Depending on your partisan affiliation, former President Ronald Reagan was many things. Brilliant economist. Bold leader against the Soviets. Worst man to ever occupy the White House.
But what’s undeniable is his absolute genius as a public figure and instinctive knack for winning the nation’s affection.
One of Reagan’s most important political insights was the following: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.” Voters, regardless of their education level, should be able to understand exactly what a candidate means from the get-go.
Rhetoric is effective when it is easy and quick to connect with folks, whether they are a truck driver commuting home on Highway 126 or a college professor sitting in his velvet chair inventing new genders.
The problem with the modern left is so many of our arguments fail this objective.
People hear what progressives have to say and react first with, “Huh?” Consider a particularly compelling example:
One of the major Democratic positions is that it is bigotry to be leery of the idea that trans women should play on the same sports teams as biological women. Anyone who holds this view must be canceled now, and sent to a cultural gulag for re-education.
Of course that’s such a ridiculous response to a complex, mult-faceted issue. There’s nothing hateful about being concerned over letting students who were born male play with the girls, considering the profound physical differences between the two genders.
In North Carolina recently, a female high school volleyball player suffered a concussion after she was hit in the face with a 70 mph spike from a trans athlete on the opposing team. According to an ABC news report, this youngster ended up with “severe head and neck injuries, resulting in long-term concussion symptoms.”
One of the coaches involved said they had never seen anyone get hit like that in their entire career. When Democrats claim it’s wrong for people to be concerned over this sort of incident, we look totally nuts.
Now should policymakers completely ban trans folks from playing sports in all cases? No, but it is clear we need a common-sense process for ensuring that biological females are protected in competition.
One simple way of achieving this would be to require trans athletes to fully develop into their new gender — in terms of muscle mass, testosterone levels, and other key characteristics — before letting them participate with the girls.
Inevitably, the social justice warriors would howl at such a policy. But that’s no matter. When managing complex problems, the interests of all parties must be considered. We cannot simply prioritize one group over another, just because they identify with a marginalized community.
Sometimes in life, a certain amount of discrimination is necessary. Growing up, I suffered from epilepsy and because of this, was legally prevented from getting my driver’s license until I was fully cured.
That prohibition made perfect sense. Anyone who is prone to seizures cannot be trusted behind the wheel without posing a threat to public safety. They could have convulsions while driving, crash their car, and plow into some grandma walking her poodle.
The trans sports issue is no different.
Young people suffering from gender dysphoria deserve our complete compassion and care, and as robust a safety net as society can afford. However, sometimes medical problems must come with certain restrictions and processes as a way of maintaining social order.
We simply cannot let athletes who are biological males play with the girls, until it is has been verified that they no longer have the profound physical advantages associated with their genetics.
Democrats should acknowledge these facts. It would go a long way toward restoring our credibility with everyday folks. However, it takes a certain amount of humility to admit that life is complicated and solving problems is hard.
And of course it’s far more enjoyable to just call the other guys evil and flatter yourself with how virtuous you are.
Joshua Heath is a Santa Clarita resident. “Democratic Voices” appears Tuesdays and rotates among local Democrats.