Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
Regular Contributor Chad Felix Greene
I have a few questions about transgenderism. Or is it ‘transgender’? Sometimes they just call it ‘trans.’ As I discussed in an article titled: Transgender Suicides: What to Do About Them:
“The various liberal resources are shockingly equivocal as to what gender identity actually is. Gender identity is an “innermost knowing,” an issue of hormone imbalance, the result of a male brain in a female body, or a ‘transsexual’ brain, maybe an inherited characteristic, and many other possibilities, depending on whom you ask. According to some, gender is an inborn and permanent state; for others, a fluid awareness that might change by the day. How is it possible that a condition so insusceptible of consistent definition could be universally declared fatal without medical treatment?”
It is difficult to even define what ‘transgender’ means in any given context.
But of the multiple forms this experience can take, it is the internal and external conflicts that interest me most. The liberal world seems to grasp onto an idea and only after the conservative world expresses concern or objection do they stubbornly hold onto it regardless of reason or logic. Years can pass with an ever-growing conundrum surrounding the topic, and they will continue smugly dismissing all of it, waving self-serving studies around and declaring whatever it is they currently believe to be ‘science.’ But the rational among us can see through this perception filter.
For example, Janet Mock, a well-known trans and sex worker advocate, titled an article in 2011 to Marie Claire, I Was Born a Boy. By 2014 she was lecturing Piers Morgan on his transphobic assertion she had ever been male at all: MOCK: “Before commercial break, we had a lovely conversation, and then all of a sudden you said, “…who was formerly a man.” I was a baby. I was assigned male gender because of the appearance of my genitals. As I grew up, I discovered my girlhood, I discovered my womanhood, and I proclaimed and defined myself for myself.” Are we really supposed to believe that this individual was unaware of her original gender until 2014?
The answer is, of course not. In 2011 it had not yet become politically advantageous to assert trans were always their preferred gender. We, as a society, were perfectly content with the understanding that sometimes a man felt like a woman inside and had a little operation. It wasn’t until around 2014 that we began to see trans demand bathroom access based solely on their identified gender and then soon after it became popular to equally demand said identity was scientifically accurate. But it brings up an important question: if Miss Mock were in fact born a woman in a ‘male assigned’ body, why did she go through hormone and cosmetic surgery to prove it?
It has become common very recently as well to see LGBT declare, with alarming self-righteousness, that men can have periods and women can have penises. If this underlying understanding of human biology is correct, then why would trans go through so much effort to force their bodies to resemble, superficially, the other sex? Notice I said sex and not gender. Gender Queer theorists will tell you that sex and gender are separate things. Sex is your physical body and gender is your identity. However, every physical and chemical component to transgender treatment involves secondary sexual characteristics.
Women cut their hair short, remove their breasts and grow a beard. They take testosterone to deepen their voices. If testosterone makes you look like a man, sound like a man, feel like a man and think like a man, how did an individual without testosterone know she was, in fact, a man beforehand? Why the need for testosterone to enhance or validate this knowing? Do injections of testosterone make you male? If so, how were you male before you started taking them? They in effect, mimic the physical sex of a male. Janet Mock has undergone great effort to resemble what everyone knows is a woman. If sex and gender are separate things and men can have periods, why on Earth would any trans feel compelled to change their physical body in the first place? Shouldn’t they simply declare that being a man is not constrained by physical characteristics such as menstruation?
Obviously, the goal of a transgender person is to resemble and be treated as the opposite sex, not merely to express a gender identity. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be interested in surgery or hormones. But this begs another question. If Miss Mock, for example, believes her real self is female and has taken every conceivable physical effort to portray this to the world, is that admitting she was not female originally? Again, if she were simply a woman with male genitals, it goes to reason she would have appreciated her natural form and insisted it be viewed on its own as proof of her womanhood. Instead, she grew breasts, inverted her penis, had plastic surgery to appear more feminine and behaves, speaks, dresses and presents as a stereotypical Western woman.
If as trans activist Zinnia Jones insists, a woman with a penis has a female penis, wouldn’t it stand to reason that her hair, face, chest and overall image also be female regardless of how it looks? Why then wear makeup? Why wear women’s clothing or acquire breasts? This issue becomes even more confusing when you enter the world of ‘gender fluid’ where the spectrum of trans extends beyond physical transformation. Here we have individuals who believe they have no gender, are both genders, are multiple genders, sometimes one or the other gender at any given time and often entirely new genders no one except themselves has ever heard of.
Interestingly, regardless of the identity, the behavior is always the same. A male will put on female clothing, grow out his hair and wear makeup and a female will cut her hair short, wear boy’s clothing and behave in a masculine way. They take opposite-sex names and appropriate the other pronoun. In nearly all cases you simply have an individual cross-dressing while proclaiming new and profound expression of unique gender.
