Checking Twitter in the morning used to be a routine. Read headlines to various articles, check up on friends, take that Buzzfeed quiz that you didn’t need to, repeat. Since Donald Trump became president however, that morning routine has changed.
It seems like it’s almost a daily occurrence that Trump sends out a series of tweets or states something on a public platform that ultimately marginalizes a group of people as if it were nothing to him. Who will he threaten next in 140 characters or less? Social media timelines turned from mindless fluff to a battlefield of people fighting for basic human rights almost daily.
In the early morning hours of July 26, Trump decided to announce his plan to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces.
He made the announcement in a series of three tweets which ended with a simple “thank you” as if he were delivering something trivial and not barring a whole group of people from serving their country.
We as Americans used to pride ourselves about where we live and how we lived.
The whole “Land of the free, home of the brave” line we like to sing aloud to make a point of how great a country we are seems to fall flat recently.
There was a point in the past that it did start to feel like we as a country were moving forward. Our image across the seas improved, more people were gaining healthcare and it seemed like people were starting to be more accepting of others or at least getting better at camouflaging their hatred and intolerance.
One of the biggest communities that began voicing their concerns and demanding basic rights was the LGBTQ community. They rallied, they cried and found their support under the Obama administration.
In July 2011, Obama repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and in June 2015, same sex marriage was federally legalized in all 50 states. In 2016 the long standing rule banning transgender people from serving openly in the military was ended.
Trump’s proposed ban would end the Obama administration’s decision that allowed transgender troops to serve openly in the military.
In his tweets, Trump claims the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
This is the man who claims he has no tolerance for hate and bigotry yet has again and again defended racism, sexism and has restricted minorities.
This ban does not have anything to do with money, it can’t.
A 2016 RAND study conducted by the Pentagon itself counters President Trump’s rationale which found that the medical costs for transgender military personnel would be an “exceedingly small portion of active-component health care expenditures.”
This study also found that the military would only see an increase in about $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year.
This is small when compared to what the Pentagon is set to shell out in 2018 for the National Defense Authorization Bill that will raise defense spending to $696 billion, according to NBC News. Transgender health spending would account for about 0.1 percent of the Department of Defense’s budget.
A report conducted by the Palm Center and the Naval Postgraduate School also disclosed that the banning of transgender service members would set the U.S. back $960 million.
Palm Center Executive Director Aaron Belkin said it best by stating that “it would be much more expensive to fire transgender troops then to let them keep serving. The president wants to spend a $1 to save a dime, and that really doesn’t make much business sense.”
If Trump was truly as business savvy as he says he is then he should have been able to see the negatives in banning transgender troops.
It cannot be about the money. This is full-on discrimination.