Why The Left Is Desperate To Stop Public Debate


It used to be that, if you wanted to hear a debate from both sides of a political issue, you had one option of last resort that was always available. You could turn on your television and flip on a cable news channel. For the most part, nothing you’d find would be particularly interesting, but at least they’d make an attempt at presenting a diversity of thought. CNN had “Crossfire” and, for a short period of time, “Parker/Spitzer.” Fox News had “Hannity & Colmes.” For its part, MSNBC aired a program called “The Cycle,” which had at least one token Republican at all times. The point of all these shows was to present two neatly packaged opposing points of view, side-by-side, for mass consumption. That was the business model.

Somewhere along the line, all those networks canceled those shows, and every show that resembled them. They were replaced by productions that didn’t even bother with the pretense of actual debate. And then, coincidentally enough, a short time later *you* weren’t allowed to have an open debate, either. The largest social media companies on the planet, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, began the practice of “content moderation.” If you had a heterodox opinion about mass shootings, or big pharma, or national elections, or gender, then you’d simply vanish, as surely as those cable news shows did.

As always, these major changes occurred without any kind of referendum or any analysis of what effects they’d have on civic life or our “democracy” that you hear so much about. Even so, it’s worth asking: What happens when the largest power centers in the country decide, seemingly on a whim, that debate is intolerable? What effect does this kind of thing have on day-to-day life in America?

It’s hard to say, honestly. But as of now, at least one of the consequences is obvious, if unexpected. Hearings on Capitol Hill have become *a lot* more interesting. That’s right. They’re not just for C-SPAN addicts anymore. It turns out that Congress, for all its many faults, still permits, on occasion, two sides of an issue to talk, in public, at length. And there is no better way to find out the truth than that. The more people are allowed to advance an argument, followed by a rebuttal, the more that argument’s strength — or its weaknesses — becomes clear to everyone watching.

That explains why trans activists, and the politicians who support them, are apoplectic about yesterday’s hearing at the House Judiciary Committee. At the hearing, both sides of the so-called “transgender” debate had the opportunity to discuss the issue. They had the chance to call the best witnesses they could find, in the entire country, in defense of their position. And yesterday, everyone on the side of transgenderism and child mutilation, as expected, was totally and completely humiliated.

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

We’ll start at the beginning of the hearing. Mary Gay Scanlon, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, came out with this opening statement, in which she talked about the importance of parental rights, above all. She argued that parents should be able to do whatever they want to their children, including sterilizing them, because parents always know best. Watch: 

Mary Scanlon went on like that for a few minutes. Her point is that it’s wrong for the government to deny parents the right to castrate their children, or cut off their breasts. After all, she says, no one cares more about children than their parents. Therefore, whatever parents say, goes.

It’s not much of an argument, obviously. Rational people understand, intuitively, that parents don’t have *absolute* control over the lives of their children. Parents can’t consent to their kids’ execution, for example. Parents can’t have their kids’ limbs chopped off because they’re being disobedient. So why can parents consent to their castration? Parents have rights. It’s also possible for parents to be abusive and neglectful. In those cases, we usually recognize that not only should we not respect the parent’s right to treat the child this way, but that in fact the parent should lose all rights. That’s because the only real absolute right of a parent is to see to their child’s well-being. This is both a parent’s sacred right and sacred responsibility. It would be oppression for the government to prevent a parent from fulfilling it. But a parent who, by their own actions, rejects this right and responsibility, and works to destroy their own child rather than preserve and advance his well-being, should be met with the harshest punishment. That’s the way this is all supposed to work. 

Back to the hearing. At least one representative, California Republican Congressman Tom McClintock, was listening closely to Mary Scanlon’s argument. So a little later on, he called her out on it. McClintock pressed Scanlon to support the logical conclusion of what she was saying. Specifically, McClintock wanted to know whether Scanlon opposed laws in leftist states like Oregon and California, which allow minors to be mutilated without any parental supervision whatsoever. After all, Scanlon cares so much about “parental rights.” She thinks parents know best. So why wouldn’t she sponsor legislation to ban the practice of children getting castrated without any parental involvement at all? 

The exchange is worth watching in its entirety. Here it is:


It’s an amazing moment. The National Review’s Caroline Downey observed that, during this cross-examination, Scanlon’s aides passed her a note, to help her answer McClintock’s question. But it didn’t help, because her answer ultimately made no sense. 

It was effectively this: “Parents know best, and any medical decision involving children should involve the parents — at the same time, kids should be able to castrate themselves, without consulting their parents at all.” Right.

The whole hearing went on like this. The incoherence and the insanity of transgenderism were on full display. It’s an ideology that survives no scrutiny whatsoever. The moment you put transgenderism side-by-side with sanity, transgenderism collapses. And that’s what kept happening, over and over, as the hours went on.

Take a look at this testimony from 19-year-old Chloe Cole for example. So-called “doctors” gave Chloe puberty blockers and testosterone when she was 13-years-old. That’s enough to sterilize her, and cause her early-onset osteoporosis. But that wasn’t enough for these doctors. So when she was 15, they cut her breasts off. Any rational person recognizes this barbarism for what it is. Here’s Chloe explaining what happened to her:

Watching this, it’s clear that despite the horrors that have been inflicted on her, Chloe Cole is rational. She’s calmer than the vast majority of people would be, under the circumstances. And she’s making a point that every human being on this planet would have agreed with just a decade ago, which is that sexualizing and butchering children is one of the greatest crimes imaginable.

