For Trump’s opponents, this week’s tweets announcing a ban on transgender troops in the US military encapsulated everything that appalls them about the president. It wasn’t just the substance of the announcement; it was also its motive: in essence, the tweets were a sop to socially conservative legislators who might otherwise have held up his agenda (on this, Politico’s report from behind the scene is a must read).
Many conservatives, however, have decided that this is a hill they are prepared to die on. The broad social acceptance of homosexuality, and the legality of same sex marriage, has made the political scapegoating of lesbians, gays and bisexuals tricky. This has put transgender folks in the crossfire of the culture wars, as attested by bathroom bills, ceaseless transphobic vilification in conservative media and now Trump’s ban, which, among other things, will put out and serving trans troops in a hideous position.
For the most part, even Trump skeptics have joined in with the denigration of a group of people who are, after all, troops – a category they usually profess oleaginous support for. The few exceptions on the right – mostly libertarians – are swimming against a flood tide.
Author: Thomas D Williams, who appends his PhD to his name, presumably because he believes it has some relevance to his job churning out stuff for Breitbart.
Why you should read it: Williams talks with “philosopher” Ryan T Anderson who claims to be writing a book titled – with up-to-the-minute cultural referencing – When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.
Both men labour under the impression that their doctorates will enhance the impact of their already-stale talking points. They say that high rates of mental illness in the trans community mean that when trans people serve, they affect combat readiness. What they don’t talk about is how trans folks who enlist go through the same screening and…