A Progressive Asks a Clarifying Question

 

Friday’s adventures in Twitterland was consumed with President Trump’s decision to reverse the Obama Administration’s inclusion of transgender individuals serving in the military. One woman from California asked me the following:

Valid question and clarifying. Exactly what am I afraid of? Mostly my son dying. It’s as simple as that. And while I have but one Marine related to me by blood, all of them, no matter what branch of the service they may be in, all are his brothers and sisters. For any of them to perish diminishes me and diminishes our country.

One of the talking points latched onto by her fellow progressives follows this line: “If someone wants to volunteer and is willing to die for our country, who are any of us to say ‘no?'” This very question is at fundamental odds with the purpose and intent of the United States military. To paraphrase Gen. George S. Patton, their objective is not to die for our country, but rather make the other poor bastard die for his country. We honor those that make that sacrifice, but we never seek to place them in a situation that guarantees it. Every minute of training is devoted to giving every recruit every chance of coming home.

Part and parcel of that is evaluating fitness for combat. While not every job in the military is designated as a combat position, war can be a funny thing. Just because you are not seeking combat doesn’t mean that combat won’t find you. That is why, for the Corps, every Marine is first a rifleman.

Which brings us to the most disturbing of statistics concerning transgender individuals: According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, at some time or another 40 percent to 50 percent of them will attempt suicide. Why the desire then to give them a weapon and put them into a situation where lives depend on emotional and mental stability under stress?

So asks J.R. Salzman. Salzman is a champion athlete who won eight world titles at the Lumberjack World Championships between 1998 and 2010. He joined the Minnesota National Guard on the 2nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was sent to Iraq in 2006. In December of that year he was injured in a blast that caused traumatic brain injury and the loss of his right arm below the elbow.

He writes about being stuck in the 105° heat, being both bored and frightened at the same time, and the toll it takes:

Any tiny little personal issue (with the youngest among his team) had suddenly became a mountain. And that [expletive] came out on that fire base. And they snapped mentally. After stepping on each other’s nuts living in the same can for five months, guys were at each other’s throats. The stress made it worse. Guys would literally snap over a Dear John letter. Their personal issues came out and they were instantly combat ineffective.

Now take someone confused about whether they are a man or woman. Take those psychological and emotional issues and put them in that environment. Take someone who is right off the bat not uniform or part of the same team. Give them special treatment because of their identity. Take that person, put them in that stressful war environment and watch what happens. It’s a [expletive] ticking time bomb.

You have to be incredibly tough mentally, physically and emotionally. War is not a [expletive] video game. It tests every ounce of your being. You can’t teach someone to be a fearless warrior in a [expletive] PowerPoint. You either have it or you don’t. You can hack it or you can’t.

The worst thing about the transgender advocates is that they have neither the experience or nor the family ties to the military. For them these are purely political exercises paid for by the blood of others and the anguish of families that they will never have to meet. If you believe your side of the argument is personal and about people, don’t treat the other side as a mere statistic.

Unfortunately, when I answered this woman’s question the conversation stopped. Evidently my answer was either unexpected or not included in her list of preconceived answers to everything.

There are 165 comments.

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  1. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    • #1
  2. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    The Left never bothers to think of the other guy. Never. It is always about that one thing currently on their mind. I don’t know why you even try.

    Excellent Post, EJ. I feel my brain working overtime thinking it out, and that is the sign of a great post.

    • #2
  3. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Hi Lois. If the President truly believes that it is a terrible policy that will get his soldiers killed, then how do you think the Commander-In-Chief should have “gone about this”?

    • #3
  4. outlaws6688 Inactive
    outlaws6688
    @outlaws6688

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    I’m sure President Jeb or Rubio would have made the same decision. Except they wouldn’t have.

    • #4
  5. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Hi Lois. If the President truly believes that it is a terrible policy that will get his soldiers killed, then how do you think the Commander-In-Chief should have “gone about this”?

    I think he should have worked out exactly what the policy *is* including how to handle transgendered soldiers currently in uniform, gotten the Department of Defense on board, spoken with his Secretary of Defense, filled out all the necessary paperwork required for such a directive to go down the chain of command, had a narrative as good as E J’s in place for his communications staff along with statements like that of the soldier E J quotes, and *then* gone to Twitter.

    • #5
  6. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    I’m sure President Jeb or Rubio would have made the same decision. Except they wouldn’t have.