Chloe Cole wasn’t the only witness to expose the derangement of the transgender movement. There was also testimony from former UPenn swimmer Paula Scanlan. Scanlan was forced by UPenn to share a locker room with William Thomas, the mediocre male swimmer who now pretends to be a woman named “Lia Thomas.” Watch:

So the mentally disturbed male gets to watch women undress. And if any UPenn swimmers complained about the obvious absurdity of this, then the school would call them insane.

Like Chloe Cole, Paula Scanlan is composed. She’s testifying about her first-hand experience. And what she’s saying is objectively horrifying.

So how did Democrats respond? What witnesses did Democrats present to rebut Paula Scanlan and Chloe Cole’s testimony? What “evidence” did the supposed “party of science” offer in response, to justify transgenderism once and for all?

One of the Democrats’ star witnesses yesterday was a woman named Miriam Reynolds. Reynolds testified that it’s possible for anyone to change their gender, even young children. 

But Reynolds didn’t base this conclusion on any scientific data, or any kind of coherent argument whatsoever. Instead, Reynolds testified that she knew her 11-year-old daughter was really a boy, contrary to what all the doctors said, because he didn’t like the color pink. Oh, and also she was friends with boys, and she liked to play football. Watch this:

What a profound contrast between the not only emotionally compelling but also incredibly logical and reasonable testimonies of the mutilation opponents, versus the half-baked, ridiculous logic of this mother. 

The same people who tell you that gender stereotypes are evil, are now telling you that 11-year-olds should be castrated because they don’t like the color pink. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. Keep in mind that the proponents of the “gender affirmation” racket specifically brought Miriam Reynolds to Congress, for the express purpose of representing their point of view. This isn’t someone who randomly walked into Congress off the street. Staffers picked this person. They vetted her. This is the best they can do. “We should mutilate kids if they don’t like a certain color. Her child likes the color pink; therefore he’s a boy.” That is the strongest argument they can muster.

Inane doesn’t begin to describe this. The contrast between Chloe Cole and Miriam Reynolds, like the contrast between Tom McClintock and Mary Scanlon, could not be more pronounced. One side is interested in reason and compassion. The other side presents the most juvenile, self-contradictory arguments imaginable.

As the hearing went on, this continued. Watch Congressman Wesley Hunt’s argument against child mutilation. And then after this, we’ll show you the Democrats’ position:

What you just saw was reasonable, well presented, and rational. Everyone who has kids understands what Wesley Hunt is saying. Kids think crazy things, all the time. It’s the job of parents to correct kids when they do that.

Now contrast what Wesley Hunt just said with the remarks yesterday from Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen. This verges on parody, if we’re being honest. Steve Cohen — while arguing in defense of transgenderism — concedes to Paula Scanlan, the UPenn swimmer, that Penn made a big mistake in its handling of the whole Lia Thomas situation. Cohen admits that Penn should have set up a quote “barrier” to separate male swimmers like Will Thomas from female swimmers like Scanlan. Just like the ranking member, he clearly doesn’t understand the implications of what he’s saying. Watch:

So according to pro-trans Democrat Steve Cohen, we need “barriers” in the locker room to separate men from women. Maybe this barrier could involve walls, and signage that reads, oh I don’t know: “Men’s Restroom” and “Women’s Restroom.” And maybe we could keep the people with penises confined to the “men’s” section. What a revolutionary idea!

It’s too funny. Steve Cohen, like so many Democrats, says he supports transgenderism without understanding the insane demands of the movement. He just reads the cue cards. He apes the talking points without understanding them. In that sense, Cohen has a lot in common with congressman Jerry Nadler of New York who also made a similar argument.

So on the one hand, you have an impassioned, compelling argument from conservatives that children can’t consent to the mutilation of their genitals. On the other hand, you have one of the most senior Democrats in the House, saying that you need to do whatever kids say, or else they’ll kill themselves. And he’s saying that, if you don’t affirm their delusions, then you’re “bullying them.”

Normally when people threaten to kill themselves, we recognize they need immediate intervention. They’re not thinking right. But in this case, Jerry Nadler says, when children are suicidal, we need to do whatever they say. We should affirm whatever delusion they’ve been told to believe. If a child is in despair, he says, we should affirm exactly the delusion that has caused the despair.

You’ll never find a clearer explanation for why transgender activists demand censorship than yesterday’s hearing at the House Judiciary Committee. At every turn, when sane people offered carefully considered, rational arguments, Democrats flailed. They contradicted themselves. They resorted to one of the most desperate and despicable arguments imaginable — “stop questioning us or else kids will kill themselves!”

That’s the best argument that a 17-term congressman, with the most experienced political staffers in all of Congress, could come up with. It’s ludicrous. It’s incoherent. It’s grotesquely stupid. It wilts immediately on contact with the testimony of young people — people with no political experience — who have seen enough of this barbarism. As pathetic as it is, the essence of trans ideology has been exposed, yet again, for everyone to see. This happens anytime there is any kind of open debate between the two sides of this issue. And that is exactly why the Left is desperate to stop those debates from happening.

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