The conservative case for transing the kids has been made, and you’ll be less than shocked to learn that it came from the newly-minted “conservative” columnist at The New York Times.
David French has settled right into his new digs, writing critical screeds about Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson interlaced with calls to spend unlimited amounts of money in Ukraine. I suppose that would be fine if French’s hiring wasn’t billed as an expansion of ideological thought at the Times.
Regardless, his latest Sunday column may be the worst yet, both in its pathetic drawing of false equivalencies, and the logic used to make them. One specific passage is making the rounds for all the wrong reasons.
The article is ostensibly a defense of constitutional principles, but in trying to make the case that both sides are guilty of violating them (he mentions Gavin Newsom’s recent spat with Walgreens), French somehow managed to endorse one of the worst and most damaging aspects of transgender ideology. Namely, the idea that there can be any good faith involved in the medical transitioning of children.
French continued with this justification for his viewpoint.
To understand the gravity of the state interference with parental authority, it’s worth remembering the words of Chief Justice Warren Burger in the 1972 case Wisconsin v. Yoder, in which he wrote that the “primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” To simply presume that parents are abusive because they may dissent from state consensus on transgender care is to violate this principle of American law.
By that logic, if a parent dissents from the state consensus that beating a child is a crime, then it should not be considered abuse. That makes no sense whatsoever. Basic protections for children have been part of state and federal law for centuries. Parents have broad latitude to raise their children as they see fit, specifically in what values they instill, but that does not extend to a right to physically mutilate them.
Comparing the protection of children from harmful life-altering procedures to California promoting the same is asinine. It’s a weak attempt to draw a moral and legal equivalency that simply doesn’t exist. The state that is trying to stop children from being abused (yes, it’s abuse) is not the same as the state mandating that same abuse.
French would likely respond to my critique by saying that while he doesn’t personally agree with transitioning children (or at least, I’d hope he’d say that), he doesn’t believe a state has the power to interfere in the “desires of the parents, children, and caregivers involved.” Okay, but does he likewise believe a state has no right to limit abortion? Because to make the argument that a state can’t stop the mutilation of children under the guise of “gender-affirming care” is to also concede the left’s argument that abortion is a personal decision.
Pervasive transgender ideology targeting children is not a philosophical game in the pages of the Times. It’s a dangerous, growing poison that thrives on its opponents ceding ground. States absolutely have a legal right to regulate medical procedures, and they certainly have a legal (and moral) obligation to protect children in the process.