President Trump’s announcement on Twitter Wednesday that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military not only caught the Pentagon and Congressional leaders completely off guard, it prompted criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Senator John McCain, who earlier this week Trump called brave for returning to Washington to vote on health care despite being recently diagnosed with brain cancer, said he was worried about the effect of Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers currently serving.
We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are.
Good for McCain. And it turns that North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows played a significant role in Trump’s decision to discriminate against transgender men and women. Here is part of the account in Axios.
In May, the Conservative Action Project released a memo calling for Trump to end the “social engineering” of permitting transgender people to serve and paying for gender re-assignment surgeries. Influential movement leaders wondered what the heck was taking so long, why Defense Secretary James Mattis seemed to be stalling rather than reversing the Obama-era policies.
After an amendment to reverse those policies failed, House conservatives, especially Rep. Mark Meadows of the House Freedom Caucus, started threatening not to vote for the military appropriations bill unless the transgender issues were resolved.
That’s an odd position for someone in charge of something called the “Freedom Caucus” when you think about it, demanding discrimination against a group of Americans who want to serve their country.
But that’s exactly what Meadows is doing, as he stands in the way of progress and demeans the office he holds.