Much like anything with President Donald J. Trump, it always seemingly starts with a bombshell tweet on his personal Twitter handle. President Trump tweeted the information (pictured above) just yesterday, and of course, the the dumpster fire ignited and carried over to the wild lands and distracted everybody. It sparked debates from those who feel Transgenders would burden the military mission of the United States, to passionate arguments supporting Transgenders who already serve in full capacity in the United States Military.
As is the case with any breaking news, especially when the source is Twitter or another social media pipeline, I tend to check my emotions and try to fully research the story. In our 24-hour a day, 7 day a week news cycle, it probably did not even hit 12:00pm before news stations had panel discussions formulated to discuss the different views, and they remained focused on the controversial tweet. Is anybody else taking notes on this? Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was focused on this.
President Trump’s personal weapon of mass distraction.
I say that because as you read this (and I type this), news stories are breaking out, like Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen General Joseph Dunford, who has stated today that no changes will be made until President Trump informs the Secretary of Defense receives such an order and initiates an implementation plan . General Dunford also added that the tweet caught them off-guard, as it was unexpected. This, mind you, comes about only 1 month after General Mattis announced a delay to a policy that would have allowed Transgenders to join the military (See: Washington Times, General Mattis).
Now, Trump put this out citing costs, and many sources have produced numbers that just don’t solidify Trump’s claim (such as this Bloomberg article that has estimates for the number of Transgenders serving in the military and what their estimated medical costs are).
So let me first start by saying there is no stake for me to claim when it comes to any sort of issue revolving around the community of LGBTQIAPK(LMNOP and whatever other letter they are adding…I’m sorry, it changes far too much for me to keep track of and I don’t much like “political” action groups for varying reasons). I know a few gay people, I’m unaware if I know any transgender people, and all the other letters are up in the air.
But here’s a great little thing about me: I don’t care what you are. I don’t care who you are. If you are an adult and your decisions are not interfering with the rights of other people, then it really shouldn’t concern me. If you respect me, I will undoubtedly respect you, and I am going to respect you anyway, because that is what I expect.
At the end of the day, people are people. Flawed, emotional, struggling with their own issues whatever they may be, uniquely different, and ridiculously complex.
So no, I do not agree with the context of the tweet. There are indeed things that could prevent or bar someone from severing in the military, but simply being a transgendered person does not make much sense to me. I could see an argument of actually going through a transition period, having tax-payer Health Coverage provide services like gender reassignment surgery, and the fact that while I don’t know much about transition surgeries I could imagine they are complex and could play a role in someones service-ability or readiness…but that is outright a different argument. Trump’s tweet essentially would clean house of active and/or reserve transgender individuals…people who have been serving, and serving in the Military, after all, is a tremendous service. We always talk about how those who serve deserve our utmost respect, whether they be Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgendered.
As for the tweet, I honestly do not believe Donald Trump tweeted that information with any form of sincerity. I think our President did what our President does…speak off the cuff without really thinking, the end-goal being that he completely sent your attention in a direction he is more comfortable with.