Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Shut up and Soldier On!

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy is back in the news.
President Obama wants Congress to repeal the law.  In 1993, it was former President Clinton’s way of appeasing both sides of the gays in the military issue.  I thought it was an excellent compromise.  After all, it was a huge departure from the strict ban on gays in the military, and was in some ways, a reflection of President Clinton’s attitude toward his country and his wife – “What you don’t know can’t hurt me!”

 No, seriously, I do think “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is the best policy – not just about gays in the military – about EVERYTHING.  But, then, that’s the generation I come from.  My mom used to admonish, “Don’t tell everything you know.”  And people who DID tell everything they knew were considered “common” – not as in “ordinary people” – as in “white trash.”

 Proper people did not:

   Ask women or authority figures (in general) their age

   Ask about someone’s finances – or tell about their own.

   Of course, it was never considered polite (or safe) to discuss politics or religion in certain company (that company being anyone who might disagree with you). 

 My gosh – even CLAIROL reminded us that ladies did not reveal their natural haircolor:  “Only her hairdresser knows for sure…”  Given the intimate details of every personal “lifestyle” or hygiene item that is trumpeted in television commercials today, it seems ironically quaint there ever was a time when revealing that you color your hair was deemed “sharing an intimacy” or breaking with coy tradition… 

 Clearly, if it was not polite to tell your age or income – maybe even your haircolor or weight – you can be sure NO ONE  was talking about their “s-e-x” life.

While a lot has changed in my lifetime – and I mean a LOT – there are still some things I choose not to know about other people.  At the top of that list is their bedroom activity – whether homo or hetero – military or non-military – I’m just not sure why anyone should ask or anyone should tell.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is just a good policy for life in general.

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About nancsue

Writer - Former newspaper columnist - lover of all things nostalgic, collies, music, humor, snowy places, & grateful to those who defend American citizens at home and abroad.
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