Trump just used his famous “I’m just telling it like it is” excuse to defend his unpopular decision to remove transgender troops from the military.
About two weeks ago, Trump announced on Twitter than transgender soldiers would no longer be allowed to serve in the military, providing no information on the transition plan in place for soldiers currently actively serving.
It almost immediately backfired, with people not only expressing anger or hurt at the announcement but top military officials making it clear that they cannot follow an order delivered via social media and would not be changing any policies until a formal request was made.
People have been standing up to Trump’s decision ever since. Many people posted “YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN” over the transgender flag to their social media pages. A qualified candidate for a top security position withdrew because he refused to interact with someone bigoted against the LGBT community he is a part of. In another instance, a former NAVY doctor offered to perform free surgery on transgender individuals.
Overall, the only people who seem to think this is a good ban are conservative mouthpieces like Tomi Lahren and Donald Trump himself, and he’s doing anything possible to try to get people on board.
What’s Happening Now:
In his latest attempt to defend rather than explain his decision, Trump said that he believes he is doing the military a “great favor.”
According to Trump, he has great support from the LGBT community, because he “got a lot of votes.” Voting is the only way Trump can measure support, apparently, rather than how those same people feel about how he is doing in the job – and according to current polling, there isn’t a lot of love for the president. Plus, all research indicates that LGBT individuals voted for Clinton over Trump, and his favor fell with the community compared to Romney in 2012.
He also thinks his attacks on the community like this one has not impacted LGBT support.
While explaining why he thinks he did the military a favor to the press situated in his golf club in New Jersey, Trump says that the military has been unable to decide on the issue of transgender soldiers, and he is doing them a favor by “coming out and just saying it”.
Apparently, all military officials have just been itching to dismiss transgender soldiers as burdens on the country rather than brave servants, and only Trump had the courage to take to his Twitter account and break the news.
It is quite hard to discern who Trump is freeing from the bonds of silence with this announcement. It doesn’t seem to be Republican Congressmen, as there was no major push for a ban and top Republicans, including war hero (although not according to draft-dodging Trump) Senator John McCain, have criticized Trump’s decision.
Others who actively served have made it clear where they stand, and it isn’t with Trump:
“Fifty-six retired generals and admirals are coming out against President Trump’s ban on transgender troops, arguing it would be disruptive and degrade military readiness, rather than improve it as the president asserted.”
In their statement, they compared the decision to the infamous don’t ask, don’t tell policy that used to constrict gay service members.
Overall, nobody seems to be happy with the ban, and certainly nobody who would be actively impacted by it. Perhaps Trump is trying to convince himself of its usefulness, which is why he keeps talking about it to the press and digging himself a hole.
The ban is a cut-and-dry example of discrimination, and it comes as a particularly low blow since Trump won’t stop going on and on about his alliance with the LGBT community. He isn’t going to be able to use his strange brutal honesty act to get out of this one, because there’s no honesty in it. The only one who thinks discrimination is appropriate military policy is him and Mike Pence, with a record against the LGBT community, and it’s starting to show.