The United States military has one, single purpose: To destroy an enemy’s ability to wage war against the United States. Period. That’s it.
Among other things, this requires cohesive teamwork, focus, reliability and mental and emotional toughness. The presence of transgender individuals in military units undermines each of those requirements — overwrought transgender protestations notwithstanding.
Transgenders in a tight-knit military unit in a hot war obviously present a distraction in such a high stress environment. Are you supposed to call the hairy guy on patrol with you Sarah because he is transgender or transgendering? Obvious distraction and added stress.
Because the surgeries can put transgenders out of service for weeks and the hormone treatments affect them for months or even years, they can be unreliable to be ready when needed.
And mental toughness? Well if you are a man, but think you are actually a woman trapped in a man’s body, I feel badly for you, but that is not a sign of mental and emotional toughness. Until just 10 years ago it was considered a mental illness, a psychological illness called gender dysphoria and people suffering from it were treated to be cured. Further, it is a fact that transgendered Americans suffer disproportionately from mental illness, and are more prone to suicide, along with drug and alcohol abuse.
Under President Obama, who seemed to do everything possible to weaken the U.S. military’s ability to carry out its sole function, the military became one social justice experiment after another — each one eating away at the cohesiveness and teamwork and focus required. For him, striking down gender normatives seemed more important than putting our fighting men and women in the best position to carry out their sole function with the minimum of harm to themselves.
So Trump, after long consultations with his military leaders, tweeted Wednesday: “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.” Followed by: “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 is the correct position, even if it was done clunkily with a tweet before the policy could be ironed out.
Focusing the fighting force on fighting
President Trump has had Defense Secretary Jim Mattis researching the place of transgenders in the military, along with many other distractions for soldiers. A month ago, Mattis placed a six-month moratorium on recruiting transgenders into the military.
Trump’s policy fits with Mattis’s goal for the armed forces.
According to a memo obtained by Fox News, Mattis wants to eliminate extraneous military education and reinvigorate the armed services in the art of “warfighting.” The memo said this came after complaints by thousands of military members that their time is being wasted by hours of mandatory training, covering active shooters, sexual harassment, stress management and more.
In other words, it was transforming into a liberal playground of social issues.
Trump said throughout the campaign that he would listen to his generals, and his actions are in line with Mattis’ actions. Whether that happened in this case — that Trump acted on advice from his military leaders — we don’t know for sure, but we can be confident there will be leaks on the issue if those leaks can embarrass Trump.
Naturally, the LGBTQ folks spun into hysterical fits of outrage — it’s kind of their go-to response to everything — and the rapid reaction squad was to be found everywhere in the more-than-friendly mainstream media. (I was on an ABC panel the same evening as they switched their normal programming. The discussion was far apart, but quite civil. But it was also two gay/transgender activists and myself.)
The new policy also had its brave supporters in Congress — brave because gay activists can be relentless and go far beyond your basic activist.
U.S. Rep. Vicky Jo Hartzler, a Missouri Republican, tweeted: “President Trump’s decision today to rescind Obama’s transgender military policy has the best interests of the military in mind, and I thank him for taking this decisive action.”
Transgender policy is only one year old
It should be remembered that Obama did not change the policy on transgenders serving openly in the military until June 2016, when he had only a few months left in office. It was kind of a low act because he got to take credit for the new policy without having to deal with any fallout.
So Trump’s decision reverses a policy that was merely a year old.
In addition to aiding military preparedness, the policy is perhaps the beginning of the end of giving special medical privileges that contort the military for social experimentation and force everyone in the chain of command to walk on eggshells soas to not offend a tiny percentage of people who are confused about the reality of who they are.
None of this is to question the patriotism of transgendered Americans. Sure, there are going to be some who enlisted to get the surgeries and hormone treatments paid for by taxpayers, but many others serve for the sake of serving.
But the military is not a platform for social justice.
The transgender individual on the ABC panel with me said the military should be diverse, and look like the rest of the country. No. The military should fulfill its sole purpose of destroying the enemy’s ability to wage war against America.
And that’s it.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.