Wait. Close your eyes. Is it just me or do you feel it too? Ask yourself, what is the source of this horrendous weight? The evisceration of environmental safeguards? The withdrawal from the Paris Accord? The only answer is—the world literally”sucks” because of Donald Trump.
Amidst the government shutdown, the popular number was 800,000—the number of government workers barely surviving without a paycheque. Recently, the Supreme Court brandished a new number—15,500. The number of transgender military personnel that the Trump administration may now openly discriminate against, with absolute impunity.
If your eyes are still closed, imagine this for just a moment: 15,500 transgender military personnel preparing to lay down their lives to protect an administration that has said, they needn’t bother. Last summer, Trump announced in a tweet that these military personnel are not needed, nor wanted, as again he attempts to slow social progress. But you cannot destroy and idea. I learned that from Deep Space Nine.
On January 22, 2019, amidst the mounting pressure of the shutdown, the Supreme Court in a ruling of 5-4, voted that the Trump administration may uphold their ban on transgender military personnel. By extension, the Trump administration has declared war on the very people charged with keeping America safe. It was no surprise that newly elected judge Brent Kavanaugh, voted in favour of the ban. He is a conservative. He likes beer.
“Call me corny but with great power, comes great responsibility”
Trump’s offensive began with the Muslim Ban, followed by his opposition to NFL players taking a knee. Trump’s long arm of discrimination extended to Charlottesville and even Puerto Rico. He has built many walls, all of them hurtful and divisive. So he can celebrate this victory, his hard fought for wall to separate transgender people from others in the military, never once questioning the impact of his policies on morale or how America fails to lead, in a world where America wields near ultimate power. Call me corny but “with great power, comes great responsibility”. As the president rarely reads I had hoped he would have at least caught the odd Spider-Man film.
Trump as part of his rhetoric justified the transgender ban stating that the costs of medical treatment was exorbitant. Fun fact: the military spends approxmately 84 million dollars on medication for erectile dysfunction. Nothing at all to do with transgender medical expenses, which pale in comparison to the “Viagra bill.”
While Trump celebrates his Supreme Court victory, his dark cloud of discrimination is overshadowed by the failure of the wall. Like the many who have been at the pointed end of Trump’s vitriol, if transgender military personnel are to remain in the military, offering up their lives, the world will need to defy Trump’s gravity of hate.
k.g. Sambrano is a Canadian writer known for his works of literary fiction and poetry, and is an occasional freelance political writer. His latest book, Trump- the First 365 Days: America’s Fight for America was released on February 20, 2018.