Last month, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said he’d allow Caitlyn Jenner to use whatever bathroom she liked at Trump Tower.
Fellow presidential contender Ted Cruz attacked, “This is the height of political correctness for Donald Trump to say yes, let grown men in the bathroom with little girls.”
“The height of political correctness.”
That award actually goes to Ted Cruz.
Merriam-Webster defines “politically correct” as “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”
In Ted Cruz’s case, that group of people would be Republican voters.
Cruz has determined—and not without reason, if you listen to talk radio or read many conservative websites—that Republican voters think transgender Americans are a bunch of predators and weirdos.
And now he’s just playing to his crowd.
Just like Bernie Sanders bashes wealthy people. Just like Hillary Clinton trashes the Koch Brothers.
Are all rich people bad? That’s just childish and stupid. Are the Koch Brothers evil? Quite the opposite —the libertarian billionaires are actually heroic in many ways. The Kochs are actually far more “progressive” than Hillary Clinton in many ways.
But the left needs their bogeymen—and by God, Bernie and Hillary are gonna give it to them.
Cruz thinks Republican voters need their bogeymen too.
The debate over where transgender people should use the bathroom is largely a solution in search of a problem. Yes, I agree that states and businesses should make these decisions.
I also don’t think there need to be any new decisions.
This debate is dumb. Casey Given notes at Rare:
Today, it is the de facto norm that transgender people use the restroom of the gender they identify with. That means that men who were born women use the men’s restroom, and women who were born men use the women’s restroom.
If that disturbs you, take a second to process this fact: you have likely been in the same public restroom as a transgendered person before. A mere 0.3 percent of the population may be transgendered, but in the course of a lifetime, we share restrooms with thousands of individuals. At least one of them is likely to have been transgendered.
Perhaps you didn’t notice. That’s not surprising since people tend to mind their own business in a public restroom.
What really bothers me about this debate is it seems to be another excuse to belittle what is arguably the most misunderstood group in the country.
The last time we had an unhealthy round of national transgender bashing was when many were comparing the ridiculous wannabe black woman Rachel Dolezal—a straight up white chick pretending to be African American—with transgenderism.
Many used it as an opportunity to say there was no such thing as transgender and anyone making such claims was deranged.
No, they’re not.
“Today, we can more easily understand why 10 or 20 percent of gay and bisexual Americans might have attempted suicide,” I wrote. “As tolerance increases on this front, we now recognize that gay men and women have faced unique hardships in our society.”
“As a society, wouldn’t we also want to reduce suicide attempts among those who identify as transgender?” I asked.
“Isn’t the first step in doing so trying to understand their condition?”
Being transgender is something that’s hard for many people to understand. This is entirely reasonable. I continue to ask questions myself.
But I also realize it’s important to understand. This is something real. It’s also sad, in that transgender Americans still find it incredibly difficult to be themselves. Right now, they’re being compared to the dregs of society.
This is exactly what Ted Cruz is doing. He’s doing it because he believes it’s what his audience wants to hear.
That doesn’t mean what he’s saying is right.
And it sure as hell ain’t brave.