Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

California Will Transition Kids by Force

Progressives use the state to push transgenderism. Will conservatives respond?

Gavin Newsom with his family at a San Francisco Pride parade, 2013. (Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock)

After they sprang a duly convicted murderer and burned down several police precincts in a summer filled with calls to "defund the police," you may think progressive activists hate law enforcement. But that is only half true. Yes, they don't like cops. And if you scratch beneath the surface of the "defund the police" movement, you will find ideologues committed to abolishing prisons, police departments, and even social work. But they do not oppose the idea of law enforcement as such. They will call upon the state to wield the very legal and carceral mechanisms they claim to want to dismantle against their enemies. "Despotism," as one of their beloved philosophers put it, "is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians." And they will be despotic to the barbarians—conservatives—standing at the gates.

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association, three of the nation's most powerful medical organizations, sent a letter to the Department of Justice, apparently asking federal law enforcement officers to "investigate and prosecute" social media users who "share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals." The organizations cited several unspecified threats to children's hospitals and physicians across the country, listing as one example Nashville, where the Daily Wire's Matt Walsh unearthed shocking footage from Vanderbilt University Medical Center's transgender clinic.


The letter was dressed in therapeutic language—"We stand with the physicians," they wrote, as if they were drafting an ACLU newsletter—but its subtext was more sinister in light of the Garland Justice Department's track record. The Garland DOJ has thus far orchestrated a gun-drawn raid on a pro-life activist, subpoenaed a small conservative nonprofit, and executed a search warrant on the former president of the United States. The AMA's request would send men with guns after those "high-profile users on social media" who share inconvenient information about the mutilation of children in hospitals across the country. What else would "investigate and prosecute" entail?

It is a reminder not only of progressives' carceral mentality—read the replies to tweets about the January 6th committee and observe the almost primal desire among "criminal justice reformers" to see Donald Trump frog-marched in an orange jump suit—but also of the institutional power progressives wield. In the 1960s, student radicals railed against law-enforcement agencies and credentialed, established groups like the American Medical Association. Now, progressives run the very institutions they criticized and use the power of those institutions to send the once-hated Justice Department after their political enemies.

In their mind, it is not hypocrisy. Herbert Marcuse, in Repressive Tolerance, called for "intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left." To Marcuse, right-wing movements undermine the social foundations that make genuine tolerance possible. Progressives must therefore be intolerant against conservatives in the name of tolerance itself. Similarly, anti-prison progressives may see no problem in investigating and prosecuting and presumably incarcerating opponents of transgender ideology whose detention will, they think, pave the way for authentic liberation. They will use power to secure their vision of their good.

Consider, for example, California's Governor Gavin Newsom, who just last week signed a bill making California a "sanctuary state" for out-of-state minors who want to mutilate their bodies but are prohibited from doing so in their home state. The bill prohibits cooperation with those states in their enforcement of laws banning transgender surgeries for minors. It also contains a provision giving California courts "temporary emergency jurisdiction" in cases where a "child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care." The bill was pushed by State Sen. Scott Weiner, who said in an interview that California would try to prevent the children of non-affirming parents from returning home.

“We may have limits under the U.S. Constitution,” Scott Weiner said, “but we are going to go right up to the edge of what we’re able to do to protect them and say, ‘Unless we are absolutely forced to send you back, we are not going to send you back.’”

Progressives will separate fathers from sons and mothers from daughters in the name of transgender ideology. They will call upon the nation's most powerful law enforcement agency to send men with guns after progressivism's enemies. They do not feel the need to be "consistent" or "coherent." They have power, and are willing to wield it. The question is not whether it is happening, but whether—and how—conservatives will respond.


Become a Member today for a growing stake in the conservative movement.
Join here!
Join here