It used to be that senior officers in the U.S. military made a point of staying out of politics. At least in public, they focused their attention solely on foreign enemies who could threaten the United States. George Marshall, the Army officer who became secretary of defense under Truman, famously refused to vote in any election, for any candidate. That kind of thinking was the norm, and you can see why. Once the military starts trying to pick fights with domestic enemies, things can get very third world, very quickly.
In just about a half century, we’ve come a long way from George Marshall. Leaders like that are now very hard to find in the Pentagon. In their place, we have men with names like “Bree Fram.” Bree Fram is a colonel in the Space Force, which is part of the Air Force. Based on his public appearances, Fram’s main credential is that he likes to dress up as a woman. And he devotes the vast majority of his time to political campaigning on behalf of trans activists.
A couple of weeks ago, for example, Fram headlined a forum sponsored by Fortune Magazine. It was an event entitled, “Fortune’s Most Powerful Women of 2023.” And naturally Fram, as a middle-aged adult man, took the stage. He insisted that the military and major corporations have no choice but to hire more crossdressers. Indeed, our national security depends on it. Watch:
— Fortune MPW (@FortuneMPW) October 11, 2023
Yes, we fight using brain power. Which is why, says Bree, it is important we get more brains that are mentally ill involved in the military. This will make us safer. It will make the country stronger. Why is that the case? How can it be the case? Well, he never explains that. And can’t explain it, because it’s nonsense. Be that as it may, if you go on Bree Fram’s social media you’ll find he was just promoted by the Pentagon for relentlessly pushing this kind of propaganda. So this is what the Defense Department wants him to be doing, even though nothing he said makes any sense whatsoever.
By the way, the people who don’t “feel safe to speak up,” to use Bree Fram’s language, are not the trans activists. It’s the people who recognize that putting a wig on a guy, or cutting off his penis, doesn’t magically transform him into a woman. Those are the people who are afraid to speak up, because then they’ll be fired for it. That’s true in every major corporation in this country. It’s also true in the military. No one wants to tell the truth, or else they’ll be destroyed.
Unlike what Bree Fram is complaining about, this self-censorship — this denial of reality — is definitely a national security threat. As a general rule, you cannot defend yourself and your nation in reality unless you are living in reality yourself. Trans-identified people have trouble living in, accepting, or understanding reality. That’s why they identify as trans. They are a demographic that suffers from serious mental illness at a rate dramatically higher than the general population. They’re a much greater risk to the military for that reason alone — not to mention that most of these activists hate this country and want to destroy everything it stands for. And yet we’re being instructed, by trans activists like Bree Fram, that we shouldn’t be allowed to say anything like this out loud. If we do, we’re told we’re supposedly the ones who are endangering national security.
And that’s just scratching the surface of what Bree Fram has been saying. He’s also openly criticized state legislatures that have passed bills trans activists don’t like. In March of last year for example, Fram tweeted a meme of a Star Trek actress mouthing the words “Are you f-ing kidding me,” in response to what Fram called, “all the anti trans legislation being introduced and passed in so many states.”
So here we have a colonel, working for the U.S. Armed Forces, publicly condemning legislation that was passed by conservative voters by overwhelming majorities in several states. There are many more posts like this on Fram’s social media feeds. This isn’t just inappropriate. Coming from the military, it’s threatening and completely intolerable. These are people with the most advanced military equipment on the planet. They have the power to kill people they don’t like. Therefore, we decided a long time ago that they answer to civilian leaders. They don’t get to push their politics on us. That’s not their job. If they start doing it, they should be fired immediately. That’s the actual “national security threat” here.
But as far as I can tell, outside of social media accounts like Libs of TikTok, Republicans haven’t reacted to this at all. They don’t seem to care that a senior military officer is a cross-dressing political activist. They haven’t called on Bree Fram to resign or be fired or anything like that.
In fact, the opposite is happening. Republicans are taking Bree Fram’s advice. That brings us to what happened Friday, in the waning moments of 2023. On that day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine took a break from celebrating the made-up fake holiday Kwanzaa to veto House Bill 68. This bill would have prohibited doctors in the state from prescribing cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to children. The bill also would have prohibited boys from playing in girls’ sports. It passed overwhelmingly in the Ohio House (by a vote of 62 to 27) and in the Ohio Senate (by a vote of 24 to 8). These are margins so large that they’d allow the legislature to override DeWine’s veto, but he went ahead and vetoed it anyway.
In a 30-minute press conference the other day, Mike DeWine explained his reasoning. I’m going to present DeWine’s argument as thoroughly as I possibly can, because this has to be addressed. He is parroting trans propaganda, for the most part without even questioning it. The only way to stop this insanity is to confront it.
Here’s the first key claim DeWine made during the press conference:
So Mike DeWine begins with a variation of a common argument you hear from trans activists, which is that parents always know what’s medically best for a child. Of course, trans activists don’t actually believe this. That’s why they want to empower school districts to hide children’s so-called “gender identity” from their parents. It’s also why they’re allowing minors to take these sterilizing drugs without parental involvement in states like California and Washington.
But even if DeWine and trans activists actually did believe what they’re saying, the argument still fails. That’s because common sense — and basic moral intuition — tell us that chopping off a healthy girl’s breasts, or castrating and sterilizing a boy for life, is not only wrong but a moral atrocity that cries to the heavens for vengeance. Yes, parents have a right to raise their children. But they don’t have a right to mutilate them. It doesn’t matter what the parents say or what doctors say. Some things are wrong because they’re obviously wrong, regardless of your title or position.
