As the Twitter dust settles following President Donald Trump’s surprising tweet about the role of transgender people in the military, a number of things have been left murky to say the least. I guess that’s to be expected when the order comes through 140 characters or less.
We don’t know what the fate will be for transgender people actively serving in the military. We don’t know what the order means for current service members going through a gender transition process. Hopefully, these things will be clarified soon.
However, some things are clear.
It’s clear the president is making a major shift from his predecessor's transgender policy in the United States Armed Forces.
It’s clear we can’t expect most of the mainstream media to fairly navigate viewers through the president’s unexpected policy change. So far, the responses from the mainstream media have been predictable on both sides of the issue.
I don’t watch the news on the major networks or cable channels often, but this time I tuned in to a few of the debate shows and newscasts.
What I clearly heard from most of the mainstream news sources is they consider this a blow to the dignity of humanity at large.
How is this decision a blow to the dignity of humanity at large? The military has certain standards for serving. People with severe asthma or poor vision typically don’t get in. Is that a blow to the dignity of humanity? Just because the military rejects a candidate on those grounds doesn't make it a blow to the dignity of humanity. It means the military has certain requirements in order to serve.
It’s also clear that America is deeply divided today. We struggle to agree on basic words. For instance, the word fairness is used frequently in the arena of public policy. Some say it isn’t fair that people dealing with the dysphoria of transgenderism should be excluded from the military or be denied a gender transition process while they serve. Who pays for those services? Taxpayers pick up the bill. Is it fair that my tax dollars have been used to pay for the gender transition process I believe is wrong?
Most clear, though, is that we should all be careful with phrases like the dignity of humanity. Whether we agree or disagree on the issues, we should treat one another with dignity and respect for the sake of humanity
Brandon Porter is the Media Director of the Commonwealth Policy Foundation and Assistant Director of the Commonwealth Policy Center.