Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Define “Historic”

 
Vermont gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist.

Tuesday’s primary results were hailed as “historic” by a number of media outlets. “Vermont Democrats made history Tuesday” declared the Burlington Free Press. NPR framed the matter with the same word, “historic,” as did the New York Times, ABC, and others. Most were pealing the bells for Vermont’s first “openly transgender” candidate for governor, Christine Hallquist. Hallquist was born male but now prefers to dress as a woman. Her success in the Democratic primary is being celebrated as comparable to the breakthroughs of African-American candidates (here is the New York Times video trumpeting a “night of firsts”).

The words “history” or “historic” in the mouths of progressives are always laudatory. They are honorifics, not descriptions. After all, lots of things are firsts – a Holocaust-denying, Nazi sympathizer made it onto the ballot on the Republican ticket in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district. That doesn’t get described as historic. Donald Trump is the first person to be elected without any previous governmental service at all. That’s not historic. No, progressives have a proprietary feeling about history. They are convinced that it “bends toward justice” as Barack Obama was fond of quoting, and that it will inevitably trend their way.

I’ve always found this an inexplicable fantasy since, among other things, the world witnessed within living memory one of the most progressive nations on the planet (Germany) descend into barbarism within the space of a few short years. Where was history’s benevolent guiding hand then? And where was it when those tribunes of history, the Soviet commissars, starved and enslaved and shot upwards of 20 million people? Or when Venezuela transitioned from the richest to the poorest country in Latin America?

Hallquist’s chief claim to office appears to be her sexuality since she confessed ignorance about economics during a recent CNN interview. Asked if she supported socialism, she said: “Yes, but I don’t even know what socialism is, so I’m not sure I have the background to answer that question.” Asked whether she supported capitalism, she said “Well, obviously, the long history of measuring ourselves by increases in the gross domestic product is a flawed measure because that just encourages consumption. And we can see what consumption is doing to our world.”

Part of the progressive project is to shoehorn certain new nonconformists, particularly sexual nonconformists, into the minority category. These favored groups – transgenders are the flavor of the month – are compared explicitly to African-Americans, and thus any accomplishment is celebrated as progress for them personally and for our society for shedding its prejudice. In fact, the civil rights template is the only way liberals can understand events at all. They have no other lens. And so they insist upon lionizing people who choose to behave and dress like the other sex as if they’re all Rosa Parks.

This is not to say that we should treat transgenders with anything but tolerance and understanding. If grown-up Americans choose to surgically alter their bodies and inject themselves with hormones to resemble the opposite sex, fine. That’s their business. And people deserve to be called what they choose to be called. If someone born a man now wears a dress and had breast implants and wants me to call him “she,” I will respect that (even if I do not believe that makes him a woman). It’s important to be polite and respectful.

But the celebration of transgenders doesn’t stop with adults. In the blink of an eye – and with no scientific consensus – honoring the “cross-gender identities” of even small children is becoming commonplace. The great portcullis of political correctness has slammed down on those who plead for a little common sense when it comes to kids. Tiny children too young for kindergarten are being dressed and groomed as the opposite sex. Older children are being given puberty-blocking hormones in preparation for surgical transition.

Parents are counseled by “experts” that if they do not ratify their child’s gender identity, they may be consigning him or her to depression or suicide. Look, there is a tiny minority of kids who have genuine gender dysphoria and they deserve compassionate care. But the vast majority of children who express a desire to be the other sex are going through a stage. I know. I was one of them. When I was about 6, I played with trucks, climbed trees, and asked my friends to call me “Timmy.” Thank God my parents shrugged it off. I’ve since married and had three children. Thank God I was a tomboy before it became dangerous.

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  1. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s an easy synonym for lazy hacks to throw around. Any event worthy of being recorded for posterity (in a newspaper article, for example) is by definition “historic”.

