fbpx
Home/Rod Dreher/Why Trump Is Not Out Yet

Why Trump Is Not Out Yet

Gavin Grimm, a female to male trans student, is leading a cultural revolution through the courts (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

Here’s why Donald Trump is not out of the game yet. It’s a ruling from two months ago, by the federal 11th Circuit, brought to my attention just now by a reader:

A Florida school board’s refusal to allow a transgender boy to use the bathroom matching his gender identity was unconstitutional, the 11th Circuit ruled Friday.

In a 2-1 decision, the Atlanta-based appeals court found that the St. Johns County school board violated Nease High School graduate Drew Adams’ civil rights by instructing Adams to use a gender neutral or girls’ restroom and warning him that he would be subject to disciplinary action if he used the boys’ bathroom.

“A public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity. Neither may a public school harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules for their restroom use. The evidence at trial confirms that Mr. Adams suffered both these indignities,” U.S. Circuit Judge Beverly Martin, a Barack Obama appointee, wrote on behalf of the majority Friday.

In a 28-page dissent in which he refers to Adams as “a female who identifies as a male,” U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor, a George W. Bush appointee, said the majority opinion “distorts the [school board’s] policy, misunderstands the legal claims asserted, and rewrites well-established precedent.”

Pryor warned that the opinion will have “radical consequences for sex-separated bathrooms.”

The two judges who voted for the kid were Obama appointees. More:

In his dissenting opinion, Pryor objected to the majority’s interpretation of Title IX, writing that sex “unambiguously is a classification on the basis of reproductive function” and claiming that sex “has never meant gender identity.”

Pryor went on to argue that Congress could not have intended the term “sex” to include gender identity when the law was enacted in 1972 because the medical community at that time “was firmly opposed to sex reassignment surgery.”

“It is untenable to construe transgender status, which even the medical community saw as a departure from the norm, as altering the norm itself among the general public,” Pryor wrote.

Read it all. 

You will recall that the federal Fourth Circuit also ruled the same way in August for trans student Gavin Grimm.

The Supreme Court will have to decide this issue. Even if Gorsuch is on the trans side — as he probably will be, given his opinion in Bostock — having Justice Barrett on the Court presumably gives conservatives the power to reverse the lower courts.

In last night’s terrible debate, Trump made much of the fact that he has appointed lots of conservative judges. Thank God for it! It’s the one thing for which I am grateful in his presidency. Judges matter. And this issue matters. We know where Joe Biden stands:

No room for compromise.

Please understand what is at stake here. It’s an issue fundamental to human identity. Prior to the past few years, the overwhelming number of people who have ever lived believe that male and female are immutable characteristics, and that they are undeniably rooted in biology. Many millions of people still believe that, in part because it happens to be scientifically true. What the Democrats and the LGBT activists who own their party are doing is coercing everyone to accept this radical gender ideology (which is not the same thing as homosexuality). Ryan T. Anderson points out the details of what gender identity laws mean here. 

Many of us do not want biological males competing against biological females, because that is intrinsically unjust. Many of us do not want to have to share women’s bathrooms and locker rooms with biological males. Most important of all, we do not want schools indoctrinating our children into gender ideology, and we do not want them to conspire against us to compel us to allow our minor children to transition against our consent.

This is actually happening! It’s not some right-wing fantasy. In this book, Abigail Shrier talks about how this trans craze takes advantage of the distress of adolescent and teenage girls, and how the institutions of our society try to silence dissent. Shrier has no complaints at all about trans adults, but she says it’s terrible to inflict this on children. Joe Rogan had her on recently to talk about it on his podcast, and now Rogan’s employer, Spotify, is facing an internal rebellion from Spotify employees who say it’s “transphobia” to have a different opinion. I strongly urge you to watch that Rogan episode while you still can, so you can have a better understanding of how totalitarian this movement is.

These are the stakes in this election: whether or not a radical vision of human sexuality and human identity will be forced on the American people against their will. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party believe it must be — “no room for compromise.” Trump-appointed federal judges are sanity’s last line of defense.

