Thursday, July 27, 2017

Some Facts And Thoughts On The Trans Ban

In today's edition of FrontpageMag, Daniel Greenfield has posted an article entitled "The Transgender Ban Isn't Fair.  Neither Is War".  What caught my interest, however, were the facts that he lays out in the first three paragraphs.
The ban on transgender service that President Trump reaffirmed was there for eight years under Obama. It was there in his first term and his second term. And the media said nothing.
Only in the summer of last year did the ban technically end. And, in practice, it remained in force. All the while there was no angry clamor about the suffering of potential recruits who couldn’t enlist. Those who are fuming with outrage now had hypocritically remained silent. Obama had done it. So it must be good.
Obama had kept the ban in place for almost his entire two terms in office. And he found a way to retain it throughout his final months. With a year’s review, the transgender recruits could only be accepted after he was out of the White House. That way he could have his social justice cake and eat it too. He would get the credit for ending the transgender ban without dealing with any of the problems.
This reminded me of something President Clinton did during the last week or so of his presidency.  He issued an Executive Order lowering the allowable levels of some chemicals, such as arsenic, in ground water.  In doing so, gave his successor, the second President Bush, a dilemma, and in my opinion, set up a political trap.  If Dubya were to rescind Mr. Bill's EO, he could be portrayed as being anti-environment.  It did, however, beg an obvious question.  If bringing down the arsenic levels is so important, why did Clinton tolerate the higher levels until the last week of his time in office?  Similarly, if the ban on transgenders serving in the military is so unfair, why was it tolerated during most of Obama's time in office?  Read the full FPM article.

(As a side note, I hope that sometime soon, I will figure out, or perhaps learn of, some nicknames for Presidents Obama and Trump that are as cool as "Mr. Bill" and "Dubya".  Perhaps "Barry" and "The Donald" will do for the time being.  When I joined And Rightly So in 2008, my co-bloggers were already referring to then-candidate Obama as "Teh One", with a superscript "TM" afterwards.)

When I was younger, I was not familiar with the word "transgender".  There used to be people called "transvestites" because they wore clothing appropriate to the sex opposite their own.  For example, there were men (sometimes called "drag queens") who wore dresses, and women who wore suits and ties.  Most of the time I ever saw such behavior was around Halloween.  There were also people called "transsexuals", who had undergone operations which removed the sex organs they were born with and implanted facsimiles of the opposite sex organs.  Today, this is called "sex reassignment surgery".  Nowadays, there are people who modify their appearance to look like the opposite of the sex they were born with, but keep their original private parts.  As a result, there are "men" who have periods and "women" with penises.  The term "transgender" encompasses all of these, and probably a few other conditions or behaviors that I have not mentioned.  This begs a question for both supporters and opponents of the ban.  How should "transgender" be defined?

(As another side note, during my younger days, I watched the TV show M*A*S*H*, which included a character named Corporal Klinger, who dressed in women's clothing, hoping that this would cause him to get a Section 8 discharge from the Army.  My father, who served in the Army Air Corps after World War II, once told me that he saw a few guys doing the same thing.  In other words, Corporal Klinger was very likely based on real soldiers, trying to pass themselves off as transvestites.  Would they be called "transgenders" today?)

Some people will say that the rights of transgenders are being violated by a ban on military service.  I disagree with this idea, because serving in the military is not a right, but a privilege.

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