Defense and discrimination

Reversing a late-breaking change in policy effected by the Obama administration, President Trump announced via Twitter last week that those of the transgender persuasion would be barred from military service. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory,” he explained. He added that the military should not be “burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Is this an issue that is rightly governed by the shibboleth of “discrimination”? For the likes of Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and many others, it is. Schiff declared in a press release: “Trump’s anti-transgender pronouncement is ugly and wrong because discrimination is never patriotic; allowing all who love this country to serve, is.”

How about “discrimination” against the patriotic lame and the country-loving halt? Those who failed to pick up a high school diploma somewhere along the way? Those unable to pass the relevant aptitude test? Those deemed too old or too young to enlist? Tear down these walls down, I guess.

Our friend Mac Owens thinks it’s a little more complicated than the “discrimination” mantra would suggest. Writing at American Greatness, Mac argues:

What can we say about the plan to revoke Obama-era transgender policy? For one thing, it violates no one’s “rights.” Transgender people continue to possess all of the rights of their fellow citizens, but there is no “right” to serve in the military. The military rejects many people based on physical and psychological conditions.

Second, we are not talking about changing a longstanding policy. Opening service to transgenders was an executive decision made during the last year of the Obama administration; it was scheduled to go into effect in June. The Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps had originally requested a two-year delay to assess the costs and possible consequences of the new rules, but finally agreed to seek a six-month delay, a request approved by Secretary James Mattis. Meanwhile, Congress failed to hold hearings on the subject. A change in the policy would be nothing but a return to the status quo ante.

Third, liberal activists insist on treating transgender military service as the latest milestone on the road to complete social justice, one that stretches from the integration of African-Americans into the military, to women in combat and service by open homosexuals to the present. But it is no such thing. Rather it is—or should be—an issue of military effectiveness. Does the Obama policy of transgenders in the military increase the lethality of the force or not?

Whole thing here.

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