Watching President Trump attempt to navigate complex political issues reminds me of a crying child wobbling on the pony of a merry-go-round. His parents keep yelling at him to hold on to the pole. But the child is too scared, or too defiant, to listen. He just wants off.
Time and time again, Trump has made life difficult for himself. In short-circuiting a Pentagon process to decide how to integrate transgender troops, he has increased the chances that he will not get his way, assuming, indeed, that he wants to rid the military of every serving transgender person and prevent anyone who identifies as trans from serving in the future.
If he did bring clown genius powers of persuasion to the presidential campaign — and I’m not so convinced of that — the man has either lost his touch, or his ability to mold minds has collapsed under the weight of the stresses of the presidency.
He spectacularly misread the politics of his decision.
Yes, it’s true that many evangelical Christians remain implacably opposed to transgender rights. A larger number of Americans might feel viscerally uncomfortable with transgender people. Soldiers are skeptical. A few “Christian leaders” at the top of the D.C. conservative lobbyist food pyramid need a solid win against cultural degenerates to convince their own flock that they remain relevant.
But within moments of Trump’s Tweets, three conservative Christian senators — Orrin Hatch of Utah, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Joni Ernst of Iowa — said that Trump was wrong. All of them, in fact, said he was wrong in much the same way: “You ought to treat everyone fairly and give everyone a chance to serve,” said Shelby. “Transgender people are people and deserve the best we can do for them,” said Hatch. Ernst, a decorated veteran, asked a spokesperson to put it this way: “Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity.”
Why? Keeping people who are already doing something from doing something because of who they are strikes us…