Like I said earlier, Trump was a crazy man in last night’s debate, and was a disgrace. It says something terrible about our country that this is how our president behaves. But we should also keep in mind that the kindly, respectable Joe Biden represents something truly barbaric — in fact, believes that there can be no compromise on the issue.

This is about what it means to be a male, a female, a human being. And Joe Biden is on the wrong side of the issue. 

I don’t for a second think that Donald Trump understands the issue, or cares much one way or the other. What I know is that he will probably appoint judges who do understand it, and will vote the right way — and will vote to defend the rights of religious believers to run their own institutions in defiance of this bizarre new reality. We know for a fact what the judges Joe Biden appoints will do.

From Live Not By Lies:

It is difficult for people raised in the free world to grasp the breadth and the depth of lying required simply to exist under communism. All the lies, and lies about lies, that formed the communist order were built on the basis of this foundational lie: the communist state is the sole source of truth. Orwell expressed this truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four: “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

Under the dictatorship of Big Brother, the Party understands that by changing language—Newspeak is the Party’s word for the jargon it imposes on society—it controls the categories in which people think. “Freedom” is slavery, “truth” is falsehood, and so forth. Doublethink—“holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”—is how people learn to submit their minds to the Party’s ideology.

If the Party says 2 + 2 = 5, then 2 + 2 = 5. The goal is to convince the person that all truth exists within the mind, and the rightly ordered mind believes whatever the Party says is true.
Orwell writes:

It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you—something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.

In our time, we do not have an all-powerful state forcing this on us. Under soft totalitarianism, the media, academia, corporate America, and other institutions are practicing Newspeak and compelling the rest of us to engage in doublethink every day. Men have periods. The woman standing in front of you is to be called “he.”

Diversity and inclusion means excluding those who object to ideological uniformity. Equity means treating persons unequally, regardless of their skills and achievements, to achieve an ideologically correct result. To update an Orwell line to our own situation: “The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

I urge you to get a copy of my book and read it — it is essential to learning how to navigate through this new world. Here is a link to the free downloadable study guide. 

Again: this is not about whether or not a teenager needs to have a penis to go to the boy’s restroom in high school. This is ultimately about what it is to be human, and whether or not a free people can be compelled to say, under penalty of law, that 2 + 2 = 5.

Last night’s debate showed why I consider even at this late date withholding my vote from Donald Trump. The reality of how the destructive ideology of transgenderism is moving through the courts, and how it has conquered elites, is why I will not rule out voting for him, despite knowing how bad he is.

It really has come down to this in Weimar America. No room for compromise. Trump didn’t say that — Biden did.

UPDATE: A reader posted this on another thread, but it makes sense here:

Rod, I appreciate the historical frame you put around President Trump’s performance last night. However, it is a stretch expecting him to make a moral and keen argument against transgenderism and its ideological enforcement, the capstone of the Sexual Revolution, when no religious leader of stature in our country, or elsewhere has been able to do this. Not the Pope, not the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, not Tim Keller, not any religious leader of stature, Bishop, or even local priest or pastor. Political leaders need moral guidance and language from somewhere and it cannot be found for any of us. I have been in Protestant and Orthodox communities now for almost 60 years and have begged for moral guidance for us and our children on sexual matters, but I get a suspicious look and am told that we have better ways that don’t require “harsh” moral guidance.

Unfortunately, this is true. I mean, I wouldn’t expect Trump or any politician to give that argument, but the point about the lack of effective religious witness to the truth of marriage and sexuality is inarguable. More to the point, where has the witness been against the gnostic ideas that bodies don’t matter, and that we can be anything we want to be? Trans is becoming so accepted so fast by the young not just because they are being relentlessly propagandized about it, but also because it conforms to what they are taught to believe about human personhood (e.g., that who you are is entirely what you choose to think about yourself).

They have instead wasted all their religious authority and capital talking about being “loving” and “compassionate” — defining that as (in effect) living by therapeutic lies.

I’ve been asked a couple of times in interviews for the book this week if I thought that pastors were prepared for soft totalitarianism. The answer is no, not most of them, no more than the rest of us are.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

leave a comment

Latest Articles