3 Ridiculous Political Debates with Obvious Answers

Here are some obvious points to make about utterly ridiculous political arguments that I still occasionally hear. No thinking person should make these arguments if they at all value logic in decision making (So this doesn’t apply to most actual politicians). If you are making any of the arguments addressed here, stop immediately and either rethink your position, or come up with better talking points if you can think of any.

1) “Women should not be allowed in combat roles.”

If women can perform up to objectively set and implemented standards associated with military special combat roles (SEAL, Army Ranger, etc.), then there is no rational argument for not allowing women in combat roles.

The usual suspect explanations:

Unit cohesion: Yes! The ooold standby. Didn’t work for gays, let’s try it again with women! It’s obvious that men will lose all control and military discipline if placed next to qualified soldiers of the opposite gender in combat situations. Either their masculine instincts to protect women (much stronger than the instinct to LIVE which they’ve already overcome by placing themselves in harm’s way), or their animal instincts to rape them will take over and the battlefield will be reduced to a heroically bloody non-consensual orgy. Because our soldiers lack the discipline to follow orders and do their jobs in high stress challenging environments, obviously. This is sarcasm, of course, but if it’s actually true, how about we trade up for better soldiers.

Menstrual cycles (or other physiological bullshit excuses). Everyone knows that women become utterly useless and incapable of doing anything but being totally insane for 1 week out of each month; in a combat situations a woman would be reduced to a twitching pile of nerves and get everyone killed. Also, the 60 to 80 pounds of tampons necessary for the average woman to properly see to her monthly needs is far too much extra weight to be practical in a combat situation. Also, women’s menstrual blood can attract bears, which lowers combat readiness. Science.


They’re not needed. Men are already doing that job well enough. Why do we need women as well? It’s good to know that not “needing” someone in a particular role is now good enough reason to deny them equality in these United States. That’s progress. At its essence, this is an argument that sexists make when they realize they don’t have a leg to stand on, but desperately don’t want to back down. It’s one of the more offensive arguments for that reason; it doesn’t even have the pretense of a logical basis. It’s just mean.

2) “Marijuana should not be legalized.”

Considering the effects on the body and mind of marijuana and alcohol respectively, there is no rational argument for why marijuana should be illegal (some states are coming around to the logic of this one).

The usual suspect explanations:

Gateway Drug! Marijuana is a gateway drug and leads to other drug use. The sole distinction between marijuana and alcohol as potential “gateway drugs” is the fact that one is illegal. When people make this argument, they are claiming that doing one illegal thing can lead you to do other illegal things because your Criminal Activity Acceptability Threshold (CAAT) has lowered. Agree or disagree, this argument is a moot point when arguing legalization. There is nothing inherently more gateway-ey about marijuana than there is about alcohol. Only the stigma attached to the drug because of its illegal status makes it a potential portal to delinquency in the eyes of legalization detractors. And this is coming from a non-enthusiast, by the way. Not a fan of the stuff personally.

Adverse Effects! Marijuana can lead to [place health or public safety issue here]. Read anything about the possible physical or social effects of excessive alcohol and marijuana consumption respectively and try to make this argument with a straight face. And lets not even talk about cigarettes…


3) “You can join the military when you’re 18, but should not be able to drink until 21.”

If the contention is that as an 18 year old you are mature and developed enough to give consent to be placed in possibly lethal situations, then there is no reasonable vindication for the idea that at the same age you would not be responsible enough to safely consume alcohol. 

The usual suspect explanations:

I’ve actually never heard an actual explanation for this. Luckily for the government and the armed forces it’s not really an issue in high contention; just a silly, seemingly harmless correlation. I tend to lean towards making the age of enlistment higher, but keeping the age low is critical for capturing that magical and widespread demographic of highly impressionable, disenfranchised  teens with few post high school options. Wait a few years and this feeding ground of prime candidates requires more indoctrination, more incentive, and more propaganda to get them to the same place.

That just happened.

2 Replies to “3 Ridiculous Political Debates with Obvious Answers”

  1. Never felt that ‘women in combat roles’ was much of a debate. The strongest argument is quite simple, if you want the same role, respect, and pay grade, live up to the same standards as everyone else. It’s a shame the military gives different standards to each gender. Until that balances out equally, no one is going to care what function a female performs. She gets an official pass. She doesn’t have to match the same mark as a male. Does the military give such exceptions amongst males who are genetically challenged? An example of this would be a short male of lower upper strength compared to a 6’+tall plus hulk of man. Why aren’t there different standards for each? Because it’s not what our system was designed after. Either match the mark or go home and as long as we keep making exceptions between genders, females will never receive the respect they deserve while they serve.

  2. I totally agree with you, Rick. That’s why the part about having objectively set universal standards are so important. There should be no favoritism, but there also shouldn’t be unreasonable barriers to qualified people, and an unbiased single standard for mental and physical requirements, based on the needs of the job would achieve that. If there is a universal standard that reflects that job than there should be no debate as to who can do it: anyone who passes regardless of gender. The arguments against that I highlighted in the article are ones that I hear used even after the caveat of a universal standard is given. And because of that, they are ridiculous.

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