Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump Bans Transgender People From Military

Cue the outrage: Donald Trump has decreed that transgender people will no longer be allowed to don the uniform of the proud American military. He did so not by executive order, but by tweet.

This, according to the Huffington Post, is a "stunning reversal" of the benign policy of Barack Obama, who'd humanely allowed all genders the joy of operating joysticks to anonymously kill thousands of innocent people as the unfortunate collateral damage of his tolerant targeted assassination program.
The move was wholly unexpected. It’s not clear why Trump decided to announce such a significant policy change via Twitter or when it would take effect. His timing is also odd: He shared the news in the midst of Senate Republicans’ high-stakes fight to repeal Obamacare this week.
Trump claims he made the move after consulting with military experts, despite the Pentagon lifting the ban on transgender service members in 2016 after an exhaustive review of its military readiness policies.
“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. “We have to have access to 100% of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”
Note that while Trump's order is decidedly gratuitous and craven, issued only for reasons of attacking his predecessor, demeaning transgender people, pandering to homophobes, and privileging weapons over medical care, it comes just one year after Obama himself had finally decided to do the liberal, "honorable" thing. Obama's belated nod to transgendered troops was one more political ploy to brand both his legacy and his side of the War Party with a cynical window-dressing of human rights logos. His gesture came far too late to ever become fully implemented. If Obama really cared about transgender people, he wouldn't have allowed such inhumane treatment of whistle-blower Chelsea Manning before he, for his own legacy-burnishing purposes, finally granted her some long-overdue clemency.

Right-wing Republicans naturally are giving Obama some much needed cover by condemning him, not for war crimes, but for what they stupidly perceive as the contamination of good Christian soldiers by transgendered troops:
 “I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities ― and not continue the social experimentation of the OObama era that has crippled our nation’s military,” said (Family Research Council) president, Tony Perkins. “The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda.”
I mean, America can't go around invading countries and maiming and killing people without the traditional levels of hormones and sets of chromosomes, can it? Bombs are so much deadlier and drones are so much more accurate when virile men are at the controls. 

Next thing you know, the crotch grabber-in-chief will do another horrible number on Obama's legacy and ban women from combat.

Trump is very likely peeved that he can't do much more to coddle his fellow predators in the military, however. Despite statistics showing that military rapists usually go free while their victims suffer retaliation, Obama steadfastly refused to take sexual abuse cases outside the chain of command. This was despite overwhelming evidence that rapists in the armed services are serial offenders: they go on to commit their crimes over and over again.

So I don't think Trump would ever go so far as to ban women from joining the military. The prey must always be at the ready for the convenience of what he oafishly calls "my military."  

But never say never. Forced by a GOP Congress into choosing between his precious Wall and the rights of historically oppressed American citizens, it seems that he'd rather maintain fear of an Outside Other than honor his campaign promises to what many people still view as an Inside Other: the LGBTQ community being only the latest scapegoat. Chelsea Manning is right. Donald Trump is a consummate coward.

I'm afraid that it will be a cold day in hell before some future president tweets out an order cutting the Pentagon budget by 90%, putting an end to all the wars and the largest military force and largest arms dealer the world has never known.

Ultimately, it will be irreversible climate change that puts an end to everything, with the latest psychopath in the White House becoming the least of the planet's last gasping worries.


Jamie said...

What Trump did was wrong. But I am against TGs joining the military to get expensive sex change operations. Do we all join imperialist fascist forces of murders, just for free medical care? Is that a Nuremberg defense?

Jay–Ottawa said...

This is good news, people.

If the US ever opts to get back into old-fashioned wholesale wars, today's most distinguished all-volunteer military, which is limited to retail conflicts with undistinguished results, may fall short of providing enough of the fodder and staying power needed to wage war on an epic scale. In that case the Pentagon will want the nation to revert to universal conscription, i.e., a Vietnam style draft.

Once universal conscription is in effect, will our daughters be obliged to follow our brave boys as they begin to flash mob Selective Service offices to sign up for WWIII? If so, Trump's ban of transgenders from the military will turn out to be a good thing, a light at the end of the tunnel, a slight of hand worthy of the Noble Peace Prize.

Transgender orientation will become the surest way to openly and legally escape the draft. No longer any need to buy a Greyhound ticket to Canada, no need to grow a wispy goatee, prove you're a vegan or declare you swore a vow to nonviolence since the age of six, no need to get your family physician to build the case for a medical discharge.

Selective Service registration comes at about the same time in life as teens begin to discover who they really are. According to respected theorists, sexual orientation is especially in flux during this period. Bottom line: the transgender option may become very, very attractive as a way to skip the opportunity of killing your fellow men, women and LGBTs among the designated enemy du jour.

Some of us commenting on this site have long wondered whether Trump is smarter than he lets on. Is he the Manchurian Candidate of the Left supporting our better angels? He just might be playing deep chess, just as did Obama, who was in the habit of making a feint in one direction but, thanks to a series of brilliant but subtle––and often misunderstood––moves, was taking the nation in the opposite direction––and for the most noble reasons.

As a deep thinker, Obama led us out of Bush's "unnecessary" wars and back to America's humanitarian ways; he restored the economy to its sound foundation; he saved the environment and so on––details soon available via his presidential library.

Well, I'm beginning to suspect that Trump might be a stealth peacenik. How well he covers up the fact. How else explain his exempting transgenders from military service? That's only the first move, with an unsuspected move up ahead towards a new era.

Spoiler Alert, here's what comes next: the wisdom of transgender orientation sinks in to the rising generation. Very soon, transgenders will become the majority, resulting in too few young people left to be drafted to continue the wars, the pesky little ones or the big one. No more IEDs, no more collateral damage, no more PTSDs.

Just imagine America as a transgender nation, incapable of waging wars. Half the discretionary budget will shift from the Pentagon back to ordinary people and a restoration of the infrastructure. Peace will reign across America, and therefore around the world. The whole rainbow of sexual orientations will be in the streets every Saturday morning cheering Trump for making America great again.

Mark Thomason said...

A tweet is not government.

The Joint Chiefs have clearly said there is no change in policy.

Whatever Trump tweeted today, he'll tweet something else soon enough, and off he goes.

annenigma said...

Well here we go. Trump just set the hot button issue for the next election knowing that Dems can't resist identity politics and proud displays of virtue. Elections always seem to end up a culture war. I don't believe that's an accident.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Mr Fish, the resident political cartoonist at Truthdig, sums it up very nicely for some of us here:

Over at the Baffler, a trans speaks for herself on the matter.

Bill Sprague said...

"...when virile men are at the controls" you mean 12 year old geeks who know everything? Hey, it's just like a video game only the killing is real!