    I am sure they would not have gone about it via Tweet, but that’s about all I really know.

     

    • #6
  7. outlaws6688 Inactive
    outlaws6688
    @outlaws6688

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    I’m sure President Jeb or Rubio would have made the same decision. Except they wouldn’t have.


    I am sure they would not have gone about it via Tweet, but that’s about all I really know.

     

    Then I feel sorry for you.

    • #7
  8. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    I’m sure President Jeb or Rubio would have made the same decision. Except they wouldn’t have.


    I am sure they would not have gone about it via Tweet, but that’s about all I really know.

    Then I feel sorry for you.

    Whatevs, man.  I’ve got my own kid in uniform.  You’re welcome.

    • #8
  9. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Hi Lois. If the President truly believes that it is a terrible policy that will get his soldiers killed, then how do you think the Commander-In-Chief should have “gone about this”?

    I think he should have worked out exactly what the policy *is* including how to handle transgendered soldiers currently in uniform, gotten the Department of Defense on board, spoken with his Secretary of Defense, filled out all the necessary paperwork required for such a directive to go down the chain of command, had a narrative as good as E J’s in place for his communications staff along with statements like that of the soldier E J quotes, and *then* gone to Twitter.

    Oh. I thought you had a problem with the actual action. Ok. Fine. I thought Trump’s action was perfect, myself. Let everyone know that This Will Not Stand and let the folks down in the weeds handle the minutiae. They will solve all the issues you described.

    Now that I think about it, if he had done it your way, someone in the DoD would have leaked it out, and then the MSM would have declared that Trump was secretly trying to drum the transgenders out of the military.

    My dad and I had a discussion about your first point. I suggested a Medical Discharge, since they have obvious mental problems, but dad said that means they can come back to the VA and get their operations anyway, which is what some have suggested is the reason they joined in the first place, to get the taxpayers to pay for their sex change. Like Bradley Manning.

    I finally said to my dad, “You know what, give them an Honorable Discharge. They joined the military and we can’t guess at their reasons. The quickest, easiest way to throw them out, which is the real goal here, is Honorable Discharge.” He agreed.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that both my dad and I are Army Veterans.

    • #9
  10. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Transparency is sure getting  a bad rap these days.  You agree with what he did, or at least, you can see why he did it now that EJ has clarified the issue–but it’s just…so…vulgar, so not comme il ,faut,  to announce it via Twitter, I mean to come right out and tell us, the people, directly…..presidents just don’t do that.

    Well–this one does.  And lots of us like it.

    • #10
  11. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Hi Lois. If the President truly believes that it is a terrible policy that will get his soldiers killed, then how do you think the Commander-In-Chief should have “gone about this”?

    I think he should have worked out exactly what the policy *is* including how to handle transgendered soldiers currently in uniform, gotten the Department of Defense on board, spoken with his Secretary of Defense, filled out all the necessary paperwork required for such a directive to go down the chain of command, had a narrative as good as E J’s in place for his communications staff along with statements like that of the soldier E J quotes, and *then* gone to Twitter.

    Oh. I thought you had a problem with the actual action. Ok. Fine. I thought Trump’s action was perfect, myself. Let everyone know that This Will Not Stand and let the folks down in the weeds handle the minutiae. They will solve all the issues you described.

    Now that I think about it, if he had done it your way, someone in the DoD would have leaked it out, and then the MSM would have declared that Trump was secretly trying to drum the transgenders out of the military.

    My dad and I had a discussion about your first point. I suggested a Medical Discharge, since they have obvious mental problems, but dad said that means they can come back to the VA and get their operations anyway, which is what some have suggested is the reason they joined in the first place, to get the taxpayers to pay for their sex change. Like Bradley Manning.

    I finally said to my dad, “You know what, give them an Honorable Discharge. They joined the military and we can’t guess at their reasons. The quickest, easiest way to throw them out, which is the real goal here, is Honorable Discharge.” He agreed.

    I don’t like decree by Twitter, and I think it makes policies more difficult to implement rather than easier.  This could have been done quieter without the Pentagon announcing that absolutely nothing had changed after not getting an actual order.  The president is not a king, and there are procedures which one must follow.

    IF the main reason transgendered people join the military is to get a sex change, that should be a service that Tricare simply doesn’t offer.  It’s very expensive per soldier, and I have no issue with that approach either.

     

    I fleshed out my views on a longer thread about the this announcement.

