The Abandonment of Transgender Soldiers by the Coward Donald Trump

When will we say enough is enough?

Like many Americans…more than half of them actually (real fact, not alternative fact), I have never been fond of nor embraced the fact that Donald Trump is the chief citizen of our country. Not once since his election have I awakened with a sense of pride and excitement about the direction that our country has taken. Still, as with all tragedies, a certain acceptance sets in. Truly, we are stuck with him until at least January 2021.

I am also encouraged by the fact that come November, America has a real chance of limiting the damage this man can do. Whether as a citizen that means more Democrats are elected or Republicans just as tired of Trump as the rest of us, it doesn’t matter. It has been a glimmer of hope in this sad moment of history. However, it hasn’t been easy to keep it alive.

I, like most of you, have watched as this man has broken uncountable promises. And, thanks to a dedicated report at the Houston Chronicle, America can research all of these promises and keep track of his failings. Hint, there are more than a few. While I will not list them all, here are a few.

Broken Promises Highlights

Trump did not keep Ford Motor Company from pursuing its plans to build or expand production in Mexico and although he tried to take credit for new jobs the company announced, those jobs were part of a deal put in place long before he was elected.

He did not save jobs at the Carrier plant in Indiana.

While it is a bit early to say that he has failed to rejuvenate the steel industry, he certainly has not followed through with his vow to only allow the use of American steel within our borders (we all still remember the pipeline drama, right?).

Despite vowing he would not be a President who took vacations or played golf all the time, he surpassed the number of vacation days President Obama took in eight years within his first year.

He has yet to rally the House or the Senate to draft a meaningful healthcare bill capable of replacing the ACA, in fact, a straight repeal vote even failed.

Force Mexico to agree to pay for a border wall. Upheld the promise in any fashion that Americans would not have to pay for the wall. For that matter, the President cannot even seem to implement a travel ban that is not immediately suspended or struck down by federal courts.

Communicating with North Korea. Staying out of Syria’s civil war. Standing up to Venezuela. Assisting Haiti. Anything related to China except asking them to take care of North Korea for us. Drain the swamp. You get the idea.

Yet, perhaps the most disgusting broken promise is the commander-in-chief proving time and again that not only an enemy of the LGBT community (despite proclaiming otherwise) but that he has no respect for those who put on a uniform and say “I got this, your safe”.

Burdens and Disruptions.

Last week, the Pentagon delivered its memo on transgender soldiers to the White House. The contents of that memo have not been made pubic or leaked in any way. The memo comes months after Trump first tweeted he wanted to ban all transgender individuals from serving in the armed forces. When Trump spoke out about the ban he claimed his opinion came from a place of fiscal responsibility. That the medical care from transgender individuals was too great a burden for America to bear. About a month later he signed a directive to make the policy more official.

But the move, while celebrated by some, brought unexpected backlash. Republicans and high-ranking generals joined the chorus of people decrying the measure. Senator John McCain said this at the time.

“When less than 1% of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country. Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve — including those who are transgender.”

His words were echoed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), whose son is transgender. Of the ban she said in a tweet, “No American, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be prohibited from honor + privilege of serving our nation #LGBT.”

However, despite the directive, not much changed in actions by the Pentagon or Department of Defense. In fact, just last week the Pentagon revealed it was allowing openly transgender citizens to sign up for the military.

The coward

Despite all the broken promises that Trump has made, this is perhaps one of the most egregious. It is not only an attack on the LGBTQ community but on service members. It comes from a man who has never worn a uniform. From a man who applied, and received, five deferments from service during Vietnam for bone spurs. A man who has repeatedly mocked high profile veterans. While running for office Trump proclaimed he would be “the greatest ally to the LGBTQ community there ever was”. Yet his actions since then have confirmed what many already knew. He isn’t.

However, it really comes down to this. For those in this world who feel called to serve, nothing should stand in their way so long as they are fit to do so. If they meet the requirements, they should be allowed to take up the post they desire. Volunteering to serve your country, to protect it with your very life, is the ultimate expression of love one can give. To attack those who wear the uniform or want to wear a uniform is the ultimate act of cowardice and malice. For a man who proclaims to have so much respect for the military he has a funny way of showing it.

Mr. President, the military is not, and should never be, a political entity. If a person wishes to serve, let them serve. Be comforted by the fact that there are those willing to fight and die on our behalves if necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that there are people who wish to serve a country that has often let them down completely. Respect the courage and dedication that they display.

Stop disrespecting them. Act like a leader.

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