When I write My Two Cents, I do my very best to stick to the straight and narrow of moderate centrism. So much damage is done to our democracy by politicians and voters who form principled opinions based on a coherent worldview instead of firmly sticking to the sensible middle ground position.*
But after hearing the news that the Trump Administration really is moving forward with his tweeted plan to prohibit transgender individuals from serving in the military, I realized I could not hold back what is left of my flaccid ideology any longer.
Not only is this latest trans-ban bad policy, and bad politics, it is fundamentally immoral.
You see, service in our armed forces isn’t just about spreading empire and domination across the globe, it’s also about participating in this great experiment we call America.
Whether we’re forcing the Cherokee out of Georgia, or cutting a swath of destruction across the Middle East and South Asia, Americans have always found a sense of purpose and belonging by serving in the armed forces.
What else could make one a true part of our collective nation, besides participating in our collective crimes?
Simply put: Transgendered Americans have the same right to serve as cannon fodder in our imperial project as cis-gendered Americans. For a nation that says it’s committed to freedom, equality, and democracy (spread overseas at the point of a gun), that shouldn’t be such a hard concept to grasp.
It should be said too that letting transgenders serve in the military is not only the right thing to do in a democracy, it could be just the right thing for our democracy, which has become increasingly acrimonious and partisan as of late.
Nothing helped heal the wounds of the civil war faster than North and South, Yankee and Rebel, fighting side by side to bring American imperial rule to the Philippines during the Spanish-American war.
Later it was people of color and white people serving side by side in our vicious and unnecessary war effort in Korea that first made many Americans realize that a racially integrated country was even possible.
Even today, in an economy marked by increasing inequality, rich and poor (mostly poor) are fighting and dying together in our pointless forever war in Afghanistan.
Banning transgender troops from the military doesn’t just violate their rights, it denies them that most sacred, blood-soaked rite of passage into becoming fully accepted U.S. citizens.
For that reason and many more, Trump needs to rethink this ban.
That’s my two cents.
*This is a satirical post. The actual views held by The Daily Face Palm Editorial Board are much less agreeable.