    • #11
  12. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Transparency is sure getting a bad rap these days. You agree with what he did, or at least, you can see why he did it now that EJ has clarified the issue–but it’s just…so…vulgar, so not comme il ,faut, to announce it via Twitter, I mean to come right out and tell us, the people, directly…..presidents just don’t do that.

    Well–this one does. And lots of us like it.

    I don’t care about what is vulgar and what isn’t, but I work in the real world.  However this makes you feel, there are procedures that people follow when large organizations are involved.  Not being able to answer basic questions about the projected policy doesn’t make the president look transparent but opportunistic and incompetent.

    • #12
  13. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I saw a lot of grown men cry while I was in the military (1968-1970) and that was just during basic training.

    • #13
  14. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Anyone have the numbers on how many xgenders are currently in?

    One of the real problems with the suicide rate I cited is that those numbers don’t seem to see any reduction postoperative. Mentally healthy people do not dwell on their own demise like that. And I sure don’t want someone who does in the military.

    However, I think the best option for everyone involved would be honorable discharges.

    • #14
  15. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Anyone have the numbers on how many xgenders are currently in?

    One of the real problems with the suicide rate I cited is that those numbers don’t seem to see any reduction postoperative. Mentally healthy people to not dwell on their own demise like that. And I sure don’t want someone who does in the military.

    However, I think the best option for everyone involved would be honorable discharges.

    I’ve seen numbers as high as 15,000, which seem a bit inflated.  I tend to think it’s closer to 2,500 per a RAND study Ash Carter used when discussing this issue.  It’s only been around a year since then, so I don’t believe that could have inflated much.

    • #15
  16. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I don’t agree with how the president has gone about this, but yours is a good answer.

    Transparency is sure getting a bad rap these days. You agree with what he did, or at least, you can see why he did it now that EJ has clarified the issue–but it’s just…so…vulgar, so not comme il ,faut, to announce it via Twitter, I mean to come right out and tell us, the people, directly…..presidents just don’t do that.

    Well–this one does. And lots of us like it.

    I don’t care about what is vulgar and what isn’t, but I work in the real world. However this makes you feel, there are procedures that people follow when large organizations are involved. Not being able to answer basic questions about the projected policy doesn’t make the president look transparent but opportunistic and incompetent.

    He answered the basic question. It was: should transgenders  be in the military? Answer: No.  Pretty  basic.

    I posted about this too.  As always, when all the chickens stop squawkin’ , Trump,will be proved right.

    We can not have people  in our fighting forces who have voluntarily maimed themselves, who chose to undergo or are seeking to undergo a major surgical procedure necessitating continued expensive pharmaceutical support, which would have gotten ’em a 4F back in the days when we had a draft, and whose mental condition predisposes them to suicide.  This is so obvious it feels ridiculous to argue it.

    BHO  tried to turn the military into a giant playground for social,experimentation.

    That is not what it’s for.

    See,  traditionally, the military was composed of the very fittest among the population –not the psychologically and physically neediest.

    And there were good reasons for that.

    Im grateful we have a president who can see the obvious.

    • #16
  17. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    IF the main reason transgendered people join the military is to get a sex change, that should be a service that Tricare simply doesn’t offer. It’s very expensive per soldier, and I have no issue with that approach either.

    I fleshed out my views on a longer thread about the this announcement.

    I wish it worked that way. In reality, they then sue, as Bradley Manning did, to get the “medical treatment” that they “are being denied” and then rather than spending millions in court, the military folks just do it. Or the Leftists find a shopped judge in Hawaii and get it done that way. No, there will be no denying, and I am sure Trump looked at that option. The only solution is to toss them.

    • #17
  18. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Why would we want individuals with clear mental disorders in the military? Whether on the front lines or in the rear with the gear, this would be dangerous.

    • #18
  19. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    Why would we want individuals with clear mental disorders in the military? Whether on the front lines or in the rear with the gear, this would be dangerous.

    Oh but it’s not a mental disorder!  We’re  the ones with the mental disorders, if we dare to question the dogma that it’s perfectly normal for people to want to cut off healthy, functioning body parts.  Mayhem, I believe that’s called.

    • #19
  20. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Depression anxiety and suicide are huge issues with Transgender people like how alcoholism and social dysfunction are huge issues with Native Americans. The left enforces a complete anti-scientific ban on discussing these obvious realities. Consequently, addressing the suffering of these severely disadvantaged people becomes much much harder.

