At 5:55 AM Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally attack thousands of serving military personnel in a series of three Tweets which have rocked the nation. Seeming to come out of nowhere, these Tweets appeared on the President’s page:
Nobody’s quiet sure which “generals and military experts” he’s referring to, because these Tweets caught the Pentagon completely off guard. You don’t make radical policy changes by Twitter, there’s a process. I can just imagine the Joint Chiefs today, muttering “that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works!” Don’t expect changes to current policy any time soon, despite the President’s ramblings. That’s not how the Pentagon works.
The “tremendous medical costs”, by the Pentagon’s own estimate, will run up to perhaps $8.4 million a year to care for the needs of transgender troops or their qualified dependents. To make a comparison, the Department of Defense says it spends about $60 million a year on Viagra and Cialis. Trump will kick out transgender troops, some already serving in battle zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, to save $8 million, while the generals and admirals down those little blue pills to the tune of $60 million. There’s a ton of tasteless jokes here, but we’ll pass on them for the moment.
After promising to be the best President ever for the LGBT community while he was running for the job, Trump has since done nothing but throw a big raspberry our way.
In January, all content on LGBT civil rights on the White House website was removed.
In February, the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgendered students on their use of public restrooms in public schools.
In March, revoked protections for LGBT workers against discrimination in hiring and employment.
In April, dropped a federal lawsuit over North Carolina’s statewide prohibition on LGBT equality.
In June, refused to issue a Proclamation recognizing LGBT Pride month.
In July, Tweets the US military will not “accept or allow” transgender people to serve in the military.
Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the best known transgender woman in the world, issued a statement condemning the President’s Tweets:
“I believe every American should be outraged by the disrespect shown to those people wearing our country’s uniform. Furthermore, this half-baked idea puts all of our service members in harm’s way.”
Jenner is a Republican, and supported Trump in his bid to become President. Many in the LGBT community have long been dismayed by her support of him, and see this as ‘too little, too late’.
The big question is, of course, just what is the President trying to distract us from with these Tweets? While this story sucks the oxygen out of every newsroom in the country, and occupies the talking heads (and bloggers) for this cycle, what is going on that he doesn’t want us to notice? The radical right-wing judges he’s appointing to Federal Courts? The openly-hostile-to-science people he’s putting in charge of technology and science divisions in the federal government? His plans to fire Attorney General Sessions, and appoint someone to replace him during the Senate recess next month, who will then fire special counsel Mueller for him? His entirely inappropriate comments to Boy Scouts at Jamboree? Who knows what will come down the pike next?
One thing is for certain – the LGBT community will not stand by and be silent. We stand with our “T” brothers and sisters, and will fight with them to insure they are recognized as equal members of American society. Right wing zealots lost with segregation, lost with civil rights, lost with inter-racial marriage, lost with job and housing discrimination, lost with marriage equality, and they’ll lose this one as well. They are on the wrong side of history, and the rest of us will not allow them to drag us all down with them.
Photo: Associated Press