Munro: The Radical Politics Beneath Cory Booker’s Praise of Transgender Troops

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at his 'Conversation with Cory' campaign event at the Nevada Partners Event Center on February 24, 2019 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and other supporters of the transgender ideology are using the U.S. military’s battlefield sacrifices to hide a dramatic political agenda from politicians and voters.

“Transgender service members are heroes, just like all other service members risking their lives for our country,” said a March 9 tweet from Booker, who is a candidate for the Democrat Party’s 2020 nomination.

“I just want you to know that regardless of what the president says, there are millions of Americans who appreciate the service that you’ve given to our country,” Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) said in a February 27 hearing.

The transgender political goal is the legal and cultural suppression by the government of what feminists call the “gender binary” — which is Americans’ long-standing recognition that the two sexes are different, complementary, and equal, both biologically and socially.

The transgender goal was implemented by former President Barack Obama’s 2016 decision to let soldiers switch their legal sex by announcing an opposite-sex “gender identity.” Obama also ordered other service members to salute this men-can-be-women claim. For example, one training manual directed women soldiers to give “dignity and respect” to male soldiers who could join the women in shared shower facilities.

The Democrats’ political use of transgender soldiers’ service was rejected by Elaine Donnelly, founder of the Center for Military Readiness. “We appreciate their willingness to serve … [Booker] is making a flourish in words to try to create a political image,” she said.

Amid lawsuits, President Donald Trump is ending the pro-transgender policy set by Obama. Under Trump, the sex of soldiers is determined by “the bright line of biology.” Service members who want to live as members of the opposite sex are not banned but are not recognized as members of the other sex.

This policy of relying on biology and science allows Pentagon leaders to record the biologically correct “gender marker” for each man or woman in the military. Recording the correct sex is vital because the military leaders have recognized they need different physical standards for men and women because women do not have the bone, muscle, and testosterone to endure the physical damage caused during the months of muscle-tearing and joint-shredding physical activity required in war zones.

In contrast, the gender-beats-biology claim is revolutionary and unpopular, and its enforcement would require many federal lawsuits and penalties against individuals and groups who reject the gender ideology. So supporters of transgenderism hide their political goals while they play up the individual and admirable accomplishments of the few people in the military who are trying to live as members of the other sex.

But that political goal is exposed when activists demand that the Pentagon officials accept and validate claims by services members that they have become members of the opposite sex.

Booker’s March 9 tweet showcased several service members who want to live as members of the other sex. But he obscured his demand for official recognition of their sex-change claim — ending Trump’s “ban” — under an emotional appeal to Americans to show solidarity with soldiers:

On March 11, Breitbart News wrote up Booker’s “heroes” comment in a short report.

Booker quickly responded via a dismissive tweet:

“He is a politician, he is running for president,” responded Donnelly. “He seems to think saying these kinds of things is to his political advantage. It would not be a good policy to have as president.”

“It shows he does not seem to understand what the military is all about. The military is engaged to defend the country and not everybody is eligible to serve,” she said. Politicians “need to understand that the military is different from the civilian world.”

On March 1, Breitbart reported a February 27 hearing where Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) showed that she wants the Pentagon to enforce the progressives’ political claim that people’s sex is determined by their “gender identity,” not by their biology. She told a Pentagon official:

So much like “don’t ask, don’t tell,” you could serve if you are transgender, but you only will be able to serve in your birth gender [biological sex]. So you are going to have to hide the fact that you are transgender. You’re not going to be able to transition [be recognized as an opposite-sex person]. That is a policy that belongs in the Dark Ages, not in a military of the 21st century.

Booker, Speier, and Haaland hide this core ideological demand of their advocacy — federal validation of the gender-determines-sex claim. But so do nearly all pollsters and reporters who cover the topic.

For example, a poll announced March 11 by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) polling advocacy group claimed strong public support for legal rights claimed by transgender advocates. But the poll conflated very different political demands by gay, lesbian, and transgender advocates, and did not actually describe the transgender demand for federal enforcement of the gender-decides-sex claim. It asked:

All in all, do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing?

