The dictionary defines the word “distraction” as “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” Synonyms include: diversion, interruption, disturbance, interference, hindrance, frenzy, hysteria, madness, insanity, and mania.
America’s distracted President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has never served a day in his life in the military, however, he has shown repeatedly his blatant obsession with the genitals of the men and women ensuring his safety and participating in American freedoms on a daily basis.
Thirty-three psychiatrists wrote a letter to the “New York Times” on February 13 stating that Trump’s “grave emotional instability” showed he couldn’t safely govern the country.
As of Wednesday morning, July 26, 2017, Trump has issued a ban on transgender servicemembers, effective immediately. He made the announcement via Twitter, per his usual standard. The announcement comes on the anniversary of the day when Harry Truman issued his executive order committing the government to the desegregation of the armed forces.
“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Vice President Mike Pence has been working tirelessly to overturn the Obama-era protections for transgender servicemembers. House Republicans pushed for three separate but otherwise identical amendments to the 2018 defense spending bill related to gender transition surgery in the military. Complicating the matter is that Trump’s secretary of defense, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, had already delayed the implementation of the plan to accept transgender troops by six months. The decision came one day before the deadline for the military to update its medical standards to accommodate transgender service members.
“Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?” Mattis said.
Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.
The Art of Distraction
In addition to the anti-transgender military tweets Wednesday, Trump also tweeted about the usual suspects: Hillary Clinton, the DNC, Jeff Sessions, Russia, and how “Dems are obstructionists” even though the GOP controls both the House and Senate.
The art of distraction is strong with this one. Never before has America seen such racist, homophobic, anti-everything attacks from a presidential administration such as the Trump atrocity.
As a continuous effort to dismantle Obamacare and replace it with Trumpcare is resurrected on a seemingly daily basis, it comes as no surprise to anyone, in the media anyway, that these tweets should occur now. Still, that doesn’t make Wednesday’s news any less threatening for the people who are directly affected by it.
“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,” U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said regarding Trump’s anti-transgender tweet Wednesday.
The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military - regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.
The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military.
The Witch Hunt Continues
Men and women in uniform serve this nation without praise and often lose their lives or limbs in a war trying to protect others. Many of them enter the military during their youth and put in 20 years with the hopes of retiring from service with the protections, benefits and pensions to last the rest of their lives. Many have families - spouses, children, mothers, fathers - and have sacrificed all to ensure their loved ones are comfortable.
Trump’s inappropriate tweet not only wrecks havoc on a lifetime of service for these Americans, it also reveals how distracted, sick and twisted his loyalties are to the United States of America, and that should not be overlooked.