This too begs the question, if one is nonbinary, fluid or some other version of ‘trans’ then why adopt culturally-dependent stereotypical gendered dress and behaviors? You just don’t see average-looking individuals saying ‘Oh, yes I’m male but I love my female body and I don’t need to conform to society’s standards of what a man is.’ The need to change who they are physically in order to reflect who they believe themselves to be mentally or emotionally is universal across trans identity.
Another question I have is in regards to the obsession with gender-neutral child raising. It has become popular in liberal circles to declare, as new parents, that they do not intend to ‘impose’ gender onto their baby. Feminism has always fought against the notion of female-gendered toys, clothing or interests and strove for decades to incorporate male versions into girls’ daily lives. Today, liberals praise stores for, as the Disney store adopted, refusing to identify clothing or Halloween costumes by gender. They shriek with joy at a little boy choosing a princess dress.
At the same time liberals lecture us on the inappropriateness of ‘Gender Reveal’ parties as burdening innocent children with potentially unwanted gender obligations, LGBT are celebrating trans children coming out as young as age 2. In a Parents.com article titled, My Child Is Transgender: This Is How I Know, the writer states, “By age 2, Isabel refused to wear dresses…” On the highly controversial cover of The National Geographic’s transgender child issue featured an 8-year-old boy dressed entirely in pink with long hair and pink highlights.
Children who identify as the other gender do so in an obvious way – they adopt the other gender’s dress and behaviors. If we eliminate gendered toys and clothing, how exactly will trans children know they are, in fact, the wrong gender? How will they express or prove this to others? The 8-year-old boy in the National Geographic article stated: “The best thing about being a girl is I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.” Obviously, in his mind, this means dressing and behaving like a girl. That requires gender stereotypes and models in order to be effective. Otherwise being a girl would be as easy as just saying you are one. How can a movement that believes children can determine their own gender also advocate for removing gendered expression at the same time? It is almost as if they haven’t thought this through.
My suspicion is they are attempting to prove transgender theory by raising a generation of children without gender and seeing how many defy their biological sex. The irony, of course, is without a concept of firm gender roles there is nothing for a child to hold onto in terms of a different identity. Trans are said to have an ‘innermost feeling’ of being the other gender. But logic tells us they can only understand what being the other gender is like from witnessing expression from that gender and copying it internally. The fantasy has to involve established gender roles distinct from their own.
Make our society gender-neutral, and you eliminate transgender altogether.
Another interesting conflict in the ‘innermost feeling’ of gender is the fact that neither version of trans actually mimics anything beyond shallow and socially stereotypical gender norms. Transmen, women who identify as men, have a tendency to keep their reproductive organs and become pregnant. Transwomen, men who identify as women, do not argue for artificial wombs or express any desire for pregnancy themselves. It would require reason to understand that if you are physically male but you are actually female, biologically or otherwise, you would contain all that there is to be female. So why don’t transwomen seem to have a maternal drive or instinct? Why do transmen seem content with having their periods, to the absurd point of demanding that ‘men have periods.’
In practice, transgender is fairly transparent. A segment of our population, for whatever reason, has a strong desire to adopt the culturally stereotypical gender norms of the opposite sex. If we accepted gender queer theory as it is presented, it would be offensive to trans to suggest they alter their bodies to conform to some ‘cishet’ idea of what a man or woman is. Yet they claim, as my article above on transgender suicides demonstrates, that without this body-altering treatment they suffer so profoundly they are susceptible to suicide.
We seem to be in a period of confusion and uncertainty disguised as revolutionary science and social awakening. The Left has taken its notion of gender to such an extreme it has splintered into multiple, incompatible fragments and it is all colliding together. None of it makes sense. Even the simplest of questions results in mind-numbingly incoherent ranting about various theories and ideas that unravel at the slightest touch of inquiry.
One last question, although it begs a much larger series of questions. If a straight man identifies as a woman, transitions and becomes a lesbian, was he born gay? I suppose, like everything else related to this topic, we will never know for sure.
For more from Chad, visit chadfelixgreene.com and follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.
Guest Contributor Allen Ray
I still remember the look in their eyes.
They were overwhelmed by the turnout as they shook hands, hugged, smiled and laughed with each guest as they entered the building. They were truly grateful for the support, and continued to bravely engage in the festivities held solely for their family. Yet, the smiles and laughter could not hide the pain and desperation the last few years had permanently etched into their eyes.
The eyes are the windows to the soul, and their souls were temporarily trapped in a hell-on-earth that only a parent mourning the loss of one child, and the eminent demise of another could possibly endure.
