Joe Bob Briggs writes:
I’m acquainted with a high-ranking Army officer—I won’t name her because she spoke to me in confidence—who commanded a battalion of 9,000 men and women in one of our recent wars. Before being deployed overseas, she did a lot of what she called “babysitting”—dealing with various enlisted men who were jailed on base for misbehavior, including actual crimes, during a time when the Pentagon was trying to enforce a “no tolerance” policy that could result in your being discharged and sent home. Almost all of the offenders were males from small towns in the Deep South (in part because of where the base was located). The two most common reasons they would be brought to her office were “drunk in town” and “wrecking a truck”—and it was especially serious if the two offenses occurred together, since DUI was on the Army’s list of behaviors they wanted to banish entirely.
The offenders were rarely older than 22, and many of them would be trembling because, beyond facing court-martial, they were about to be dealt with by a woman, and they had grown up in the strong-female South where Mom was frequently more terrifying than Dad. One word from her and their Army career was over.
In almost every case she would find them guilty but let them work it off, with nothing going on their record that would activate the automatic “call your parents to come pick you up” policy.
When I asked her why, she said, “Because you could look into their eyes and know that the guy who is constantly wrecking the truck in town is the same guy who would throw himself on a grenade for his platoon.”
Guys like that come from all those fuckin’ red states. You know, the Angry White Man. The White Supremacist. The economically disaffected guy who lost his factory job. The guy who goes to some hayseed Baptist church. The guy who’s out of step with our progressive times.