I’d like to start by apologizing for this post. It is long and rambling and not my best writing but I was and still am pissed and in all it took me about 15 minutes to write. These are my opinions.
It seems that every few days we hear something outrageous out of this wonderful administration that Donald J Trump has put together. Each time something seemingly more offensive, more outrageous, and more damaging to the fiber of our country than the events of the day before. I would wager that, aside from possibly colluding with Russia in order to win the election in the first place, the President’s actions today in regards to Transgender people serving in our military is the most vehemently disgusting and damaging thing that he has done during his short time in office.
By now you’ve already read that there are approximately 15,000 transgender service men and women currently serving our country. You’ve also read that the Department of Defense is the single largest employer of transgender people in the United States at this time. You have probably even already read that our idiot President did not make the Pentagon aware of his little ‘ban’ prior to making the announcement….on Twitter. Now while all of those things are true, the media is looking strictly at fact at this point. Commentators have yet to descend upon the airwaves to explain the intricacies that this so called ‘power play’ entails. I want to use this space to explain exactly what this decision means about our Commander-In-Chief the person. Not the public figure who is supposed to lead the country to a better and dare I say “great again” future of yesteryear. Not the businessman who puts fiscal responsibility over the lives and freedoms of everyone he was elected to protect. The person. The vile, disgusting, ego-maniacal person who made this disastrous decision.
There are a couple of angles that one needs to look at when analyzing this newly imposed ban. The practical and the prejudicial. From a practicality standpoint alone, this ban does not make sense. To those simple minded individuals who voted for him, maybe. But to the rest of the free-thinking and educated world, it simply does not make sense. You see, Trump is, as I have discussed in another blog post, a master manipulator. He twists facts and words and even inflections in order to disguise their true meaning and to blur the line between fact and fiction. His base bought into these tactics wholeheartedly during the 2016 election and, for the most part, has ever since. That is why he is able to make a statement that is completely and utterly false and upon delivery, power is given to it and those gullible enough to believe that he is even remotely capable of ever telling the truth soak it in as some sort of biblical fact handed down directly from God. This ban is no different. Practically, it only harms our military and our country. However, he delivered it in such a way that the harm was masked behind a political trigger for any and all who consider themselves conservatives: fiscal responsibility. He played his base like a fiddle when he posted his statement over a series of tweets. He told them that he was doing this all in the name of saving the United States money. And the United States needs to save money. No one on the planet can deny that fact. Not even a blue blooded democrat like me. However, there are so many ways to go about curbing spending that do not involve a) putting a ridiculous strain on our military and b) writing off an entire group of ready, willing, and able people who have a desire to serve. Let’s start with the cost of protection for Trump to visit his resorts because he is too high class to spend time at Camp David, unlike most all other Presidents before him. Or perhaps we could repurpose some of the $41.6 Million that the Defense Department is spending on Viagra every year. You get my point. So no, this is not a practical decision used to save the United States the money that it would cost to provide medical care for a group of people who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation of ours.
So if the practicality of it all is simply a thinly veiled disguise, what then was Prezzy actually trying to say by enacting this ban? Well that’s where the prejudicial angle comes into play. Unfortunately we still, in the year of our Lord 2017, live in a society where straight, white men are the power players. And perhaps you haven’t noticed this about straight, white men but they are a scared bunch of people. Perhaps that’s because they haven’t ever truly had any experiences in their lives that forced them to know what it was like to feel that they were less than and they are so afraid that they are going to lose their status and have to live life like the rest of us. And even those that have might not have learned anything from the experience. I realize that it’s a sweeping generalization but on the whole, it’s pretty spot on. Regardless, Trump and his cronies are all straight, white men. (With the exception of Betsy DeVos and Kellyanne Conway who should do us all a favor and Thelma and Louise together) This boys club is scared of the things that they do not understand. And if there is anything that most straight, white men don’t understand…it’s the idea that someone can be trans. Hell, most can’t even understand the idea that someone can be gay. They haven’t even made it to that realm yet. However could we expect them to take a moment to stop and educate themselves on what it’s like to be a transgender person? So instead, they cower in fear and throw their proverbial Holy Water at these things which they do not understand and which they are frightened by. And that, my friends, is what this Transgender Ban is. It is an opportunity for this pompous man who was elected President to stand up in front of his cowering boys club and say ‘hey! You’re different, We don’t understand you, We don’t like you, and we are going to do the only thing that we can do…take away your rights’. It is his way of dehumanizing trans people. Trans people who, by the way, are so committed to this country that they are willing to die protecting it. I’ve said that twice now but I’m going to say it again so that the brevity will hopefully sink in. THEY ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR THIS COUNTRY. For these same straight, white men who want to keep them from doing so. Every transgender soldier who has ever served has done so to protect Donald Trump’s right to make more money and live better than that soldier or his family ever will. So excuse me but no, this ban is 0% about fiscal responsibility and is 110% about prejudice. It’s about a fear and a fear-driven hatred of a group of people that are possibly more misunderstood than any group on the planet. Trump says that the military in our country cannot be burdened with the “disruption” that transgender people cause in the military. So what ‘burden’, exactly, could that be? Could it be the ‘burden’ of straight, white men serving in the military being made “uncomfortable” by having to serve alongside a trans person? Possibly. Although that would make them a “special snowflake”, don’t you think? More than likely it’s simply that the “generals” with whom Trump consulted prior to making this decision are part of that great boys club that we discussed earlier. They don’t understand it. They don’t like it. So it has to go away so that they can pretend that it doesn’t exist.
