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” 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. 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 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.” 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.