July 28, 2017
Week 26 hasn't exactly been Donald Trump's easiest. Last night's health care failure was agonizing to watch, especially for the man who owes his election to the country's disgust over the law Republicans tried to repeal. Earlier in the week, the president focused on issues he could control -- delivering an enormous victory to the military and the millions of voters tired of Obama-era extremism. But doing the right thing isn't always the easiest thing, and the media is doing its best to make the White House's roll-back of the transgender policy sting.
Unfortunately for the press, President Trump doesn't scare easily. He's spent the better part of seven months ignoring the media -- and America is better for it. Checking off box after box of campaign promises, Trump is systematically upending eight years of radically liberal policy. From solid judicial appointments and pro-life policy to banning taxpayer-funded abortion and overturning the Left's bathroom mandate, President Trump has waded in to issues even his own party would like to ignore. Now, with the military on the brink, staring down a $3.7 billion price tag for service members' sex changes, Trump finally said what the rest of America was thinking: what happened to common sense? "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
For three days, the media has done its best to drown out the voices of reason that agree with the president. But still, House and Senate conservatives continue to shower praise on the decision to put troops and taxpayers first. "I don't think this is the time to have a social agenda conversation," Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) said. "I think [Trump] is well within his rights [to impose the ban]." A ranking member on the Senate Armed Services, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) also applauded the step away from political correctness. "We had enough problems with social experimentation in the military. I don't think it's appropriate."
On the House side, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) added to the chorus of support. "Presidents are often faced with tough decisions, and [this week] we saw a President willing to take decisive action. I applaud President Trump for his efforts in putting the focus of our military resources back where it needs to be -- on giving our men and women in uniform the tools they need to keep our country safe." To the White House's delight, the lower chamber proved its thanks by passing the Make America Secure Act, the defense spending bill that conservatives had threatened to stall if the transgender issue wasn't addressed.
In the end, though, no one is more grateful than the men and women who've worn the uniform and understand what's at stake. In a letter to President Trump, flag officers from across the services wrote "to express our gratitude to you for making the extremely courageous decision to reverse President Obama's transgender social experiment."
"There may be an enormous amount of vitriol directed at you for making this policy correction, but please know that overturning this policy may have done more in the long term to save the culture and war-fighting capacity of the U.S. military than perhaps any other military policy you adopt.
We note that your bold decision is supported by the American people who have a great reverence for the military. A Rasmussen survey released in June found that 'just 23% of likely U.S. voters think the U.S. military's decision to allow openly transgender people to serve is good for the military.' We believe you will be rewarded for this brave decision by the American people. Once again, thank you for your focus on preserving the military effectiveness, morale, and social cohesion of the United States Armed Forces."
While liberal politicians continue to rail against the change, all they've succeeded in persuading anyone is how profoundly ignorant they are about how the military operates. "Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military," said one senator. But just because you want to serve your country doesn't mean you're qualified to do so. There is no constitutional right to join the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard. Every day, the military turns down people for things that are far less destabilizing than gender dysphoria.
Our own Lt. General Jerry Boykin, who commanded the Special Forces, told the story this week of his son, who was refused by the Army for taking Adderall for six months as a child. And he's no exception. Brigadier General (and Congressman) Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told the astounding story on "Washington Watch" about how a "mountain of a young man" he knew was denied for something as common as a peanut allergy. Yet Democrats think we should turn our fighting force inside out to welcome in (and pay for!) a new class of Chelsea Mannings?
Thank goodness the president saw through the Left's phony "fairness" arguments to the real issues: cost, readiness, retention, and recruitment. Political correctness doesn't win wars -- and it's time we put an end to policies that pretend it does.
To thank President Trump for this strong stand against political correctness, join me in signing our statement of support. For more on the debate and why Donald Trump's fearless move was the right one, check out my new column in The Hill, "Trump's Right: Transgender Patriotism Isn't the Issue -- Military Readiness Is." Also, don't miss my interview with Curt Schilling on Breitbart (1:41:00 mark) here.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.