Pat Buchanan was at it again the other day -- bemoaning the fact that the Navy is, as he calls it, "dumbing down" the Naval Academy by imposing "diversity" -- the new word for the same old quota system -- as part of its admissions policy. And the reason (other than avoiding lawsuits, which was what motivated the New Haven fire department)? He quotes from the Washington Post: "Academy leaders say it's a top priority to build a student body that reflects the racial makeup of the Navy and the nation." Note that: "Top" priority, more "top" than, for example, turning out the best damn officer corps we can, or defending the country, or any of that other old-fashioned John Wayne stuff. And as to reflecting the racial makeup of "the Navy and the nation" -- well, which is it? Surely they can't be identical.
But I digress. Buchanan's point is that, as usual in these cases, the criteria for admission -- the "cutoffs" -- have to be set much lower for "minorities" than for "majorities". (And "minorities" includes Asians, who scarcely need any sort of affirmative action in the academic sphere -- although if basketball were one of the factors... but I digress.) So anyway, it is highly regrettable that the Naval Academy is acting like... well, basically, like any other government agency in the country, and certainly like any defense agency I've ever heard of. Contrary to popular stereotype, the armed services have, for decades, been in the forefront when it comes to implementing (or facilitating) "social change" -- starting with the integration of the Army way back when, and running right up to the present day with an unabashed, unapologetic application of quotas (explicit or in the form of "guidance" -- which, in the military, is the equivalent of a direct order) for not only admission and promotion in officer ranks, but also NCO ranks, the service in general, and the civilian agencies that are associated with the various services. And to the objection "But we're talking about _defense_ here, not about just some dumb-ass, do-nothing government agency!" -- I say, au contraire, we're very much talking about a government agency, and about government programs, and as I've said way too often, every government program is a jobs program, and that includes the hallowed halls of honor in the military. Surely Pat can't have just now discovered that the military considers it more important that it "look like America" than that it is optimally staffed for victory! This has been going on for years... decades. And the Army is, in fact, always somewhat conflicted on this point since the enlisted ranks tend to look too _much_ like America -- inner-city America, that is. This came up during the Vietnam conflict -- the notion of sending young black men to fight and die in a war started by old white men. All too true! But you'll notice nothing was done. In this case, however, there are political points to be made by inoculating the Naval Academy with racial politics -- and, really, no points to be lost by not doing so. So what do you think is going to happen? Will some Congressman really, as Pat suggests, start an investigation? Sure -- the same way they're going to insist we go back on the gold standard.
Buchanan decries the "deliberate acceptance of a less able and competent United States Navy". But no one out there is arguing, since that acceptance -- which could have been seen as treasonous in earlier times -- is now considered standard procedure, and only a "racist" would argue against it. In the post-Vietnam era, vast sectors of the Army and of its civilian agencies were, in effect, set aside as sheltered workshops in order to fill quotas and avoid grievances and court cases. I know this from personal observation... and cannot believe that the situation with the other services could have been that much different. Granted, the Army has always been at the forefront of social experimentation, government-style... but the only branch of the service I can think of that has had any success in holding off the PC police is the Marines -- and even then, it's because they have so many alumni in Congress. Take away that shield and they will suffer the same fate as all the rest -- as will, I'm sure, Special Forces and other (no longer) elite units.
It's true. To knowingly hamper, or reduce, the military effectiveness of the nation is tantamount to treason, and should be treated as such. But politics has predominated ever since the Vietnam era, and what we call "readiness" is just what little is left over in the way of quality control options once all of the political tickets have been punched -- and there is a staggering number of them, believe me. Our military continues to dominate, and succeed, as much as it does despite all this, due to sheer numbers and firepower -- but the scales are starting to tip more and more in favor of quality of personnel -- and I don't mean "dumb" as opposed to "dumberer" -- but real quality, the kind the Israelis, for example, insist on. Where do they put their most intelligent youth? In law or med school? No -- in tanks. At least for the term of their service. And you can bet those tank crews are baaad muthas. They can knock a hooka pipe off a raghead's coffee table at a distance of ten miles. Can our guys do this? I doubt it -- but in our part of the world, where all that matters is group identity, it doesn't matter.