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Gender Madness Alienates Democratic Insider

I had to pick my jaw up off the ground when I saw this comment from a reader I know personally, and who is a political professional working with the Democratic Party. He almost always comments here to read me the riot act about my social and religious conservatism. But not this morning, not after reading the “Rosemary’s Theyby” [1] post about the next frontiers in gender madness. He writes:

The rot is even worse than you think. You have no idea how highly this has infected the low and middle levels of the Democratic Party. The mistake people make is on focusing on what the high elites in parties think, rather than what you could call the middle management. Elites are close to retirement, really, and while they do exert pull on the rest of the people, they can’t pull too much.

Middle management, however, controls _everything_.

Not long ago, when my wife was pregnant, a coworker asked if we knew what we were having. I told this friend, and we were all excited.

Another coworker immediately started lecturing me in front of everyone about how this was grossly cis-heteronormative and that rather than forcing an identity on my child because of genitals, I should cultivate an environment in which the child would be able to flourish and explore the play of gender.

This went on for fifteen minutes. Now, the thing is that people at my work know that I have a hot temper and usually avoid talking to me about something as trivial as whether or not one lunch spot is better than another. Nobody wants to get dragged into it because they all think that I will, in the words of one former colleague, “Go Full Kanye” on them. In spite of this trepidation, a colleague felt that this gender nonsense was important enough to risk my temper and bloviate in front of our staff. The points gained from performed holiness, what we called “being ‘pi’ (short for ‘pious’, but contemptuously)” growing up, were worth the risk of my explosion, possibly, but more terrifying was that this colleague of mine simply didn’t care about the risk of my temper and was so committed to this gender nonsense that she just went for it.

The room for reasonable people on sex/gender issues is vastly closing in this party. What I mean by reasonable is:

1. Believing that gender dysphoria is real, people should be able to get a diagnosis, transition easily, have their transitions respected and live without fear,

2. Believing that same sex relationships are morally neutral and not socially destructive,

3. Believing that strong gender roles can do real damage to both men and women, in that for women, it can teach them to be passive and helpless, and for men, that they have to go it alone, etc.

This seems like a very reasonable space to occupy to me, but I will tell you that it’s not just a youth thing. People elder to me and younger to me in the ranks of the party’s candidate class, campaign staff class, permanent bureaucracy class, etc. are all jumping in on this. Registrations for conferences now _require_ nametags with preferred pronouns. A friend of mine was ejected from a conference for accidentally misgendering someone. Seriously. (This is a guy whose work was featured on Mark Blumenthal’s pollster.com website before he sold it to HuffPo, he’s not an anonymous schmuck, he’s a big deal.) Manners for introductions on conference calls require that people introduce themselves with names and pronouns. At a time when we could be building a massive blue wave (n.b., I am incredulous of “wave” as a concept as it lacks empirical definition and is instead a qualitative assessment of the magnitude of a victory, but you know what I mean), we are wasting time and leaving positions unstaffed because we are more focused on doing things like rewriting the rules of conduct for email lists and going full Javert. [2] It’s all very #metoo and #forward. #becausescience (try to picture me rolling my eyes right now)

Here is what I would hope that your side are able to do. Instead of being as inflexible as the ideologues that have, granted, through entirely open and legitimate means, taken over the Democratic Party, make a bid for the reasonable people. Think hard about whether it’s more tactically advantageous to have to concede a little to get the advantage of numbers to do more of what you want.

Honestly, if any Republican wanted to do that, I would probably switch sides to help him with that research.

Jeez, I can’t believe I just said that. Dumb pronouns make friends of us all, it seems.

Incredible. I’m telling you, this guy hates Donald Trump with the ferocity of a thousand million suns, and yet this is where the ideological fanaticism of his own party, for whom he works, has driven him to this place. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but he seems to understand quite clearly that if these fanatics come to power, they’re going to try to force this madness on all of us, because they are True Believers. As this reader avers, now should be the time when Democrats are gathering their forces to deliver a tremendous blow to the Republicans this fall … but instead, they are wasting their time on making sure their own internal ranks are ideologically sound and purged of misgenderers.

Note well: this comes from a professional Democrat — a secular liberal — who works for the party’s candidates. He’s talking about what he’s seeing happen all around him now. Of course I doubt very much the Republicans will take advantage of this, for a number of reasons, among them being sheer terror at being called “bigots” by these same lunatics driving the Democratic Party off a cliff.

Remember the “Hoes Need Grants!” post [3]the other day in which a liberal reader who works in the world of progressive non-profits is giving up out of despair, because her world has been conquered by activists who care about nothing but sex and sexuality? I am pretty sure we won’t see any stories about this kind of thing in the national media, because newsrooms too have been captured by the spirit of these same activists.

