Truman vs. Drumpf

On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which stated:

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regards to race, color, religion or national origin.

On July 26, 2017, Drumpf announced — on Twitter — that:

After consultation 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.

I have trouble believing that the timing of this deplorable announcement is merely a coincidence. While Drumpf regularly flaunts his disinterest in history, Steve Bannon’s obsession with a perverse and twisted version of the past is well-documented. The timing of this announcement reflects Bannon’s and his tool’s larger goal: reversing generations of moral progress.

Truman

Harry S. Truman (Library of Congress)

We ask our armed services to make great sacrifices in defense of justice, equality, freedom, and democracy. When the rules by which our armed forces are governed fail to reflect such values, the sacrifices of our brave women and men in uniform are dishonored.

Sixty-nine years ago President Truman declared that, “it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country’s defense.” It’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Yet apparently, Steve Bannon and Donald Drumpf disagree.

– P. Sicher

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