I have news for you. Each and every one of you. Transgender people do exist. And they are not some problem that you can make ‘go away’. They are not a “burden”. They are a wonderful and amazing group of people who deserve all of the love and respect in the world. They are born into a situation over which they have no control and to be persecuted for being born a certain way speaks loudly and clearly of the way that racial and sexual minorities have been treated in our country throughout history. It is retroactive and damaging to the progress and development of our society. And before you say it, yes, this is a persecution of these people. We are talking about a segment of the population who have both the desire and courage to do something that most of us will never do. And today Donnie told them that good, great, even fantastic wasn’t good enough simply because of who they are. These people are good enough, Mr. President. They are strong, brave individuals who have done, or desire to do, more for this country than you ever have or ever will. After all, you dodged the draft. These people are volunteering to do something that you yourself were too much of a coward to face. And based on your actions today, your cowardice hasn’t changed over the years.
I have talked before on my blog about how the narrative, perhaps more than anything else, is what is truly dangerous and damaging to our country. I remember being so distraught after the results of the 2016 election were announced and I remember my friends and family who voted for this buffoon telling me that I need not be worried. I need not be worried that my rights as a married, gay man were at risk. I need not be worried that Trump would replace Supreme Court Justices with staunch conservatives who would walk back the right that I was given to even be married in the first place. I need not be worried that Trump and his boys club would walk back workplace protections for people like me or adoption rights for people like me. I need not worry because Trump didn’t care about “the gays”. They weren’t a priority for him and so he would leave them alone and focus on the economy and jobs and infrastructure and building that ridiculous border wall. Today Donald J Trump proved to me what I feared all along. He is no friend to the LGBTQ community and is not unconcerned enough with LGBTQ issues that he will leave things be for us. He is concerned. He does care and he does have an opinion and it is not a favorable one. He proved that today. He also gave each and every person who has some prejudice or chip on their shoulder toward LGBTQ people the right and the privilege to discriminate, hate, and harm us simply because of who we are. He used the narrative to grant permission to these people because they are waiting with bated breath to follow his example. He provided a narrative around the travel ban that gave those who hated Muslims a platform and a justification for doing so. It’s that whole “well he’s doing it so I can do it” mentality. And it is childish and ridiculous. For that reason and many others, he does not deserve to be Commander-In-Chief.
To many, this won’t even matter. And I understand that. But if we do not step up as a society and as a nation of forward thinkers, we are destined to failure. I encourage everyone who reads this to analyze each and every thing that Trump does in this way. Move past the utter crap that he is spewing and try to understand the realness and the truth that lies beneath the surface. And stand up for people like these soldiers. Your safety and the safety of those around you is at stake here. If the U.S. Military loses 15,000 service members, we are all in danger. So reach out to your elected officials in Congress and to the President himself and sound off. Let them know that you are mad as hell and that you are not willing to take this kind of abuse of power anymore. Unfortunately we are stuck with this person as our ‘leader’ for the next four years unless something is unearthed on him that would lead to his impeachment. And then we are stuck with someone who is quite possibly worse in ideals than Trump himself [Pence]. So we have to let our voices be heard both now and at the polls. This kind of reckless abandon for civility and common sense and the readiness to discriminate and turn away from other human beings has to stop.