Politico has reported that US President Donald Trump’s transgender ban was actually motivated by the urgent need to pass a spending bill in order to secure the US-Mexico border wall. Trump’s hallmark campaign promise, which aims at drastically reducing illegal migration from Mexico in order to see a drop in crime in the US, may have been used as leverage by more conservative sides of the Republican Party.
Right-wing House Republicans have always wanted to put an end to the Pentagon funding transgender military personnel’s sex reassignment procedures, something that was refused by the leaders of their party.
According to the report, a number of such conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives threatened to block their own President’s hallmark campaign promise and use it as leverage for their own purposes.
Not that their purposes this time were out of place, mind you. Putting an end to the use of taxpayer money being used to fund someone else’s gender reassignment surgery is a good thing. No matter your position on transgender individuals, we can all agree that such procedures should be funded by those who are undergoing them. Using other people’s money is simply unethical.
It must also be emphasised that those undergoing hormone therapy and other artificial procedures to change their gender actually experience various psychological conditions, such as mood swings and weak stress management. This is something the Department of Defence acknowledges, even after Obama allowed transgender individuals into the military.
The DoD even goes onto say that these people are not fit to serve while undergoing such procedures. It is clear that the presence of transgender people in the military not only wastes taxpayer money, it is a serious disruption the military’s purpose.
Yet using this issue to threaten their own President may have been the wrong way to go about it. The Wall was one of the key promises that defined Trump’s anti-establishment make-America-great-again presidential campaign. Using this promise to the people for your own benefit by using it to threaten the President into implementing an ultimately good policy may still not be the right thing to do.
What does seem to be surprising in this deal is that conservative Republicans never wanted to ban transgender individuals altogether, they generally pushed for a case-by-case basis and mainly focused on the use of taxpayer money on funding medical procedures. Many conservatives are now saying this decision was going too far. But is it really enough to just stop the use of taxpayer money to fund procedures while allowing a generally mentally unstable demographic remain in the army?
Please keep in mind that this is just a report, and was reported by a left-leaning news organisation. This may not have occurred at all. While even conservatives would disagree with this decision, it is clear that many in the right do stand by Trump, and for good reason. If this report is true, then let us hope this decision will secure the votes needed to pass legislation on Trump’s wall.