It’s challenging to identify a single week during the Trump Administration’s Presidency that isn’t tinged with some form of embarrassment. Today, the President came out to publically parade the fact that transgender Americans will not be allowed to serve in the United States military, adding another stain to what will surely be a sullied legacy.
President Trump took to Twitter to announce that the United States will no longer “accept or allow” transgender individuals to serve their country. The explanation was vague, in typical Trump style, explaining that servicemen and women, “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory,” as if somehow an individual’s gender identity places them on the losing side of a competitive game in Donald’s head.
It’s as evident as day that President Trump will likely go down as the most un-American President in United States history.
I’m an individual who prides himself on being able to take a step back and approach situations with a rational mindset, a discipline the White House seems dramatically detached from. I’m someone who has a tremendous amount of respect for the office of the Presidency and the branches that allow American government and philosophy to live and breathe, but it’s as evident as day that President Trump will likely go down as the most un-American President in United States history.
Ironic, considering the slogan attached to his “huge” campaign.
Calling the President un-American isn’t something I do without taking a moment to consider whether it is warranted and whether that is indeed the case, but the decision to make these remarks today, as well as the many other outlandish comments the President has made over the last year, make a clear case that Donald Trump is in fact one of the least American Presidents we’ve had in our history. I say that with the understanding that we as a country have frequently landed on the wrong side of history.
The land that we call the United States was stolen from individuals who were here long before my ancestors. The country I love was built on the backs of African slaves. Women were subject to follow their male counterparts without question until the early twentieth century. Segregation only found itself being put to death 53 years ago. As Americans, we’ve come from a place where tumult, horror and tragedy live and breathe as bright as can be—but we’ve also come from greatness.
Great leaders throughout American history have guided us in the right direction. These are the individuals that fought on the intellectual battlefield in courtrooms to change public policy and on literal battlefields giving their lives to end dark moments of our past, like slavery. They’re the people that sacrificed their reputations and livelihoods for others to have opportunity. Many of these individuals have found themselves in the Oval Office and even as presidents, making decisions that did not fall on the right side of history. But it is challenging to look back and identify a leader who has unapologetically taken such drastic steps backwards as Donald Trump is consistently doing today. This starts with his remarks about transgender men and women not serving, showing a disgusting lack of acceptance for different gender identities, but the overall damage trickles down to additional topics and issues of the recent past that he has mismanaged—climate change, women’s rights, healthcare and immigration, to name a few. This administration continues to deal a tragic hand, and more disappointingly, an un-American hand because, at the end of the day, what makes America great is the understanding that we’ve come from a complicated and sometimes troubled past, but we have always guided ourselves in the right direction—in the direction of a freer thinking and more accepting society.
The White House hasn’t gone a week without being associated with embarrassment, and I’m not referring to the individuals parading around in Trump’s administration as the vessels of that embarrassment; I’m referring to you and me. I’m referring to every American who feels helpless on the sidelines as this individual, who is our President, bastardizes the values of our country. So I proudly say that this un-American moment in no way speaks on behalf of millions of Americans across the country. What should ultimately sadden us all most about the remarks is that they will ultimately perpetuate hatred and a lack of acceptance for a community that already has enough challenges.
So let this stand as one note to LGBTQ+ folks around the country and around the world that you are so loved and respected by so many others who are not full of hate.