I’m going to write separately about a great Tom Edsall column today analyzing American politics in terms of affinity for “authoritarianism.”  [4] In general, though, the piece talks about how Americans have come to vote for party based on whether or not they think America’s diversity, and its rapid social and cultural changes, are good on balance, or bad. Excerpt:

Matt Grossmann and Daniel Thaler of Michigan State University further expand on the role of psychological traits in voter decision-making in their forthcoming paper, “Mass-Elite Divides in Aversion to Social Change and Support for Donald Trump.” They found that aversion to change “is strongly predictive of support for Trump” among regular voters, but much less so among Republican political elites.

They measure aversion to change by the answers to two polling questions: “Our country is changing too fast, undermining traditional American values” and “By accepting diverse cultures and lifestyles, our country is steadily improving.”

The accompanying graphic shows how those who think that the country is changing too fast and who disagree with the notion that diverse cultures and lifestyles improve the United States voted decisively for Trump.

What’s really interesting to me about my Democratic pollster friend’s reaction is that it suggests that gender ideology could be the hard wall against which the progressive crazy train smashes. You cannot reasonably generalize from a single anecdote, obviously, but the pollster’s comment made me wonder if this is going to be the issue that makes ordinary liberals believe that the ideology that deploys the terms “diversity” and “inclusivity” goes too far.

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117 Comments To "Gender Madness Alienates Democratic Insider"

#1 Comment By BikerDad On April 6, 2018 @ 6:19 pm

here’s hoping that my formatting works….

The room for reasonable people on sex/gender issues is vastly closing in this party. What I mean by reasonable is:

1. Believing that gender dysphoria is real, people should be able to get a diagnosis, transition easily, have their transitions respected and live without fear,

2. Believing that same sex relationships are morally neutral and not socially destructive,

3. Believing that strong gender roles can do real damage to both men and women, in that for women, it can teach them to be passive and helpless, and for men, that they have to go it alone, etc.

Those are not, in point of fact, reasonable, each for a different reason. Anybody who holds these views is in deep disagreement with reality.

Point 1 isn’t reasonable because, while gender dysphoria IS real, it is far rarer than the current trannie craze/delusion would have us believe. More importantly, it’s not reasonable because gender dysphoria is so frickin’ rare in reality that only the insane or power-mad would seek to overturn society in order to welcome it.

Point 2 is a simple refutation of thousands of years of human history. Perhaps because I’m a conservative, or perhaps because I studied history, but I’ll put the accumulated wisdom of the billions who have preceded us and who, in point of fact, BUILT the world we have today, over that of a bunch of perverts. Now, reasonable people CAN engage the question “well, what should we do about it?” “Do the SOCIAL benefits of same sex relationships outweigh the costs?” But to deny the costs is to deny reality, which reasonable people don’t do….

Point 3 won’t be held be “reasonable people” because it’s a half-truth, which is used to push forward an agenda. And that agenda is destructive. We know that very few of those who hold that view are reasonable because if you reverse the formulation to “believing that strong gender roles (SGRs) can benefit and build up both men and women”, they go full on Triggly-Puff. Reasonable people will logically conclude that if SGRs CAN cause harm, then it must be that they do not invariably do so, otherwise there would be no point to “can”. If they don’t invariably do harm, then there must be some reason why they exist in every human society. They can, and in point of fact, generally DO benefit the men and women of human society.

Reasonable people look at something that IS harmful and ask “should this be tolerated, in the original sense of the word?” I would wager that less than 1 in 100 “reasonable people” who hold the points above to be the measure of “reasonableness” would ever make it to the tolerance question, because they can’t admit the harm they seek to dismiss. What the Dem operative has discovered is there are crazies in his party. What he fails to realize is that just because those folks are bat-bitten rabid nuts does not mean that HE is “reasonable.”

#2 Comment By Gus Nelson On April 6, 2018 @ 8:41 pm

Isn’t it fascinating (and ironic) that theologically conservative Christians have been accused, both by those without and “progressives” within, that they’re too obsessed with sex . . .

#3 Comment By La Lubu On April 6, 2018 @ 11:05 pm

This reads like so much upper-middle-class inside baseball to me. I can confirm that this is completely untrue of Democratic party operatives in downstate Illinois, whose constituencies are primarily working class people. A lecture like the reader experienced wouldn’t be well received here. Here, the common refrain matches with the three reasonable bullet points offered by the reader. The person who lectured the reader would at best, be considered “all ate up.” Extremism of any variety doesn’t play well in the midwest in general, and certainly not in the Rust Belt, where people have practically a congenital aversion to authority and heavy-handed ideology. (remember: in the early years of this country being settled by Europeans, this the the region all the “heretics” went. And when all the good folks from Ellis Island arrived here we created the labor movement!)

