by Mona Charen
Back on planet Earth, I’d be inclined to assess the merits of the question. The Left’s default mode for any vexing public-policy matter is “discrimination” or “hate.” Complex questions are shoe-horned into a civil-rights box, and once so designated, they are beyond debate. Those opposed to “transgender” rights (even if that term is completely misplaced) get Bull Connor or “hater” status.
The question of gender identity is caught up with our confusion about masculinity and femininity, and about the role of biology in our lives. The Left’s approach – to declare trans people to be a persecuted minority rather than confused people in need of understanding and therapy – inhibits reasonable debate.
But so does Donald Trump’s cynical use of the question. After years of professing his attachment to LGBTQ concerns, offering that Caitlyn Jenner could use any bathroom he/she preferred in Trump Tower, telling crowds that he would be a “better friend” to LGBT people than Hillary Clinton, and even thanking Republican convention goers for cheering that gays should not be murdered, Trump now finds it useful to declare transgenders unwelcome in the U.S. military.
Never mind that even conservative Republican members of Congress had not asked for that much. They had opposed only forcing the military to pay for gender-reassignment surgery. And never mind that the military was in the midst of a thorough evaluation of its transgender policy. And never mind that the president failed to consult with or even to inform his military advisers before tweeting the new policy — which has provoked an extraordinary response from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, clarifying that there will be “no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines.”
A very nuanced perspective from a National Review writer.
The left's condemnation of the Trump ban ignores the questions of the safety and dignity of servicewomen posed by transgender people in the military, but the policy is somewhat clumsy and ill-considered.