    This isn’t real compassion.

    • #20
  21. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Anyone have the numbers on how many xgenders are currently in?

    One of the real problems with the suicide rate I cited is that those numbers don’t seem to see any reduction postoperative. Mentally healthy people to not dwell on their own demise like that. And I sure don’t want someone who does in the military.

    However, I think the best option for everyone involved would be honorable discharges.

    I’ve seen numbers as high as 15,000, which seem a bit inflated. I tend to think it’s closer to 2,500 per a RAND study Ash Carter used when discussing this issue. It’s only been around a year since then, so I don’t believe that could have inflated much.

    Difficult problem.  What if some feel deeply there are Siamese twins or triplets of the opposite sex.  How to count them or calculate their pay, benefits and pensions?

    Maybe some of them have German Shepherds as their spirit animals and wish to transfer to the Canine Corps?

    I am so confused, but as I’ve been a very butch lesbian trapped in the body of an Irish Catholic man for 50 years how could I be otherwise?  I also strongly identify with a character from a failed 70s breakfast cereal who is aggressively heteronormative.

    • #21
  22. Michael Collins Member
    Michael Collins
    @MichaelCollins

    EJHill:

    Valid question and clarifying

    I’d call this a loaded question.   Invalid and smearing.   Why do LW’ers constantly seek to exclude people who disagree with them from the political process?   What are they afraid of?

     

    • #22
  23. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Just to say: Thanks, RAH, & S/F to you and your Marine, EJ…Keep speaking plain, telling it like it is!

    • #23
  24. Ansonia Inactive
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Excellent post.

    • #24
  25. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Michael Collins: I’d call this a loaded question. Invalid and smearing. Why do LW’ers constantly seek to exclude people who disagree with them from the political process? What are they afraid of?

    It was clarifying for me. When you face the ultimate fear of parenting, the loss of your child, it forced me to make a thorough examination of the issue. After several jousts my answer to her question never generated any further response. I hope it was clarifying for her, too.

    There has never been any doubt that Marxists embrace the authoritarian impulse. We have never had them in complete control of a major American political party the way we do now. But… that is an entirely different subject.

    • #25
  26. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I actually disagree that it’s a “valid question.”  Its general nature assumes that all efforts to exclude are created equal when, in fact, no reasons for exclusion are the same.  It’s the type of oversimplification that appeals to some lefties because it gets them out from under having to discuss particulars.

    • #26
  27. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    I recommend taking the 15,000 transgenders supposedly currently serving (probably it’s only one tenth that many) and forming a transgender division, or brigade as the case may be. In this way, if half commit suicide, or have nervous breakdowns, or whatever, it doesn’t directly affect anyone else.

    If anyone thinks this idea would fail because transgender persons don’t have the necessary attributes to perform all the tasks required by a combat division or brigade, well, what does that say about their fitness to serve?

     

    • #27
  28. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I completely agree with the sentiments expressed in the OP, and also that of the President’s Tweet.

    That being said, I shouldn’t think it’s ever advisable to surprise the Generals with an announcement like this.

    When the Army Chief of Staff is on record as saying he learned about the President’s decision through the media, I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    And I’m hopeful that now the President has a Chief of Staff who’s actually a General himself, that this sort of thing won’t happen any more.

    Because it looks like amateur hour when it does.

    • #28
  29. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    She (View Comment):
    I completely agree with the sentiments expressed in the OP, and also that of the President’s Tweet.

    That being said, I shouldn’t think it’s ever advisable to surprise the Generals with an announcement like this.

    When the Army Chief of Staff is on record as saying he learned about the President’s decision through the media, I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    And I’m hopeful that now the President has a Chief of Staff who’s actually a General himself, that this sort of thing won’t happen any more.

    Because it looks like amateur hour when it does.

    Exactly.

    • #29
  30. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    I actually disagree that it’s a “valid question.” Its general nature assumes that all efforts to exclude are created equal when, in fact, no reasons for exclusion are the same. It’s the type of oversimplification that appeals to some lefties because it gets them out from under having to discuss particulars.

    What I think is incongruous is the second part of the question,”What are you afraid of?”

    This from the people who brought us “safe spaces” and invented the “no platform!” treatment to shout down anyone who might trsumatize them by saying something  they don’t agree with?

    What are they afraid of?

    • #30

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