Trump on Transgender in the Military: When You Vote for a Bigot…

You get bigotry.

Via his primary mechanism for delivering policy statements – Twitter – our POTUS this morning stated that he would ban transgender people from military service. In his tweets he said, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

This isn’t about cost. As reported by The Washington Post:

“The implication is that even in the most extreme scenario that we were able to identify … we expect only a 0.13-percent ($8.4 million out of $6.2 billion) increase in health care spending,” Rand’s authors concluded.

By contrast, total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to $84 million annually, according to an analysis by the Military Times — 10 times the cost of annual transition-related medical care for active duty transgender servicemembers.

This isn’t about readiness.The 2016 Transgender Service Member Policy Implementation Fact Sheet states up front:

The Secretary’s announcement on open service by transgender individuals involves two key documents. The first is a Directive Type Memorandum (DTM) that outlines Department policy with respect to military service by transgender individuals. The second document is a Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) detailing the procedures by which a serving transgender Service member may transition gender. Both documents reflect the Department’s finding that open service by transgender Service members, while being subject to the same standards and procedures as other members with regard to their medical fitness for duty, physical fitness, uniform and grooming, deployability, and retention, is consistent with military readiness.

This is about bigotry. This is about disenfranchising those with whom he disagrees and does not understand.

He claims this decision was made in consultation with the military’s senior leaders. If so, then they, too, are letting their bigotry influence military policy.

This step can’t be surprising to anyone. This man ran on bigotry and divisiveness. He promised policy based on bigotry. He is simply delivering on his promises. If this is the candidate you supported, then you own this, and you own the attempted Muslim Ban, and you own every other overtly bigoted policy he rolls out.

Of course, a tweet isn’t binding. Expect any formal policies on this matter to face strong legal opposition. And congratulations to all you bigots who voted for this man. You are getting what you asked for – at least until the courts intervene. I think he might have trouble rolling back all civil rights legislation, but I suspect he’ll make a good effort.

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