7.27.17 ‘Eyes forward, and beyond’: How to parse the attack on trans military

The attempt to ban transgender people from the military is not to be ignored. But as with anything this administration does, it’s important to think about the why, the why now, and the underlying motive.

As we all know, one key MO for this administration is to obfuscate and throw up shiny objects in the hopes of distracting. When something isn’t going their way, out comes a searingly incoherent tweet, or a firing, or — in this case — a completely random blast at a vulnerable group close to the opposition’s platform hearts.

I can’t fathom the minds that decided to throw trans military under the bus to make them the latest distraction. This was a niche group that was harming no one, had been making no headlines or ripples (even if they had I’m not saying this was deserved) and in no particular way had called attention to itself.

Singling out trans military was so random as to be the equivalent of walking on a subway and just shoving someone onto the tracks. Or kicking a puppy who happened to cross your path. Because it was easy. Because it was there.

But while it is important to be outraged by the act and the randomness of the it’s important to be outraged by the meaning behind the act. This is one way that divide and conquer works, on a micro-level: We in power will make something you care about more vulnerable, so that you will turn your energies toward it — and not the thing that actually matters to us. We think you are stupid enough to forget about the other thing, and focus only on the shiny thing.

In this case, the “other thing” is the ACA “repeal” they are trying to get passed. Exhausting us — and at this point, it is most of us, because 45’s followers are getting screwed with this same driver as well — with repeated crappy attempts at creating their own has been met with enough resistance to push it aside. Whatever this “skinny” repeal is meant to be, this is them feeling even more desperate than before — and so, a distraction in the road. A group of people who were harming no one under the bus. In the hopes that we change the nature of our calls.

Make no mistake — trans rights are real and endangered and likely to be sliced up even more by this venal group of people an angry, thoughtless group of Americans have put in office. But we cannot ignore that they think we are so easily distracted. This is a group of people who would slap a child in order to prevent you from seeing how they’re picking your pocket. There is no bottom.

So it’s up to us to look beyond the action and see it for what it really is. Don’t get distracted. Remember that they think you are this easily distracted, this stupid. Keep your anger fresh for the next fight, and the fight after that. But remember: eyes forward, and beyond. That’s the only way not to lose our hearts and our way of life.

And our dignity.



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