- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2017


There’s good sense behind President Trump’s military ban on men longing to be women and on women aspiring to manhood.

First, there is no persuasive reason for taxpayers (or the Bank of Beijing) to go on financing military sex-change operations.

It also makes political sense for Mr. Trump to give a nod to religious voters. They gave him that crucial but barely-remembered boost in November, when, as first-time blue-state voters, they zipped from pew to booth for The Donald.

“Evangelicals will cheer and throw their hats in the air over this Trump position on transgender individuals in the military,” said evangelical powerhouse David Lane. His “Pastor & Pews” organization moved hundreds of thousands evangelicals to the Trump tent in states that had been written off by virtually every Republican but Mr. Trump and Mr. Lane.

Mr. Trump’s drawing the line at the transgender point goes a long way to reassure conservatives and Trump Republicans that there is a reason to elect a Republican as president, doubts that sometimes even apply to Mr. Trump.

For example, Mr. Lane said, “it was a little disconcerting that the Trump administration announced in February that it would honor President Obama’s executive order guaranteeing LGBT workplace protections.”

Whether there’s a military morale or a fighting-force cohesiveness rationale behind the transgender ban is, well, a challenging question.

Congress repealed the ban on open homosexuals in the military in 2010.

So as things stand, our government allows openly homosexual men and women to wear the uniforms of our armed services but bars transgender persons (who definitionally aren’t homosexual or bisexual). This makes sense only to people for whom common sense is a distraction, not a desideratum.

Since the transgender ban reflects the desire of the military services chiefs and they urged the commander-in-chief to institute the ban, he has reasonable justification for issuing the order, even though it doesn’t jibe with his June 14, 2016, tweet: “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

No big worry here. Mr. Trump’s LGBT inconsistency isn’t going to attract much flak from the people who voted for him. Most of them, like me, probably wince at the stridency and in-your-face intrusiveness of LGBT activists.

Besides, the left habitually combines social engineering and political correctness to skin alive anyone who disagrees, including and especially Mr. Trump.

Despite his openness to LGBTs during the campaign and at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, the left has labeled him a homophobe, a bigot, a racist, a Nazi, a fascist and, yes — the left’s worst epithet — a Republican.

So in going along with the recommendation of his military chiefs on the transgender thing, he risks nothing on the left and little on the right — except maybe campaign-pledge consistency.

But then we and he can, in the manner of Ralph Waldo Emerson, always disdain consistency as the “hobgoblin of little minds.” For, as Mr. Emerson himself once said, “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

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