Yesterday, 69 years ago, Democrat Harry Truman desegregated the military, allowing black people to serve. On that anniversary, Trump made what appears to be a swift policy change in transgendered persons rights by denying them service in any role in the military. He essentially re-segregated it.
This is, of course, incredibly stupid.
Well, it's stupid for all the basic reasons: transgendered people are serving just fine now with out massive disruption. The cost for their surgery is microscopic compared to the budget. It's less than the military pays for viagra (a medical necessity if ever there was one, yo).
Why Is It Stupid?
It's stupid because it plays into the worst stereotypes of Mike Pence who has, until now, managed to be pretty under-the-radar. Is he responsible for it? No one will know for sure--but man, it sure seems like it.
It's stupid because Trump made a pledge to fight for LGBT people and this is the opposite--of course anyone who believed him was an idiot--but he got like 14% of the LGBT vote so there were, statistically, a lot of idiots.
It's an incredible turduckin of stupid because of the way that Trump implemented it--with cliff-hanger tweets (during the 9 min delay between his tweets, the military thought he might be announcing an attack on North Korea or something). Of course for this administration, a shoelaces tied-together rollout that steps directly on a rake is par for the course . . .
And we complained about the Obamacare launch--man, we were younger then, weren't we?
But that's not the main reason it's stupid.
Some reports said the admin loved all the questions about transgendered people at the press-conference instead of asking about, say healthcare. That's short-sighted, yes, but maybe using this as a distraction is smart.
Wait, Was Any Part of It Smart?
People think that this will create a bind for some vulnerable Democrats who have to defend 'icky' transgendered people in red-states. If the administration can build a solid wedge-issue here, that could be smart politics. So, you know, maybe?
It's certainly a shout-out to the evangelical base who really don't like transgendered people getting a pass in their every-day lives and would like to see them a bit more shunned and shamed. Giving benefits to the base is usually seen as a good move--so, yeah?
The reason it's incredibly, incredibly stupid is because of the day Trump picked to do it. The desegregation of the military is seen, today, as one of the defining victories of the civil rights movement. Picking the freakin' anniversary of it to take an equivalent action (The Omnivore heard you gasp--just keep your panties on for a second, we'll get to that last bit in a minute) makes this so clearly a wrong-side-of-history culture war that the choice to intentionally (?) pick this battle is breathtakingly idiotic.
So Why Is It Totally Stupid?
Why would you want to draw any such comparisons when your argument is going to be that these things aren't alike at all (see? The Omnivore really did hear you gasp! And can read your mind!).
Why Is A Transgender Ban Like A Racial Ban?Here are some points of comparison:
- Both ban you for something you intrinsically are (note: this is why the religious right tied itself into knots about claiming homosexuality was a choice--if you were "made that way" then, presumably, God did it.
- Both have no direct correlation as to how you can serve in the actions of the military. Note that Trump says "no role"--so physical strength or health isn't the issue. Also note: lots of people serve with chronic conditions.
- The issue is really cultural. We can pretend it's "because of expense" or because "transgendered people weird the troops out" or because "it's a social experiment." We know all of these are bullshit (the expense is minimal, serving with black people weirded the troops out--gay people too), and other militaries and, indeed, our own, have "run the experiment" without failure.
So let's call it what it is: A lot of people really resent having to give transgendered people any cultural currency. It turns out there are more people than you would have thought who are radical-truth-tellers. They are hurt--so hurt--at having social pressure to say things that their very eyes are telling them are not true!
One presumes they carry this affliction around with them in other contexts. They have to tell Jewish people on the subway they're going to hell because they're worshiping the wrong gods, right? They all are forced to do that by their commitment to Truth! They have to question the "round earth" hypothesis because they can see that the earth looks pretty flat and doesn't feel like it's spinning. They know better than to take the word of these so-called fancy experts--right?
And so on.
No--no. The fact is that you don't like having to give transgendered people any more cultural currency because you feel like that's a victory for a "side" you don't like. Heck, you probably don't even hate Caitlyn Jenner. You just hate those social justice warriors and if some wierdo gets ground under the treads of your culture-war when they get beat to shit for using the "wrong bathroom"? Well, omelets and eggs, right?
You know, of course, that people like you objected in exactly the same way to being told they could no longer call black people niggers, didn't you?