The rare disorder had taken the first twin a year prior, and the young lady in the wheelchair needed massive doses of medication to keep her alive every single day. Alive could barely be the correct word used to describe her condition. The poor child was trapped in a hell of her own; unable to walk, talk, sit up straight, or basically do anything but make a few meager facial expressions and gargle in a feeble attempt to communicate. But, alive she was. And, as long as the young parents could detect the faintest of breath from her lips, there was hope for her survival.
We were there as the evening’s entertainment. “She really loves you guys, and gets so excited when we play your CDs,” the parents explained. I sat next to the girl, feeling awkward as I often do in many social situations. I reached out and touched the child’s hand, careful not to squeeze in case I break a bone in her fragile body. Much to my surprise, she grabbed my hand and rocked back and forth in excitement.
“She’s excited to see you guys tonight,” her mother beamed. “We’ve been telling her all week!”
That was her interpretation of the movement, and who was I to argue? I couldn’t say one way or another, but I did realize one thing; that child was very much alive, even if she was trapped in a frail shell of a body.
At that very moment, I was changed for life. I began to understand the battle this young couple was fighting, and the extremes they would go through to keep their child alive at any cost, being a young father myself. The rest of the night was a blur. I suppose we had a good show, but my mind was miles away. My kids were there with us, running around on the dance floor, yelling and laughing, dancing and singing along. The young girl in the wheelchair moved to the music as much as her tiny body would allow, until she was simply too exhausted to move. The person who won the 50/50 drawing donated his part back to the family, to the cheers of the audience. I asked my wife to write a check for as much as we could afford at the time, to which she gladly agreed. Apparently, several people in the crowd were moved to do the same. Beyond that, I don’t recall much more than my thoughts and feelings that night, because I carry them with me to this very day.
After that night, I found myself being more patient with my kids. Hugging them a little tighter, laughing with them more, and listening to their wild stories with interest. You see, a thought had occurred to me that night; that couple would have gladly given their lives just to watch that little girl rise up out of that wheel chair, run across the room, and clumsily tip over a lamp. They would have given every earthly possession just to hear her say, “I love you, mommy,” or ask “Daddy, can I get a toy?” They would have sold their souls just to watch her perform in a school play, or sing in a Christmas Pageant. But they knew that was never to be. The young lady never made it to her next birthday. We got a simple card thanking us for our contributions that kept her alive for a small amount of time, and a handwritten note to ensure us that they cherished every single moment with her. My heart was torn apart.
This is why the Charlie Gard case disturbs me to the core. It is a parent’s basic instinct to fight for their child….until the child literally draws his or her final breath. To hand over this battle to a state, no matter how well-intentioned said state claims to be, defiles a basic right of a parent that dates back to the arrival of the very first infant. This is why I decried the arrival of government-run healthcare in the United States. It discourages me even more that I simply do not hear the question being asked, “Does this give the Government too much power over the individual?”
The answer is a resounding “Yes, it does!” The Charlie Gard tragedy is all the proof one needs to reach that conclusion, and now that power is being stripped from us. The parents who tend daily to a child with special needs will attest to this. These are the ones who fight this battle, and need the freedom to keep their child alive when everyone else has given up. It is their prerogative, not the decision of a cold, heartless bureaucrat in an office several miles away, to fight or surrender in the best interest of the child. To deny them this is to deny them a basic freedom that our forefathers warned us would be taken away if we allowed it to be.
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…” - Patrick Henry
Guest Contributor Jeff
With today’s announcement by the parents of Charlie Gard, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, that they were ending their fight with the Government of Britain and its state-run hospital, the outcome of the 11-month-old is a certain one: Death. While many will claim that this was going to be the end result, and it may have been, the right to do whatever one can do to save one’s child should always be the first choice. The problem comes with the mentality that children are throwaway ‘things,’ whether in utero or, as this case demonstrates, unable to survive without support. The debate over the healthcare system in the United States is still at a fevered pitch, sides defending ACA or rallying against it, bickering over a replacement bill offered by the ‘other’ side, or whether to repeal it and let it go to a purer free market. While, for me, it is easy to decide which way to go with Healthcare, the small arguments that crop up often touch on the larger prevailing issue: What is the value of a Human?
We see this debate more and more: is it a baby? Is it a fetus? Is it just a clump of cells? Then later in life, it becomes: Do they contribute to society? Is it worth the money to save them? All as if life has been devalued to the small pieces of copper you have hidden behind your couch cushions. Payment becomes more important than figuring out if a clump of cells is worth living. “You can always just have another child” is a phrase that gets bantered about frequently. Not just in European societies, but in our own. From the mouths of individuals marching in Washington wearing little pink hats, to those in the medical profession, yes even those that are OB/GYN. Sadly, this is not something new, just something being bantered about more and more as social media has given a larger voice to these individuals.
