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Love Trumps Hate

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Gwen Stacy

Ritassida Mamadou Djiguimde

ENG 103

11 November 2017

Love Trumps Hate

The day was July 26, 2017, most Americans were going about their morning as they normally would. At approximately 8 am that morning, our President of the United States of America tweeted out several tweets, that for a lot of people shocked them. “After consultations with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…” “...Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. 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. Thank you” (realDonaldTrump. (2017, July 26)). This set America, along with several other countries following Donald Trump’s twitter, into complete madness. Most people questioned how this would benefit our military. Several big name celebrities stood up for the transgender individuals serving in the military. Trump claimed this would limit our costs. But Trump himself has also not been in the military to experience what exactly you go through.

Many late-night television show hosts had their choice words about Trump’s decision to ban transgender military personnel. One common factor between them all was the fact that they all disagreed with the decision to ban them. Jimmy Fallon joked around about the fact that everyone learned of this ban through twitter by saying how Trump made sure to choose his emojis carefully. Trevor Noah went on to talk about just how crazy Trump’s ideas sound when you first hear it, then when he explains, it seems even worse. Many people on twitter even began a hashtag in support of our current transgender military personnel serving. The hashtag “#LetThemServe” blew up. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, tweeted out, “Everyone should be able to serve their country-- no matter who they are.”  Basically everyone was opposed to this upright absurd ban.

One of the claims made by Trump in his decision to ban transgender people in the military was that the medical costs were too high to keep up with. But when research is done on this “tremendous medical cost” we come to find out that there is not much of a burden on the budget. A New England Journal of Medicine study from 2015 found that 12,800 transgender individuals were serving in uniform. The cost was $4.2 million to $5.6 million for these individuals. This is a total of .001 percent of the total military budget. To compare, $84 million of the military's budget is spent on erectile dysfunction alone. So, why does the president condone treating erectile dysfunction but not condone the the 12,800 active duty transgender personnel? To put the situation into even more perspective, taxpayers will be paying up to $60 million just for Trump to visit his own properties. The military has used its budget toward many unnecessary things here recently that could have saved it some money. Want an example? The United States fired a total of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base earlier this year. Each missile costs about $1 million, so the entire mission cost the U.S. around $60 million. Yet medical costs, which are almost four times smaller than the total cost of missiles, are being cut? These accusations seem poorly researched by President Trump and the United States budget definitely is not being largely hit by the medical costs of someone who is transgender.

In this day and age, we are lucky enough that we have not had a military draft since 1973. But, approximately 40 years ago being drafted was something young men had to worry or be excited about. Our current President of the United States, Donald Trump, has not served one single day in service. How is it that he managed to rack up a total of five draft deferments? Several people have questioned Trump’s draft deferments. In the year 1968, he was 22 years old and at his peak health. But, in the spring of 1968 he received a diagnosis that would have loads of people questioning his ability to serve the United States: bone spurs in his heels. This led him to his fifth draft deferment, his other four were for college. Now in recent events Trump has been questioned about just how traumatic his bone spur situation was. In a news conference last year, he could not recall which foot it even was. This made people question his right to tell someone, perhaps somebody who is transgender, whether or not they can serve in the military. People wanted to know why this man, who has never stood foot on on a battlefield, was telling them they can no longer be able to fight for their country. Illinois senator, Tammy Duckworth, a decorated veteran who lost both legs in combat had some words to say about this, “When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to save me were gay, straight, transgender. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind.” This was the stance for many other troops as well. So, why does Trump care so much who is in battle and who is not when he has not one bit of a feeling of how it is being there?



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