The wildly unpopular Donald Trump has made yet a wildly unpopular decision regarding the troops of the United States. Trump has ‘banned’ transgender people from serving in the military all without the knowledge of the Defense Department. Trump posted this on his Twitter account:
“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”
Former President Barack Obama opened up many jobs in the military that were once closed. Women now serve in submarines and lesbian and gay troops may now serve openly everywhere. The last phase of the Obama-era required that the Defense Department decide what to do regarding transgender troops. They had asked for more time to study how the transition would occur. Trump wrote, however, that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in ‘any capacity’.
One of the questions that come to mind is: Will they be discharging current service members? What Trump may be calling for is a systematic effort to kick out an entire class of troops. Commanding officers would have little trouble pulling Trump’s policy off considering that troops were given the opportunity to serve openly. Another route Trump may choose to go is by preventing new transgender troops from joining but allowing already existing transgender groups to remain in service.
Many spoke out against Trump not only with his message but also the way in which he communicated it. Surely a president shouldn’t be breaking news of this magnitude via his Twitter account?
“The president’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz.
Members of Congress set policy regarding the military every year in the National Defense Authorization Act. Lawmakers could use the authorization bill to set policy in the way they want on this issue. Trump could, however, very well issue a veto regarding the decision made.
Lesbian, gay and transgender rights advocates pointed out that the Pentagon would spend about $8 million per year on medical care for its transgender population. If anything, Trump and his supporters will use this number to support their decision even though the Defense Department is roughly expected to spend $600 billion in total a year.
If Trump’s policy is carried out, an outcry is sure to follow. A huge step back, in terms of equality, will be taken. Here’s to the future, which will hopefully reveal what Trump was truly going on about on (emphasis) TWITTER. It is clear that the Democrats are fully prepared for a culture war if it is so needed.