We’ve been keeping an eye on reactions to the recent State of the Union address, and the potential repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) remains a hot topic. Over the next few months, weÃƒÂll be using our technology to track what people are saying about DADT on blogs and forums as this story develops.
Right now, a full three quarters of people support the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, over half of whom constitute a general anti-DADT movement. Comparisons to the debates surrounding integration of women and African Americans into the military are common.
Some people (11%) feel that Republicans opposed to the repeal, like John McCain and Duncan Hunter, Jr., are unreasonable, and that the entire controversy is reflecting poorly on the GOP.
Others are frustrated by the speed or degree of change. Some 15% of the conversation expresses disappointment that even after Obama and top Pentagon officials spoke out in favor of repeal, the policy is being seriously studied for at least another year instead of being overturned immediately. Others (8%) remind us that the repeal of DADT would be only a small step in the battle for gay rights, and that there are more important injustices to worry about.
About 14% of people oppose the repeal, citing possible complications including effects on troop cohesion. A number of people (10%) fall in between the two extreme views, expressing either their indecision about the issue or their support for a third, intermediate option.
We’re looking forward to watching trends in this conversation as things progress, and we’ll keep you updated about any interesting changes we see.