Here’s the secret: He’s not, but he’s going to keep pretending he is.
By Jessica Valenti
Jul 26, 2017
Just when you think we’ve reached the limit on how shameful the president can be, he outdoes himself. This morning, in a series of tweets, Trump announced that the government will not “accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.” His reasoning, if you can call it that, is that the military cannot be “burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail.”
This news comes a little more than a year after Trump tweeted to the LGBT community, “I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.” Trump doesn’t really care about trans people’s rights one way or another—just how he can use them to his political advantage.
Thankfully, just because Trump tweets something doesn’t make it so; the president cannot simply declare, over Twitter no less, that trans people will not be allowed in the military. But this announcement is a reminder of Trump’s fundamental leadership strategy: Attack the most marginalized—especially when they’re down.
Trump’s agenda is failing in a monumental and public way, people are furious about healthcare, and the president’s approval ratings are historically low. Despite claiming that he’s signed more bills than any president ever (blatantly untrue), Trump has yet to pass one significant piece of legislation. But by making this morning’s declaration about trans service members, Trump can not only try to finally have a “win,” but also cultivate glowing support from evangelicals and conservatives.