Should The Pentagon Bend Over Backwards To Support Trans Military Personnel?

Should The Pentagon Bend Over Backwards To Support Trans Military Personnel?

The Trump administration has to decide whether now is a good time to do battle with the LGBT lobby over transgender people serving in the military.
Daniel Oliver
By

Any day now the Trump administration is expected to announce its policy on transgendered people serving in the military.

Can you imagine writing or reading that sentence twenty years ago?

On the morning of D-Day, Franklin Roosevelt asked the nation to join him in prayer for “our sons, pride of our nation” who had set upon a mighty endeavor, “a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization.”

That very civilization, which successfully repulsed the onslaught of the Boche, is under attack from top people in the American government. The Supreme Court has held, not just that prohibiting marriage between people of the same sex is unconstitutional, but that those who oppose the concept are bigots. Sen. Bernie Sanders (honeymoon spot: Soviet Union) thought Russell Vought was unfit to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget because of his Christian belief that salvation is found through Jesus Christ alone. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) attacked Amy Barrett, a Trump nominee for the Court of Appeals who is a Catholic and a mother of seven, saying, “The dogma lives loudly in you, and that’s of concern.”

A Policy For A Small Fraction Of The Population

Is this a real concern or a media-created issue? How many transgender people really want to join the army? And, perhaps most important, do young people care? It is they, after all, who will have to share their foxholes. If they don’t care, should we?

Perhaps. They may say they don’t care. But what if military experience shows otherwise; shows that, when the incoming starts … coming in, the men in the foxholes care desperately?

And how many transgender people are there anyway? One estimate is that there is about one transgendered person in every 250 adults in the country. About 180,000 people join the military each year, which means there may be as many as 720 transgender people in that group. That is not a large number and the administration may simply not want to take on the fight that would be required to keep them out.

Why do they want to join the military? One reason may be to have the government pay for their transgender surgery, the average cost of which is said to be at least $130,000.

Question: Why should taxpayers have to pay for that? Answer: They shouldn’t.

What the administration may decide to do is allow transgendered people into the military, provided they have already completed the transgender process, from soup to nuts, a process that could be administratively determined to be eighteen months. That will keep people from joining until they’ve settled into otherhood.

It’s a reasonable guess that such a policy will discourage at least some, and perhaps many, transgendered people from trying to join the military. But will such a policy satisfy the LGBTQ political lobby and their frenetic — and Trump Resistance — allies, all of whom are probably less interested in gender travel than in trashing Western Civilization and the Trump administration while they’re at it.

And who will make the decision? President Trump or Secretary of Defense James Mattis? It’s not clear that the administration has the fortitude to take on the LGBTQ lobby. When the administration, at the urging of Secretary Mattis, nominated Mark Green, a former state senator of Tennessee and a physician who once served alongside Army Special Operations troops, to be secretary of the army, the LGBTQ lobby went berserk. Green has suggested that being transgendered is a disease. That shouldn’t have been so shocking. It’s binary: Wanting to switch genders either is a disease or it isn’t. Green’s opinion probably reflects that of most Americans. Probably most doctors too.

Another question is how much influence Anthony Kurta will have on the decision. Kurta, an Obama holdover, has been nominated to be deputy under secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the office that is tasked, under a memo of Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter, with creating, managing, and overseeing policies regarding transgender issues.

Last June, Kurta proclaimed that the US military would celebrate June as LGBT “pride” month (are Qs the new MIAs?) and he was a key speaker at the Pentagon’s gay pride celebration — a speech probably not written by Phyllis Schlafly.

The question for the Trump administration is whether it needs to go to war with the LBGTQ lobby right now. Mark Green concluded it did not, or would not — or perhaps it was concluded for him — and withdrew his name from consideration, which means Green is out and Kurta is in: not the optimal situation for Western Civ.

Trump has a fair wind and following seas at the moment (tax cuts, deregulation, declining unemployment, Korea,) though there may be stormy weather ahead, but he may simply not care, or not care enough, about keeping a few oddballs out of the military — and yes, Virginia, one out of 250 is odd.

Probably, ordinary people, ordinary conservatives, can live with letting the oddballs in, so long as the taxpayers don’t have to pay the cost of their surgeries and consequent adaptations. Any policy more generous than that may produce blood in the streets in defense of Western Civ. But then, that’s what blood is for.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email Daniel Oliver at [email protected]

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