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Bigotry as Opportunism



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Getting into the holiday spirit, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has written that the commandant of the Marine Corps “is one step short of being a bigot.” Cohen, who strongly supports homosexuals in the military, insists that the commandant be fired because he held a different view. According to the dictionary, a bigot is “one who is strongly attached to his view of politics and intolerant of those who differ.” That definition fits Cohen, not the commandant of the Marine Corps.

Cohen argues that gays should join a Marine Corps that, in his judgment, should dismiss its own leaders — that makes his column a clarion call to incite the very divisiveness the recent legislation was intended to expunge. That is a sure way to cause chaos and anger — and increase readership by slyly encouraging controversy of the Jerry Springer style. Cohen’s screed has already rocketed around military-related web sites.

The way to treat a bigot is to ignore his opportunistic self-promotion. Let the Washington Post correspondents who risk their lives alongside Marines deal with Cohen and his warped journalistic ethics.

— Bing West is author of The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy and the Way Out of Afghanistan.



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