Diana West

"It's nothing worse than `Saturday Night Live,'" one defender of Capt. Honors commented online. That's true and not unrelated. As sex roles were rewritten to check male dominance and expand the female role, and as women, in effect, were used to destroy the ideal of "officer and gentlemen," other lines were crossed and blurred. The entire culture became increasingly conditioned to break any and all of the old molds, adopting an "irreverence toward uptight, oppressive, hypocritical, old-fashioned norms of social propriety," writes Brian Mitchell, in his history-jeremiad against and titled "Women in the Military: Flirting with Disaster." By now, this means that putative defenders of "old-fashioned norms," such as 49-year-old Capt. Honors, are unwilling, ill-equipped and even unaware as to how to do so. Indeed, the powers that promoted Honors to the captain's bridge would punish anyone who did.

Discussing the Tailhook investigation, Mitchell writes: "No one seriously expected them to be officers and gentlemen anymore." And, institutionally, no one expected more or better of the brave, new women, either. Indeed, after no raunchy female misconduct at the infamous 1991 Tailhook convention was prosecuted, after even some exonerated men continued to be punished, the true object of that historic purge became all too clear: not to check "Animal House"-in-uniform across the board, but instead to target and eradicate traditional attitudes as the basis for criminal behavior -- "sexism" -- in violation of Pentagon policy. In large part, this prefigured approval for open homosexuals in the military.

Now, consequences emerge. A society that rejects officers and gentlemen, it seems, is going to get crude clowns helming its nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. And who is left in command who can figure out how that happened?


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).