Just sayin’. I’m working the nuke circuit right now (electrician; traveling to different jurisdictions for maintenance shutdowns), and there was some breaktable discussion somewhat relevant along these lines: everybody is pretty much in alignment with the reader and his bullet points. (not because of “ideology”, but because of basic social rules of human respect and reciprocity.) I guarantee you no one would be on board with the weird woman who assumed that because the reader knew the gender of his expected child that he was therefore going to impose a strict gender role on said child. That’s just bizarre, because no one is living by traditional gender roles anyway. Did this woman arrive by time-travel? Because the *old timers* on the jobsite are older Gen X folks who grew up with full-time working mothers. Does she send messages by trained pigeon? Pony Express?

Just throwing that out there because it is often assumed by the (so-called) left and the right that working class people are more ideologically right-leaning, and that isn’t true. Our political alignments don’t match neatly with the political alignments of wealthy folks, and they’re the ones defining the terms, to their own peril. We’re less extremist, because we live here…y’know, we have to get along with our neighbors. We don’t have money to bail us out of being socially obnoxious or sociopathic. And our lives are more racially integrated, gender neutral, and live-and-let-live than the lecturing set.

Meanwhile, real progressive movement is happening on the labor front while the chatting class frets. No, pronouns added to name tags isn’t going to be a thing. “Oh, you go by (name, or unexpected pronoun)? Ok, sorry!” will be, because the social template already exists for that. The Democratic party will not dissolve because of that. It may dissolve if it remains unwilling to deal with economic issues, which are more pressing to those constituencies reduced to “identity” groups by politicos.

#4 Comment By HC On April 6, 2018 @ 11:30 pm

There has always been a basic, inescapable hostility to Christianity at the core of the hard Left. It goes all the way back to the French Revolution, and it underlies most of the rest of the madness, and madness is what it is. It’s a rebellion not against right wingers or Republicans or capitalism, but against reality itself.

This is why the closer the left comes to full power, the more it tends to reveal the inner madness, because once you’re in power, once the rubber meets the road, the conflict between reality and ideology can no longer be ignored, and it generates fury and frustration and fear.

There is no cure for the madness as long as the rejection of reality remains the center of the Leftist ideology.

#5 Comment By JonF On April 7, 2018 @ 11:22 am

Re: There has always been a basic, inescapable hostility to Christianity at the core of the hard Left.

This is true, but it should be expanded: any ideology that reduces life to purely secular forces will be hostile to religion and its claims. You see that same thing in Ayn Rand’s “objectivism” or Herbert Spencer’s Social Darwinism.

#6 Comment By Durin On April 7, 2018 @ 2:48 pm

Two observations:
1)In English the gendered pronouns are third person. You use them when talking *about* someone else, not when talking *to* them. When talking *to* someone, English just uses “you” for everyone, which is one reason this is not about addressing people respectfully. This is Pat trying to tell me what I should say to George when I am talking to George about Pat.

2) If every individual must specify the words for referring to them when introduced that expresses something significant about their individual identity, then we already have something for that. They are called “names”. Pronouns were invented for a different function.

#7 Comment By J May On April 7, 2018 @ 3:19 pm

“No, pronouns added to name tags isn’t going to be a thing. ‘Oh, you go by (name, or unexpected pronoun)? Ok, sorry!’ will be, because the social template already exists for that.”

La Lubu, the frog may look to the outer edge of the pot and say, “It’s just the extreme edges that are boiling!” But, rest assured, the boil will reach him. The question is, will the frog jump before it does, or will he prefer to remain where he’s comfortable? After all, by that point, the social template will exist to allow him to feel comfortable with the pot’s new conditions.

Social templates are not a sign of overall rationality, just a sign of people that have figured out a way to live comfortably with current social mores in their context.

#8 Comment By William J Gall On April 7, 2018 @ 4:10 pm

In certain ways, the Democratic Party now represents the moderates like myself; economics, for one. But what is described here is madness! I abandoned the Republicans for their drift to laissez faire capitalism, and for their bondage to big money (compromising their ideology!) But despite the fact that this is a cruel way to govern, the current Republican way is pragmatic withing the worldview of materialism and the worship of Mammon. I see no light at the end of the tunnel in American politics. The American Solidarity Party would represent me, but third parties in the USA amount to nothing but standing on principle. But that’s better than a pragmatism that ignores the common good or the insane ideology of the Democrats.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 7, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

A lecture like the reader experienced wouldn’t be well received here. Here, the common refrain matches with the three reasonable bullet points offered by the reader. The person who lectured the reader would at best, be considered “all ate up.” Extremism of any variety doesn’t play well in the midwest in general, and certainly not in the Rust Belt, where people have practically a congenital aversion to authority and heavy-handed ideology. (remember: in the early years of this country being settled by Europeans, this the the region all the “heretics” went. And when all the good folks from Ellis Island arrived here we created the labor movement!)

