Opinion

Who can and cannot fight for this country – according to Trump

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The U.S. Supreme Court gave the Trump Administration permission to enforce President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban on Jan. 22. The court had a close 5-4 split, but the decision excludes transgender men and women from serving the country in the U.S. military.

According to CNN, former general Stanley McChrystal stated on The Axe Files with David Axelrod that, “I think it’s a mistake lose that talent.” Trump’s ban would prevent an estimated 1.4 million people from serving in the military. This number comes from surveys from the Williams Institute University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

This ban calls to mind a time in U.S. history when women weren’t allowed to fight in the military. Despite them being involved in most notable the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, women weren’t officially allowed to serve until World War I, roughly 142 years after the Revolutionary War. No longer were they denied the opportunity to act on their call to civic duty. Women were permitted to act “patriotically.” Even though the regulation was in place until 1917, women managed to fight.

Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man and served under George Washington during the Revolutionary War. According to the National Women’s History Museum, Sampson also became the only woman to get full military pension for fighting in that war.

Similarly, during the Mexican-American War, Elizabeth Newcom fought dressed as a man. She enlisted under the name “Bill Newcom.” Despite being found out eventually, Newcom still got land and military pay from the government.

Women throughout history have found loopholes around the issue of their biological sex. They let nothing stop them from protecting their friends, family and country. Patriotism should never discriminate.

Trump’s decision won’t stop transgender persons from pursuing their dreams. As women have done throughout history, they’ll find loopholes. This ban changes nothing about who they truly are. It is not a choice they have, they were labelled outside of their true gender identities at birth. This ban won’t change who they are and how they’ll change the world. All this order does is allow for hate.

The military ban is, in essence, allowing the military to discriminate against transgender individuals. It shouldn’t matter who wants to fight or die for this country. If someone is willing to take a bullet for American liberty, why should it matter who’s making that sacrifice?

Most rational people wouldn’t resist help from transgender individuals in the face of other dangers, such as mugging or assault. It’s the actions of the individual that should determine a person’s ability to serve; serving the nation should have no bias against any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

As a nation, America should be moving towards equality – not further away from it. One person can’t define what it means to love their country. No one should be able to tell another person that they can’t make the ultimate sacrifice of putting their life on the line for the sake of the U.S. and its people.

Transgender women and men are U.S. citizens. They have the right to vote and participate in the democratic system, and this includes the right to serve the country – especially if they feel it is their duty to protect.

One of Trump’s reasons for proposing the ban was the cost of having transgender servicemen and servicewomen in the military. However, transgender men and women who have already transitioned don’t need reassignment surgery again – so no one needs to pay for that in that case scenario.

Similarly, paying for hormones would be like paying for any other prescription a person would take daily. Birth control, for example, is provided by the military healthcare plan, TRICARE. This plan is paid for by taxpayers. It would be no different paying for hormones than it would be for birth control. Transgender servicemembers wouldn’t cost the U.S. government and citizens significantly more.

The passing of this order could allow for further discrimination within the armed forces or American society. Who’s next to be deemed not fit to act on their call to civic duty? What further discrimination will this administration allow?

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