President Trump Issues Ban on Transgender Military Service
In what has become his trademark fashion, President Donald Trump issued a major policy statement 140 characters at a time yesterday, effectively re-enacting the DoD’s prohibition on transgenders serving in the US military.
The critics immediately pounced.
As accurately noted, the tweet does not explain how this new policy will be implemented — specifically, what it means to transgenders who have been allowed to served openly since President Obama made a similar unilateral decision last year. That said, it seems reasonably obvious that the ban on enlistment will continue.
This is, of course, exactly what the policy was just one year ago under President Obama — as well as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etc, etc. President Trump has done nothing more than restore a longstanding policy.
The rebuttals were predictable, and weak:
1. Transgender Americans are already serving in uniform…
That’s great. So are Americans of many other virtues and vices. Presence in the US military in violation of the law or military policies does not grant one immunity from said laws or policies. In what other world would anyone suggest that successfully breaking a law invalidated the law?
2. “President Trump is dragging America backward with his attacks on transgender patriots in the military,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
Were transgenders “attacked” by President Obama for 7 years?
3. Man-turned-woman Christopher “Kristin” Beck, a former Navy SEAL, took a more threatening tone:
“Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy.”
That’s cute, but no one said anyone was or wasn’t “worthy.” Rather, the military set a standard one can either meet or not. Transgender? Policy says you can’t serve. Overweight? Same thing. Have diabetes? Sorry, we appreciate your patriotic heart, but you can’t join the military.
A few service members who are now publicly transgender (courtesy of the US military’s official news releases about their sexual stories) issued statements of their own — walking precarious lines about disrespect and contempt toward the President.
Jason Torpy had this to say:
4. “There is little justification to oppose open Transgender service as well as full health care support for servicemen and veterans for full sexual reassignment,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. “This order serves to harm military readiness and deeply insults already-serving transgender patriots in the military.”
An impassioned plea full of hypothetical conjecture — and no facts. And why is an atheist group making a fuss about this? What does Trump’s statement have to do with religion? The conspiracy theories on that topic are entertaining.
5. “President Trump has provided no justification as to why he would think the presence of transgender servicemembers would somehow threaten the military’s ability to defend the United States.”
“This decision was made after extensive discussions with the national security team and it was in the military’s best interest to end this Obama policy,” Sanders said. “… This is a very expensive and disruptive policy and based on consultation with his national security team, it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion, and he made the decision based on that.”
The article going around about the military spending more on Viagra than transgenders is smirk-worthy — but not much more than that. The US military probably spends more on Epipens, aspirin, and wart remover than the low-ball $8.5 million number as well. But people citing that article are ignoring the rest of the White House statement — that part about “military’s best interest,” “disruptive,” “erodes military readiness and unit cohesion.” Those details are kind of hard to laugh off — thus the focus on Viagra.
Some were quick to say Republicans were “breaking” with Trump — but that wasn’t entirely true. Sen John McCain, for example, only said that people currently serving shouldn’t be kicked out, a point left unclear by the Tweet-announcement. McCain also said anyone who “is able to meet the standards” should be allowed to serve. If one of those standards is not having gender dysphoria, then McCain’s statement is right in line with President Trump’s.
President Trump doesn’t need Congress’s permission to reinstate this policy, just like President Obama didn’t need it to remove this policy. Congress is granted the authority to “raise an Army,” and the President is granted the right to lead it as the Commander in Chief. As President, he can set military policy.
The US military does not exist to validate people’s egos, enable their hero complex, or justify their feelings of patriotism. There are many, many Americans who would love to serve and who would no doubt make excellent service members. But they are banned from serving due to the military’s standards. Good, bad, or indifferent, the military has decided that’s what the standards are. Having gender dysphoria, or otherwise having a disconnect between your actual gender and what you “feel” you are, does not exempt you from the same rules as everyone else.
This does not mean that people who believe they are transgender are worth any less or deserving of disrespect or maltreatment. It just means they can’t join the military — and are not entitled to special treatment that would allow them to do so.
As the co-equal branches of government argue over President Trump’s tweets, this policy may or may not ultimately come to fruition. Even if it does, it may yet be little more than a speedbump to the social progressive tidal wave that aims to rewrite society’s future with a post-modern sexual agenda.
But maybe, just maybe, it will offer a fleeting bit of hope that there is yet a remnant of faith. There may yet be hope in God’s promise to Israel:
If my people who are called by my Name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
– 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
Also at the Stars and Stripes.