Now it’s true that Trump too often conflates the religion of Islam with its radical strain. It’s also true that Trump has backed away from his Muslim ban since becoming president. But his point about radical Islam is a strong one and should have informed his deliberations on reversing the 2016 policy that has allowed transgender people to serve openly.
Imagine if Trump had leaned into the military’s recent policy instead of reversing it. Perhaps, with a little luck, a transgender special operations officer would be on the team that captures Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current leader of the Islamic State. Or maybe a transgender drone operator would be the one who fired the missile that rid the world of al Qaeda’s boss, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Think of the opportunities. The Pentagon could tweet the image of Baghdadi on his knees with his hands tied behind his back, or Zawahiri’s exploded compound, with just a simple hashtag: #lovewins.