Yes, yes, I know
Some quick comments:
1. It says a lot that the arguments now circulating on social media to support this ban are pretty much the exact same arguments we went through with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and women serving in combat units, with a bit of keyword substitution.
2. One key difference between then and now is that attitudes have shifted considerably in the last 25 years. Back in 1993, the majority of people probably agreed that having LGBTs in the military (as if they weren’t already in it, which they totally were, but never mind) was bad for the morale, esprit de corps and mission focus of the straight guys trying to defend the country. This is a minority opinion in 2017, not least because – thanks to Iraq and Afghanistan – it’s generally been demonstrated that LGBT soldiers can fight wars as good as anyone else, and that most straight soldiers value that more than they care about their sex lives. Which is why the people still circulating the old 1993 arguments sound dumber now than they did back then.
3. The other key difference – and the more important one – is that those arguments were about giving LGBTs a right they didn’t have. Trump is proposing to take away a right that the “T”s in that equation already have. That’s a lot harder to justify – and it’s an eyebrow raiser when the POTUS wakes up one morning and decides that this group of people shouldn’t have the same rights as the rest of us anymore for reasons known only to him.
4. In fact, Trump being Trump, it’s hard to know how serious he is about it, or whether he truly believes it’s a problem that needs solving. The going theory is he intentionally picked a wedge topic out of nowhere to enrage liberals and get them raging about something else besides Russia and the GOP’s increasingly worse Obamacare replacement bills, and also to make the conservative evangelical base happy, because he could use some more support right about now. This is possible, but it also suggests Trump is clever, which seems far less possible.
5. In a way, that makes his push for a ban even worse than if he legitimately hated trans people – which he might, but there’s not much evidence to support that conclusion. Most everything he’s ever said and done regarding LGBTs since his inauguration have been directly connected to Obama policies that he rescinded – which, again, I believe he’s doing simply because they’re Obama policies. Whatever the case, it shows that at best he sees them as a faceless group he can sacrifice for political purposes – which is frankly sociopathic.
6. Luckily, he doesn't have the power to actually to institute such a ban, let alone enforce it. And military leaders have made that abundantly clear to the troops
– which suggests that Trump didn’t really consult anyone in the military about this. Or anyone else, really. Maybe the GOP Congress will be happy to follow up, but something tells me they’re not really in the mood for more of Trump’s nonsense about now.
7. While Trump may not actually hate trans people, and may not be able to enforce the ban – and may not be able to convince either the brass or enough of Congress that the ban is necessary – the bigger problem is the people who do
hate trans people and will be encouraged by this to be even meaner to any trans people they happen to come across than they already were. Which means it’s not a good time to be trans in America right now. That may not be exclusively Trump’s fault – but he just made himself a major part of the problem.
8. As someone who served in the US Army in a combat unit (peacetime) at a time when it was still illegal for LGBTs to serve openly in the armed forces, I can say with all certainty and conviction that I have no problem with them openly serving. Any proposed ban on military service is as pointless and dumb as the bans on trans people using gender-specific washrooms – which is to say, very
pointless and dumb.
9. For those who will argue about the costs or reassignment surgery, sorry, no
Let ‘em in,
This is dF