Mostly true. But on the other hand, the Mayor of Milwaukee, an old-line meat and potatoes working class Democrat with a touch of big city old boys network corruption but nothing illegal, ostentatiously wrote an Op-Ed piece about schools treating a person born male “as the girl that she is.”

#10 Comment By RudyM On April 7, 2018 @ 10:01 pm

I’ve already decided, as someone who considered myself a liberal just a couple years back, that if the cost of avoiding transgender ideology is allying with people who might roll back gay marriage (something I still moderately support, though I’m not happy with the way that has played out in some respects), it’s worth it.

#11 Comment By La Lubu On April 8, 2018 @ 4:15 pm

But on the other hand, the Mayor of Milwaukee, an old-line meat and potatoes working class Democrat with a touch of big city old boys network corruption but nothing illegal, ostentatiously wrote an Op-Ed piece about schools treating a person born male “as the girl that she is.”

I’m ok with recognizing the existence of transgender persons, and using the pronoun and (usually new) name that they prefer. I think of transgender persons as being on the intersex spectrum—they may not have less-common versions of X/Y genes, or visibly in-between genitalia, but their brain structure and processing is different from those of us who are cisgender. It happens, and it is inevitable that a certain few are going to fall in that (for lack of a better term) middle spectrum rather than the more usual ends. No big deal.

What is bizarre is making the assumption that because there are transgendered persons, the general assumption should be that *everyone* is trangendered, or could be transgendered. That makes about as much sense as assuming that because blind persons exist, the typical assumption should be that all persons are blind unless they prove otherwise. In other words, assuming that the exception is the rule. Why not just accept the exception, while still recognizing it as such?

#12 Comment By Richard McEvoy On April 8, 2018 @ 5:33 pm

just read “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari and it is interesting that he considers ideologies to be the same as religions, presumably with their own miracles and martyrs. I suggest some of the more mindbending biology ignoring feats on the transgender side qualify.

#13 Comment By Richard McEvoy On April 8, 2018 @ 5:34 pm

Also, just to add oil to the fire, I suggest that patriarchies are only called patriarchies because it was primarily men who wrote their histories.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 8, 2018 @ 7:17 pm

I’m ok with recognizing the existence of transgender persons, and using the pronoun and (usually new) name that they prefer.

I’m OK with recognizing that there are small minorities of sexually ambiguous persons who deviate in an almost statistically predictable way from the biological norm. I’m also OK with making reasonable accommodations to allow them some private space to work out their medical diagnosis and decide on the therapy that would be best for them.

I’m not OK with blithely described a person with a male body and gender dysphoria as “the girl that she is.” I’m not OK with admitting male bodies to female locker rooms and bathrooms, or vice versa. I’m OK with shifting pronouns and honorifics from male to female or vice versa for a person who enters into a genuine transition. And I’m OK with allowing surgically altered bodies into whichever public/private space best suits what they have physically become.

#15 Comment By Ester for sanity (liberals for sanity on Patreon) (@EsterforSanity) On April 10, 2018 @ 12:30 am

Thank you for writing about this. I am moderate liberal and I am all for gender non-conformity. men can be as feminine, sensitive or anything else they want. But it turns feminism and women’s rights on its head to let them claim to BE us. transsexuals usually just wanted acceptance, now I see transgenders (who keep their penises) demanding stridently that women not talk about vaginas at womn’s marches because it excludes “trans” women. Women are a sex, not a gender. Gender ideology is sexist and hurts women. I am now radicalized against it and I will not be voting to the left. I will move to the right, even if it hurts many of my causes. I am finished rewarding the Dems for minimizing me. It is not progressive. People who want to get involved should join the gender critical movement. we are on twitter.

#16 Comment By Ester for sanity (liberals for sanity on Patreon) (@EsterforSanity) On April 10, 2018 @ 12:34 am

I would ask conservatives to keep talking about this. It matters. Women are a sex, not a gender. men can be gender non-conforming without denying that biological women are a real thing. Its also homophobic, kids are being fed unbelievable ideology in schools and on Tumblr. Most as risk for feeling like they might be trans without knowing who they are yet: gays/lesbians, autistic kids. Suggesting to kids that they are in the wrong body is not progressive. Many regret it. become gender critical allies on twitter. Help move Dems back to the center by talking about this.

#17 Comment By sfcmac On July 12, 2018 @ 12:25 pm

Tell your friend: “welcome to the new liberal reality”. If he gets fed up enough with the crap he should #walkway.