    • #1
    • August 16, 2018, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mona Charen:

    This is not to say that we should treat transgenders with anything but tolerance and understanding. If grown-up Americans choose to surgically alter their bodies and inject themselves with hormones to resemble the opposite sex, fine. That’s their business. And people deserve to be called what they choose to be called. If someone born a man now wears a dress and had breast implants and wants me to call him “she,” I will respect that (even if I do not believe that makes him a woman). It’s important to be polite and respectful.

    But the celebration of transgenders doesn’t stop with adults. In the blink of an eye – and with no scientific consensus – honoring the “cross-gender identities” of even small children is becoming commonplace. The great portcullis of political correctness has slammed down on those who plead for a little common sense when it comes to kids. Tiny children too young for kindergarten are being dressed and groomed as the opposite sex. Older children are being given puberty-blocking hormones in preparation for surgical transition.

    Mona,

    Your post brims with solid analysis and good judgment. However, considering that children are being left to the devices of lunatic ideologues who would perform the most grotesque experiments upon them, might it not be wise to be a little less polite and respectful.

    I will call him a man wearing a dress and will continue to do so. If he has surgery and hormone therapy I will call him a psychotic man wearing a dress who self-mutilated and will continue to do so. I will call his general condition sexual schizophrenia and will continue to do so. You will excuse my lack of politeness and respectfulness. Another one of my character flaws.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
    • August 16, 2018, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Front Seat Cat Member

    What is also bizarre is the speed at which the latest “trend” has rocketed into orbit. The multi-gender labels started multiplying and now we so many gender forms and they create new ones every day. This fixation on label and self – I, me, I, me – I want to be called this today, otherwise you disrespect me, is the very definition of insanity. I think depression is on the rise among the young for this reason, not because they were raised to be what they were born as.

    • #3
    • August 16, 2018, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Hoyacon Member

    Hallquist is the Democratic nominee despite getting less than 40% of the primary vote. Is that historic?

    • #4
    • August 16, 2018, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Theodoric of Freiberg Member

     

    • #5
    • August 16, 2018, at 6:42 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Quake Voter Inactive

    Mona Charen: Hallquist was born male but now prefers to dress as a woman.

    If only we had a 2.000 year old word which captures this phenomenon with etymological precision.

    Beginnings of a really fine column and then the Trump derangement and fixation on an alt-right irrelevance gets the focus. Why not highlight a few historic accomplishments and “firsts” of conservatives which are systematically ignored or erased from history?

    That’s the compelling counterpoint to these silly “firsts” that leftists gin up constantly.

    Nah, gotta shoe horn Trump and an alt-right bogeyman into every piece.

    • #6
    • August 16, 2018, at 6:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Stad Thatcher

    Mona Charen: They are convinced that it “bends toward justice” as Barack Obama was fond of quoting, and that it will inevitably trend their way.

    I’ve never been a fan of this “arc of history bends towards justice” saying. If anything, it bends towards oppression, feudalism, slavery, totalitarianism . . . you name it.

    Although other countries started the march toward individual liberty, the creation of the United States represents the ultimate bend away from injustice. Even though it’s beginning didn’t provide liberty for everyone, it provided the mechanism for social change without violence. Nonetheless, we fought the War Between the States to secure liberty for slaves. The fight to fully integrate women into the voting ranks was much more peaceful, done the way we should have ended slavery.

    No, the fact the Dems in Vermont nominated a cross-dresser is not historic. It’s an oddity, just like that 14 year old boy running for office. Both belong in Ripley’s, not the annals of history . . .

    • #7
    • August 17, 2018, at 5:49 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Randal H Member

    Strip off this guy’s wig and dress and he’s just another white male winning an election. What’s so historic about that? All politicians pretend to be something they’re not, but just as in the case of “trans” women (i.e., men) competing in and dominating sports competitions, why isn’t this just one more way to keep women from winning sporting events and elections?

    • #8
    • August 17, 2018, at 5:58 AM PDT
    • Like

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