. And that’s what makes me mad about this whole gay/straight issue.

I don’t walk up to people and say, “Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m straight,” because who I sleep with doesn’t define me. And honestly, it shouldn’t define anyone else either. Gay, Straight, whatever.  Those who choose to allow it to define them need to re-evaluate their life. WHY would you make your choice in a life partner the focus of your life?  It shouldn’t be.

My dad taught me I have to know who I am before I can share myself with anyone else. That’s one reason why I didn’t get married right out of high school (or even college). Because I was still learning who I was as a person. I don’t need someone to complete me. I can share myself with someone but I am complete in myself.

Who I chose to spend my life with does not define me. Don’t make it an issue and it won’t be an issue. If you love your Country enough to serve and possibly lay down your life for your Country, you should be defined as a solider, not as a gay soldier. Because who you choose to share your life with should have nothing to do with your ability to fire an M-16. And my husband agrees. And he’s been there.

Do I understand what Rick Perry is trying to say? Yes. Do I think he needs a new writer? Yes. Because I think his point could have been made in a totally different way. Maybe he was trying to snag the Christian voters with this move. But I think he alienated a lot more than he gained.

This ad was not “Strong” by any means.

The Military Needs to be More Fabulous

February 11, 2010

- See all 39 of my articles

1 Comment

Ask any republican politician and they’ll tell you we’re fighting a war, regardless of the fact that no war was ever declared by congress.  Despite this, combating terrorism is something that is often on top of the list of priorities of things to do when you’re running the United States, or attempting to scare the general public into submission.  You’d think we’d want the top intelligence possible when fighting terrorism, and to do so clearly we’d want the best linguists in both the Farsi and Arabic languages.  Yet more than a few linguistic experts have been dismissed from the military for being gay in the past few years alone.  Don’t believe me?  Do a Google search with the phrase “how many military experts have been dismissed for being gay?”

I’m sure there are a ton of boilerplate arguments as to why we need to keep gays out of the military, or at the least keep them from coming out.  Let’s go over them one by one, and if I missed your argument please feel free to express it in the comments after this article.

1)  “Homosexuality destroys unit cohesion”

A recent article from UC Davis shows that this is simply not true.(1)  The TL:DR of this article is that task focus is greater than social acceptance and the military is a task-oriented organization.  Our military got over integrating minorities.  It got over integrating women.  It will get over integrating homosexuals.

2)  “Homosexuality is bad for morale”

As early as the mid 1990’s, the American Psychological Association stated this simply isn’t true.  Based on studies of foreign military systems that allow homosexuals, there is little to no evidence that there is disruption or loss of effectiveness.  (2)

3)  “Military leaders have expressed in the past that allowing homosexuals to serve would be disruptive”

Many of those military leaders have now changed their mind.  Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili and former Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who both spoke against gays in the military as recently as 2007 have since changed their minds.  (3)

4)  “Most members of the military would oppose homosexuals in their unit”

 There are some polls that show a sizable percentage of military members oppose openly homosexual fellow soldiers, but those polls are generally from 2006 or earlier.  A Zogby poll of recent veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan showed that 3/4 of them were comfortable interacting with homosexuals in their military life.  (4)

Now a few pros:

The cost savings alone should be worth it to the right, who continually try to label themselves as fiscally sound.  In a 2006 report the Pentagon stated that discharging gays from the military cost well over a quarter of a billion dollars in lost training, re-training and recruiting. (5) 

A bigger issue to your average republican politician, who continually bash the current administration for being “too soft” on terrorists, should be the loss of much-needed linguists.  In May of 2007, the Pentagon discharged 57 Arabic linguists for being gay.  Iraq was perhaps at its most fragile at that time, and Afghanistan was just beginning to flare up – should this have been the time to bend rules and keep some of your most valuable intelligence assets on hand?  For you sports fans, this seems to me to be like firing half your scouts a month before the draft.

Finally, there’s the moral issue that some will argue.  America was founded on moral principals and needs to stand by those principals while we fight those who seek to undermine us and destroy our way of life.  I counter that by say this country became great by embracing diversity and being open about change.  Some of our greatest moments include the abolition of slavery and the women’s rights movement.  If we don’t allow gays to openly serve in our military, what does that say about us?  I say it makes us no better than the intolerance and hate we claim to fight in the name of fighting terrorism.  To those who still oppose gays in the military, why do you hate America?

1)  http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/HTML/military_cohesion.html

2)  http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/military.aspx

3)  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/us/30military.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

4)  http://www.gaymilitarysignal.com/071106Steinman.html

5)  http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-02-14-dont-ask-report_x.htm