The Hill obscured the issue in its March 11 report that transgender activists had failed to stop Trump’s biology-is-sex policy. The report even used transgender talking points, such as the demand that delivery-room doctors refuse to recognize a person’s sex at birth because recognition would unfairly skew the person’s subsequent “gender” status:

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a directive has been signed to implement President Trump‘s policy barring most transgender people from serving in the military.

Under the policy, transgender people who join after it takes effect will have to serve in the gender they were assigned at birth. Service secretaries will be allowed to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis.

“In addition to being unlawful, moving forward with this ban is also deeply immoral and deeply insulting to the many transgender troops who are bravely serving their country,” [Jennifer] Levi added.

Even when the ideological goal is admitted, it is often obscured and difficult for the public to notice. For example, in 2018, Mark Stern, a reporter at Slate, used the quiet modifier “open” in the lede to acknowledge the goal, but otherwise hid the core demand for federal validation of the revolutionary transgender claim:

On March 23, President Donald Trump released his plan to ban open transgender service in the armed forces, following through on his tweeted promise to exclude gender minorities from the military. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union added six new plaintiffs …

Activist groups also bury their demands for federal enforcement of the gender-beats-sex claim under passive calls for “open” service. A March 12 press release from OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network complained “the Administration took steps to implement its ban on open transgender military service” without admitting that their demand for “open” service would require those revolutionary claims to be enforced against other people. The statement continued:

OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Andy Blevins … [said] “We will continue to fight until open and authentic military service is the law of the land – our service members deserve it and our country needs it.”

“I choose not to be personally critical for people who suffer from gender dysphoria,” Donnelly responded. “I have a lot of compassion for them.” Until Obama’s pro-transgender rules are finally ended, “they are not getting competent care in a politicized military that tells them” their cross-sex feelings are valid and should be supported by the government, she said.

Multiple polls show that most Americans wish to help and comfort the few people who think they should be members of the opposite sex, even as they also reject the transgender ideology’s claim that a person’s legal sex is determined by his feeling of “gender identity,” not by biology. Overall, the transgender ideology is deeply unpopular, especially among women and parents. In 2017, Obama told National Public Radio (NPR) that his promotion of the transgender ideology made it easier for Trump to win the presidency.

The percentage of transgender people is small, and the percentage who surgically change their bodies is even smaller.

Advocates claim that 14,700 members of the military describe themselves as transgender. A military survey estimated 8,900 self-described transgender personnel. But very few people who describe themselves as transgender undergo cosmetic surgery of the genitals. Only about 4,118 Americans surgically altered their bodies in hospitals from 2000 to 2014 to appear like members of the opposite sex, according to a pro-transgender medical study.

An August 2017 report by the pro-transgender Palm Center advocacy group acknowledged the low rate of surgeries as it sought to minimize the Pentagon’s financial costs:

Belkin estimated in 2015 that 188 transgender service members would require transition-related care (surgery and/or hormones) in any given year and that the total cost to provide such care would be $5.6 million. In 2016, RAND estimated that between 49 and 420 transgender service members would require transition-related care (surgery and/or hormones) in any given year and that the total cost to provide such care would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million …

The transgender movement is diverse, so its different factions have different goals and priorities. It includes sexual liberationists, as well as progressives, plus feminists who wish to blur the clear distinctions between the two sexes — “the gender binary” —  and people who glamorize the distinctions between the two sexes. It includes high-profile children, people who are trying to live as members of the opposite sex, people trying to “detransition” back to their sex, men who demand sex from lesbians, masculine autogynephiles who say they are entitled to women’s rights, wealthy donorspoliticians, political professionals, and revenue-seeking drug companies and medical service providers.

Despite the huge expense, conflict, and damage to young people, the gender ideology is rapidly gaining power, aided by huge donations from wealthy individuals and medical companies. In Ohio, for example, in February, a judge forced parents of a teenage girl to give up custody so she can begin a lifetime of drug treatments and surgery that will allow her to appear as a male. Also, officials in New York and various universities have threatened to penalize people who do not refer to men as if they are women, and several judges have declared that Pentagon officials must accept recruits who want to change their sex.

The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender identity” has already attacked and cracked many of the popular social rules which help Americans manage the cooperation and competition among and between complementary, different, and equal men and women.

These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K–12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in child-rearing, practices to help teenagers, health outcomes, women’s expectations of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.


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