27 Julio 2017 15:21
Fact-checking those 'alternative facts'...The flying shit keeps getting flung by Donald Trump and his team of trans-hating, minority-persecuting old men. Since The Donald took office, it seems every ‘othered’ group that was attacked during his vicious campaign have been on tenterhooks, waiting to see if he’ll actually deliver his promises of 21st century population cleansing. And, make no mistake, he really doesn't care about the LGBTQ community's rights. Yesterday, in a series of tweets - because that’s how the most powerful man in the world announces policy changes now - Trump announced that he will reimplement an archaic ban on transgender people serving in the military. Not that any reason would be sufficient for such blatant prejudice, but he cited spending as the driving force behind his decision. The reality star-turned-politician tweeted: ‘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.’ Who is thanking him? Well, as noted by some political commentators in the US, Trump has been referred to as the 'most pro-LGBT Republican nominee in history'. Gregory T. Angelo, president of the largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies in the US, told The Washington Post that reigniting the transgender rights debate will help galvanize conservative voters in the 2018 elections and expand GOP majorities in Congress. A more conservative Congress would allow Trump to achieve more legislative victories. But as for his most recent tweets, which can't be ignored regardless of the political aim, there was obviously worldwide upheaval in the hours that followed, but once again, Trump was only spouting a load of ill-informed and utterly irrelevant ‘alternative facts’. Military spending for transgender medical care is actually minimal in comparison to some of the ridiculous things The Pentagon invests in. According to a RAND study in 2016, the military spends between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year on transgender medical care. This figure may seem like a lot of money, but in relative terms, it’s a minute fraction of the overall budget. And, compared with other expenditure, it’s a much worthier investment. Here’s a few things the military spends more on than transgender people: $84 million for Viagra & Cialis The Washington Post states that the military currently spends $41.6 million every year on Viagra alone to treat sexual dysfunction. That number leaps to $84.24 million when you include all erectile dysfunction medications. Because men being able to have a good sex life is far more important than the well-being of a transgender person, right? To Trump, yes. $486 million on planes that can’t fly In 2009, the Pentagon, the State Department, USAID, and other agencies spent billions on projects and items for the Afghan military that couldn’t be maintained or even used. $1.6 billion for tobacco use effects The cost of treating and preventing the side effects of tobacco use far outweighs that of transgender health care. It costs the Department of Defense over a $1 billion each year, in comparison to the few million prescribed for trans treatment. $93 million on camouflage that doesn't work The military spent millions of dollars on dark green camouflage in Afghanistan called ‘HyperStealth Spec4ce Forest.’ The only problem is that 2% of the country is forest-covered, so in effect, these are a near-total waste of money. The strange and somewhat uncomfortable side-effects of the recent uproar is an onslaught of nationalist and military-revering rhetoric. Of course, if someone wants to serve in the military, that is their choice. But let’s not forget that the US has waged wars in too many countries to count, and continues to do so, as a result of heavy militarisation. It’s true that every person should be given equal opportunity to serve for their country, however, we should avoid overly-patriotic celebrations of an organisation that is literally trained to kill.