This is an obvious point, which is why DeWine tries to head off the argument, by saying that in this case, parents and experts agree that these procedures are medically necessary. And he says he can think of no other example where the state has banned procedures on children, where both parents and medical experts agree they’re necessary.
It’s a remarkable statement from the governor, given that it was less than a century ago children were getting lobotomized in this country. Parents and medical experts thought that lobotomies were a great idea, so they happened at scale. Walter Freeman traveled around psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. in the 1950s, sticking spatulas in peoples’ brains. One of his patients was a 12-year-old named Howard Dully, who was lobotomized because his stepmother demanded it. Several decades later, Dully told NPR, “I’ll never know what I lost in those 10 minutes with Dr. Freeman and his ice pick.”
Lobotomies aren’t performed in this country anymore. Many states have imposed restrictions on all forms of “psychosurgery,” and any doctor who performs a lobotomy would probably be bankrupted in a malpractice lawsuit. But Mike DeWine has apparently forgotten all about that. He has absolute trust in parents and doctors again. Anything they agree on must, automatically, be legal in the state of Ohio.
What’s interesting about this argument is that, as DeWine himself points out, these parents have given their reasons for opposing the bill — and their reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with medicine. Watch:
DeWine begins by saying that parents have told him they had to “transition” their children or else their children would have committed suicide. That’s not a medical judgment. That is, at best, a parent acting out of pure desperation and caving to the worst form of emotional blackmail imaginable. And like most judgments made out of desperation, it’s a very bad one.
For one thing, as I’ve pointed out a thousand times, the claim that children need to be transitioned in order to stop them from killing themselves is belied by the fact that for most of human history no children were transitioned and also no children were killing themselves because of it. It is only in the last few years that this “need” has arisen, which means the need is an illusion. We have to destroy the illusion, not give in to it.
But DeWine has no problem with this. He says that because he met with a handful of parents, who tell him sterilizing hormones saved their kids’ life, that he’s convinced they must be right. What’s extraordinary about this is that, at the beginning of his press conference, DeWine claims he talked to detransitioners, and people who regret getting these hormones at a young age. He never explains why he disregarded their concerns, and sided with the handful of parents he spoke to. In Ohio, they’re legalizing the sterilization of children based on a handful of selective anecdotes. That’s where we are.
This gets even weirder when you listen to the rest of DeWine’s press conference, where he explains he has no data at all to suggest that sterilizing children actually improves their well-being. Watch:
So we have no evidence to suggest that any of these “treatments” are helping kids. The governor admits that. In fact we have a lot of evidence it’s hurting them, as he says. And that’s why DeWine doesn’t want to authorize surgeries on minors. But at the same time, he’s fine with legalizing procedures that will sterilize children — against the will of the people of his state — even though he acknowledges there’s no science to justify it. He’s green-lighting child butchery, by his own admission, so he can collect more data on how it affects children in 20 years. “Let’s just castrate the kids now and check in 20 years to see if it worked out.” That’s his argument.
It’s so ghoulish and so completely illogical that it’s hard to believe it’s real. But that’s what he said. So if you’re a sane person, you’re left wondering: What could possibly explain this? It’s always worth laying out the case against the medical abuse of children, but we all know that DeWine doesn’t actually need to be told any of it. It’s well established. DeWine is a contemptible weakling and a pathetic coward but he’s not actually psychotic. He’s only pretending to be in this case. The question is why. Why is he telling legislators to scrap this bill following his veto, in favor of some vague administrative regulations that mean basically nothing?
The first answer probably has something to do with the campaign contributions that DeWine receives from the very organizations that perform this butchery. The Daily Caller is reporting that “[From] 2018 to 2023 … the governor received $40,300 from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA), Cincinnati Children’s, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and ProMedica Children’s Hospital, all of whom support transgender medical care.”
These are the same children’s hospitals that, in his press conference, DeWine said he had consulted before vetoing the bill. But the governor never disclosed any of these payments during the press conference. So that’s conspicuous, to say the least. There’s also the fact that under DeWine, Ohio has resumed working with the Centene Corporation, even though they just settled with the state on charges they defrauded Medicaid. Various local news outlets have pointed out that one of DeWine’s longtime friends is a lobbyist for Centene, which incidentally, also claims that “gender-affirming care” is “medically necessary.”
Is this corruption? Undoubtedly it is. But it’s also not a complete explanation for what we’re seeing in Ohio. This is a cancer that’s spread far beyond one governor’s office. DeWine represents the Republican establishment, and the establishment will always do the bidding of the LGBT lobby when push comes to shove. We’ve seen that all over the country, repeatedly. Obviously there was the gay marriage debate, where the Right folded virtually overnight. But there are many more recent examples. There’s the case of Spencer Cox, the Republican governor of Utah, who recently introduced himself to a roomful of children by giving his preferred pronouns. In 2021, the Republican governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, vetoed a bill that would have banned men from competing in women’s sports. That same year, the Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, vetoed a bill that would have banned so-called “gender affirming” treatments on minors. The state legislature later overrode that veto, but that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.
For the sake of thousands of children, we need a similar veto override in Ohio, immediately. But that can’t be the end of it. If the leaders of the conservative establishment want anyone to believe they can conserve anything, they should start by explaining why Bree Fram is allowed to lecture us, in uniform, about the importance of hiring mentally ill crossdressers. Then the Republican Governors Association should explain why so many governors are ignoring what the vast majority of their constituents want. If the leaders of the establishment Right can’t do any of this — and honestly, they probably can’t — then they serve no purpose. They are every bit as spineless and pitiful as Mike DeWine. And if there’s any resolution worth making in 2024, it’s that we need to be done with these useless cowards once and for all.