DADT died today. Even after exhaustive surveys, in-depth reports and almost across the board endorsements by otherwise conservative military officials, the Republicans still just don’t get it. In the latest polls, over 67% of Americans and a majority of soldiers are against the policy that forces gay and lesbian Americans in the military to lie about their sexual orientation. Not only is this decision by the GOP a politically disastrous move, it is also mindbogglingly stupid to force a procedural military policy that the military itself is decrying. McCain even said earlier that he would make his decision based on an in depth military study–which he got and quickly dismissed.
Prejudice is blinding. It’s not an intellectual exercise that requires inner debate and reasoning, it’s ingrained. And just like their disbelief of global warming, there is no debate or rational argument that will change their minds. They just believe it no matter how much evidence is stacked against them. They believe deep within themselves that homosexuals are unfit to serve because of the perverse lifestyle they choose. If these Republicans had their way, they would pray the gay out of ’em right after they got their hair buzzed before basic training.
This recent rise of anti-intellectualism in the GOP is frightening — and not surprisingly it seems to be neatly paralleled with with the rise of Sarah Palin. The fight against intellectuals and reason is an ancient one that promoted systemic human rights abuses (see: The Crusades).
All being said, this is a fight that progressives can feel good about. While there seems to be an increase in the popularity of constitutional conservatism, socially we are a country moving to the left. Polls indicate Americans are quickly and increasingly supporting gay rights but, like usual, the GOP is three steps behind.