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Opinion

Transgender Troops, Trump, At Odds Over Military Service

We as a people have a long standing habit of accepting the power held above us. We forget that we alone have the ability to change- our politicians are people, just like us. Yet we hold an idea in our minds that they are untouchable, unable to be questioned. This needs to change.

Our allowance of politicians doing what they want can lead to ignorance, and it is ignorance, anger, and fear of the unknown that leads to bigotry- Bigotry like the ridiculous policy President Donald Trump passed for eligibility in the military.

On August 25, 2017, President Trump signed off on a policy that would remove the pre-2016 allocation of transgender individuals to serve in any branches of the military. His reasoning was that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Though Trump’s policy will most likely not take effect any time in the near future, it is not the actual ban itself that is the issue, but rather the implications behind it.
This issue was first brought up by President Trump on July 26, 2017 when he rashly tweeted that the U.S. Military will not “accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in the military in any capacity.”

He claimed he had spoken to his generals, but according to his generals, no such conversations happened, and he was quickly shut down. Like many things Trump tweeted, it was soon ignored and forgotten. But by ignoring him, we have enabled him to think he can get away with whatever he wishes.

If a man pledges his life to his country and promises to serve with loyalty to the best of his ability, people would cheer, and call him a hero. But if that man was assigned female at birth, it is unacceptable and he must leave immediately.

This is not, and was not ever, about medical costs for the government. This was never a debate about transgender people’s ability to serve. This is entirely about alienating and dehumanizing people who are different from the majority.

The United States military already has an estimated 15,000 trans people serving today- imagine that number dropping from our troops suddenly. That is essentially what our President wishes to do. That is not okay.

Our President cannot be allowed to spew hate speech based on skewed judgements- it is our duty as Americans to remind him that he does not “own” America. He is not the end-all, be-all. We must let it be known that he is not our boss- if anything, we are his. It’s time to make that clear to him.

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