Friday, December 03, 2004

Military Recruiters on Campus

E.J. Dionne argues that regardless of whether they are legally obligated to do so, colleges should, as a matter of liberal policy, allow military recruiters on campus. His point, which I fully agree with, is if you feel the military is insulated from liberal viewpoints there is no more effective way to ensure that it remains that way than to maintain a separation between the largely liberal academic community and the largely conservative military community. Just as conservatives can battle what they percieve as a liberal bias in academia by sending more of their bright young men and women into careers as teachers and professors, liberals concerned about a conservative bias in the military can counteract that by encouraging young liberals to enlist. It's a hard sell, to be sure, but military recruiters are willing to help. Let them in.

Aside from that, my more basic objection to barring recruiters from campus has been that doing so is essentially an infringement on free speech. People have justified the ban on recruiters by invoking the infamous and ineffective "don't ask, don't tell" policy, arguing that by restricting the rights of gays in the military, the military has forfeited its right to recruit on campuses. It's a poor argument. If restricting rights and freedoms is a bad thing, you don't combat it by restricting rights and freedoms for the group that has offended you.
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