Donald Trump's Latest Transgression 29.07.17
It's a slow news day, so I've decided to write about the latest travails of the USA's 45th and current President, Donald Trump, whose views on trans people seem to drift ever further from friendship to compromised indifference (see the Mike-Pence inspired repeal of trans rights in high schools) to intolerance and scapegoating. He's had a tough week, with the collapse of his signature health care act, accompanied by his firing of a close communications aide and replacing him with an obscene sociopath nicknamed The Mooch. And as an avid reader of extreme-right-wing lit (am fascinated by the dystopian paranoia), I would like to point out that the Godmother of the American Right, Ayn Rand (1905-1982), has in her toxic-but-fun-to-read novel Atlas Shrugged a lame and pathetic political nobody called Mooch, a figure who typifies all that is wrong with American politics. So there, Donald Trump, even your own ideologically-aligned people shake their heads at you, kind of.
I won't dwell much on Trump's latest troubles – his voters still appear to like him, after all – but as a trans person, I will say something about his series of pronouncements on banning trans people in the military that occurred over Thursday and Friday. Which is this: what happened in America consolidated the presence of trans people in mainstream society. Trans people, in other words, became the victims of a badly-thought-out outburst, which in turn made Americans reflect on and see trans people as tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. This strikes me as a pivotal moment in trans acceptance during these reactionary times. Trump could have tried banning trans people from society, period. I have a feeling this would have been a more popular position with some, at least among those large constituencies of America's religiously aligned, or with radical (and not so radical) feminists, as well as conservative working- and middle-class voters in general. There are plenty of people who think trans people are deluded, or freaks. With every online newspaper article about trans people, the Comment sections underneath contain – in my experience – a large swathe of posts by people who refuse to regard trans people by their preferred gender. But Trump narrowed the scope, targeting trans people in that most sacred and venerated arena, the US military. Few issues can unite a society like the welfare of a country's military, either those currently serving or its veterans. Why did Trump attack this respected minority within the military?
I'd like to think Trump secretly sympathises with trans people, and attacked trans people in the military to highlight their importance to society, a clever bit of double-play by a closet trans-lover. Alternatively his contempt – as a former draft-avoider – of the US military blinkered his awareness of how military personnel are seen by the majority. At any rate, by speaking out against this particular constituency, Trump made voters of every denomination protective and even proud of their trans citizens, and in feeling this way, these same voters got back that feeling of what makes America great, namely its tolerance and, indeed, acceptance, of people of all shapes and sizes, as long as you're ready to pay your taxes and serve your country.Which doesn't, of course, explain why so many Americans voted for a tax-dodging, draft-dodging pathological liar as their President, but you know, I never said America was an easy country to understand. Regardless, thank you Donald Trump for this helping hand.