The Fringe Mainstream
You’re very weird.
In fact, let’s face it head-on: you’re a social and political outlier, a dangerous extremist. Your views put you firmly on the fringe, and that fringe is becoming a real problem. For example, the Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, has just embraced a bunch of radical fringe policies about parent notification and consent regarding schools and transgender children, simultaneously limiting the ability of young children to have their bodies medically altered to match their declared gender — and some pretty disturbing people are supporting this crazy stuff. Look how appalled normal Canadians are by these extremist maneuvers to keep parents involved in the lives of LGBT children:
Fortunately, the responsible mainstream leaders of the Liberal Party and NDP are standing strong with the 14% in the majority who want parents out of the lives of transgender children, rejecting the fringe views of the 78% who live at the extremist edges.
At the same time, the New York Times has just published a remarkable opinion piece on the growing concern among longtime transgender advocates, including transgendered clinicians, about the casual and rushed process by which American pediatric gender clinics are pushing children into gender transition. The essay centers on detransitioners, trans youth who change their minds and accept their biological sex.
This being the New York Times, the author is compelled to mention the true danger: “The real threat to transgender people comes from Republicans who wish to deny them rights and protections.” Ahh, but watch what comes next:
But the doctrinal rigidity of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is disappointing, frustrating and counterproductive.
“I was always a liberal Democrat,” one woman whose son desisted after social transition and hormone therapy told me. “Now I feel politically homeless.”
She noted that the Biden administration has “unequivocally” supported gender-affirming care for minors, in cases in which it deems it “medically appropriate and necessary.” Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told NPR in 2022 that “there is no argument among medical professionals — pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, et cetera — about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care.”
Democrats are doctrinally rigid, and a top health official in the Biden administration says proudly that there is no debate. See, everyone believes the same thing, except mean Republicans, but that’s also now understood to be a sign of excessive ideological rigidity. Then the same piece in the Times also says a whole bunch of things like this:
Studies show that around eight in 10 cases of childhood gender dysphoria resolve themselves by puberty and 30 percent of people on hormone therapy discontinue its use within four years, though the effects, including infertility, are often irreversible.
I’ve removed the links from the quoted paragraphs, because they don’t work well after cutting and pasting, but you can find them all at the link to the non-paywalled opinion piece.
Eighty percent of childhood gender dysphoria cases “resolve themselves” without cutting and drugging, and close to 80% of the population rejects taking parents out of the decisionmaking process for children who declare a transgender identity. So let’s use Google to search for information about trans kids, to get some ideologically safe information about that 80%:
Agreeing with 80% of the population is being extremist, you see. The dangerous fringe minority, the crazies.
Remarkably, as Leor Sapir notes, the top ten reader-rated comments to the New York Times opinion piece look like…this:
The whole list is too large for a single screenshot, but click on the link to see all the examples.
The extremist fringe of 80% is beginning to prevail over a ludicrous propaganda effort. The crazy outliers are the mainstream. Again.
When you see these deflection-focused arguments about extremist views, know that you’re reading lies and manipulation. Discussion and news that aren’t about the thing itself, but that instead throws out emotionally triggering chaff — extremism! hate! meanness! Putin! — aren’t discussion and news. It’s a wall of noise, designed to prevent understanding. This is the reality of gender-affirming health care, if you’d like to actually see it. That’s the thing itself. How wonderfully healthy for young children.
That bizarrely honest and balanced piece in the New York Times is worth reading, by the way, and you won’t see that sentence from me very often.
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