The Corner

Health Care

Compromise? No, Let’s Not.

J. J. McCullough, whose columns have been a credit to National Review Onlinetoday writes on to appeal to those “cautious conservatives who assign themselves the difficult task of thoughtfully working through the new and unexpected in the cause of preserving a social order as peaceful and free as the one that came prior.”

Music to my ears, normally. Unfortunately, the new and unexpected thing that McCullough is writing about is transgenderism. McCullough says that conservatives must come to a compromise on this issue.

No we don’t.

What is the compromise McCullough asks? He enjoins liberals not to be totalistic in demanding approval. What does he ask of conservatives? They must acknowledge, “the reality that transgender men and women exist, and are entitled to basic human dignity, just like everyone else.”

As I wrote in a recent cover story for NR, the demand to acknowledge someone’s “existence” is a slippery bit of a double-talk. I would be an idiot to deny McCullough’s existence. But if he said that he were a Camaroonian, rather than a Canadian, would it be his existence that I denied by contradicting him? McCullough goes on to say that we shouldn’t be boorish. Okay. Fine. He cautions against, “[e]mbracing open prejudice.” Sounds good. But are we allowed to tell the truth?

I worry we are not, since we are now falsifying even recent history. McCullough refers to other recent changes in attitudes toward sexuality and says they are “not an attitude government has coerced Americans into.” Au contraire. The very public firings of dissenters and their virtual economic blacklisting, are very directly inspired by fear of Title VII litigation. The government has merely outsourced thought-policing to corporate HR departments.

Let me lay down my prediction, here. We are not headed toward some civilized modus vivendi but imminent tragedy. In the future, the current psychological theories and surgical enthusiasms associated with this movement will be regarded with open horror.

The beginning of the end will come when a some poor young man, upon reaching the age of majority, decides to sue the deep-pocketed psychologists, and university hospitals that tried to remake him as female when he was a child according to their enlightened theories about his behavior, destroying the function of his sexual organs, depriving him forever of the chance at fatherhood, and condemning him to a life of yet more surgeries. He will show that in this matter and only this matter did it become accepted to recommend treatments that increase the likelihood of suicide. Do you think the settlement figure will be somewhere in the 9-figures? Lately I’m tempted to guess 10. Imagine the new suggested guidelines from malpractice insurers . . .

Until that day, I’m not going to compromise with this movement, anymore than conservatives should have compromised with the eugenicists and their surgeons.

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