Huckabee tapping into anti-transgender sentiment?

“The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things. It’s not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose is to protect America. I’m not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines makes our country safer.”

So, what exactly did U.S. Republican candidate Mike Huckabee mean when he made that statement during the Fox News leadership debate on Thursday night?

Well, a headline over a Guardian report gives us a clue: “Huckabee’s debate checklist: ‘illegals, prostitutes, pimps’ and a manly military”

Presumably, as the latter part of that headline suggests, Huckabee thinks that some transgender people won’t be up to killing people and breaking things — they won’t be manly enough — after they have been on hormone therapy for a while and have had sexual reassignment surgery.

Could there be anything to that line of thought? Would transgender women be any less capable of serving in the same combat roles other women serve in? Would they be any less capable of dropping bombs on the terrorist forces trying to set up a rogue “Islamic state” in Syria now?

Perhaps Huckabee is concerned about cohesion, and how the transphobia of other military personnel might be a distraction for the unit and weaken their ability to kill people and break things.

One CBC report in 2011, with the headline “U.S. military urged to follow Canada’s transgender policy,” does quote someone talking about transphoba within the forces “at the ground level.” Reports the CBC: “… a retired Canadian Forces member who has done extensive work on diversity issues said that the military’s top leaders do generally set a tone that emphasizes respect and inclusivity. The challenges more often come up at the ground level, within individual units.”

Or perhaps there was something else — something more sinister — going on when Huckabee was questioned by a panelist during the Fox News debate about transgender people serving openly in the American military. Perhaps the question was a setup to make it an election issue, now that the Pentagon has announced “a working group to spend six months examining ‘the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly.’ ”

After all, Fox News is not the greatest supporter of transgender people, and the Republican debate was happening on its turf.

Transgenderism is a hot topic — and issue — in the U.S. these days in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling in support of same-sex marriage, which right-wingers saw as a defeat for their ability to control the parameters of  everyone’s lives. Many believe they see a war on transgender people as a potential consolation prize and have increased their anti-transgender rhetoric since the top court ruling.

And judging from the round of applause that Huckabee received when he made his statement on Thursday night, a lot of people agree with his view.

Expect to hear more of it from Republicans as the race for the presidency heats up.

— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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8 thoughts on “Huckabee tapping into anti-transgender sentiment?”

  1. Of huckabee knew what he was talking about, he would realize that while 13% of the U.S. cis gender conmunity serve in the military, 26% of the U.S. Transgender community have served in the military. To say we’re not tough enough or baddass enough to serve is offensive to all enlisted personnel, one namely people are familiar with comes to mind….Kristen Beck of USN SEAL SrChf Beck to be respectful, another and not so big in be press but respected within the transgender community would be USARMY Ranger Karen Diane Thomas. If huckabee thinks that being transgendermakes us less capable of performing out duties he’s obviously taking some really good drugs, because as I always said being transsexual is what made me such an effective and baddass special ops girl or a ParaRescue girl to be specific.
    For him not to realize that what SecDef and President Obama did by allowing us to openly serve is just catch up with the rest of he world as far as their policy on being transgender in the military goes. The fact that he doesn’t know that says a lot about is international awareness and basically he has disqualified himself as being qualified to be the U.S. President of any federal level politician.
    ~Vanessa Denise Capella💗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The social conservatives in the US are playing a very stupid game with divisive politics. Public opinion in the US with respect to LGBT rights has moved on since the bad old days; the extreme social conservatives end up looking like buffoons to most young people. They’re also revealed to be devious sore losers and cheaters, as demonstrated by the foot-dragging of some states about complying with the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

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    1. Good luck getting young people out to vote.
      Young people tend to vote progressive. Old people tend to vote conservative.
      Young people are too unmotivated to vote, Old people have little else to do.
      This is how the Republicans have held on for so long.
      Even though unmarried women, people of color and millennials now make up the majority (56.7 percent) of the U.S. population. Unmarried women make up one of the largest shares of this Rising American Electorate.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As has been said before, the right-wing is a party of hate. A religion of hate. They have to have someone to hate, or their reason for existence evaporates.
    They are clearly losing their war on Homosexuals. They have all but thrown in the towel on their hatred of blacks. In decades past it was the Irish and Chinaman who really built this country. Today it’s anyone living a Muslim life regardless of nationality or politics. Today the right is stoking their war on women. Today they want to export every undocumented alien.

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    1. Yes and don’t forget WE are Nuclear Weapons as seen by the Pope. The man is a laughingstock Never served as I and Numerous Others did with honour.. We served proudly and many received commendations, so I think the man lacks some veracity on the subject.

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