Before this increase in volume, it was shocking to hear in most corners. When I heard those words coming from an OB/GYN about my twins, I was shocked and horrified. While I was largely on the side of a ‘clump of cells’ was a human being and nothing else, I was not public with it and sometimes would defend the other side. Eleven years ago changed that. When, in America, you hear a doctor state “You should abort these twins due to their condition and try again,” you want to scream, fight, and just get angry in general. For the record, the twins had TTTS, or Twin-to-Twin Syndrome, where the two babies share in utero blood vessels. One baby was being drained of blood while the other was getting his normal amount and his brother’s blood as well. In our case, the odds of one of the twins surviving was about 50-50. This doctor figured why go through the trouble of multiple amniocentesis procedures, possible surgery, and tons of ‘inconvenience’ because we lived in a rural area and would have to travel to seek help.
To us, it was a no-brainer, our sons deserved everything we could do for them. Thankfully we lived in a still free society where we were able to find ways to help. Five doctors in the United States specialized in TTTS cases. We, unlike Mr. Gard and Ms. Yates, were able to travel to another state and seek options. In our case, a procedure was done to sever the shared blood vessels between the two babies at week 20. The surgery was a success, though we would go on to lose the twins, Julian and Tristian, five weeks later after contractions started that could not be stopped.
Though the twins passed, eight and 43 hours after their birth at week 25, we were able to seek treatment and attempt to save their lives, an option Charlie’s parents never got. For those saying this will not happen in America, they may be right, institutionally it may not, but there are already enough individuals that have devalued a baby’s life because it is not outside of the mother, and it is not a new thing.
So the case of Charlie vs. the Hospital, as it should have been stated, is something that will be seen more and more as the spread of government intervention takes hold. Cases of infants being allowed to die due to financial issues, or “The parents are healthy, just have another one” will increase. Slowly, though I fear not so, this will envelop older patients, or patients that are in a coma with no foreseeable escape from it. The devaluing of life has hit a feverish pitch, and frankly, it scares me.
Guest Contributor Mike Out Yonder
My political position these days is simple: I’m None Of The Above, and learning to really enjoy it.
I think all sides have revealed themselves to be a mix of Idiot, Criminal, and Clown, and their attitude toward Trump, who as far as I can tell has only ever been either a Democrat or Republican in name only, betrays their ideological biases. He’s made enemies of both the Left and the Right, and the factions within each, and continues to splinter the two major parties into tribes with his every utterance or faux pas. He’s diplomatically crude, can’t help promoting himself at every turn, and unfamiliar with the Sacred Ways of Government. This causes both pain and pleasure as each side mocks or condemns the other over him and his antics. His evolving positions also make them all cringe and bemoan the loss of the Republic As We Know It.
On the other hand, he’s given another group of voters, both ideologically Left and Right, a reason to get involved, even if just watching more closely the train wreck called U.S. politics today. The beating of the elites of both sides of the political spectrum by this political cretin has been a joy to behold for many. I figure not since Andrew Jackson has there been a larger group of populist voters pulling for Trump, and they watch the outrage from the punditry and the elite political class with glee.
Trump stumbles through the political china shop like a bovine Rodney Dangerfield, and they all squeal in outrage at his unfitness and affront to their way of life. It is rather fun to see.
His detractors condemn his every step, the more rabid ones call for his downfall, and point to every new incident of ineptitude as proof of this lack of fitness for the Presidency. Never mind that cruder men than he held that office before him, and did more than being caught on a mic bragging about sexual prowess years before. The more insidious detractors keep the smoke of Russian influence thick in the air, hoping to wear out the weaker hearted by the sheer volume of smoke, or play up the seemingly endless dripping of mistakes and misguided decisions of the Trump White House. This is common in any new administration, but this time is exacerbated by entire groups of powerful people who have vowed to bring the man down one way or another, and continue to this day to plan and connive.
On the other hand, his devotees bask in the beam of his every smile, and consider him the pinnacle of political achievement; an Everyman finally put in power to show the bluebloods how a true American does it. His mistakes are small, his aims are high, and he’ll lead the parade back to the Good Old Days of American Values, 76 trombones and all. They are just as dangerous and amusing to watch as their counterparts, but thankfully are more amusing than dangerous, unless you get labeled as one of them just for giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. That really is dangerous, because it leads to closed minds and more polarization.
Political factions will always demonize the other, pointing to the most extreme views of their opponents as being normal for the entire group. They’ll always strive to convince the politically lazy and clueless that their side is always right and the other side is always wrong, and further the very polarization they all condemn in public. With Trump, they all have something different, a shared enemy to bring down, and they’ve spent the last nine months doing all they can to minimize, undercut, and otherwise usurp his every move and achievement, clumsy or not.
Then there’s me, and people like me. I have no idea how many there are, but am pretty sure my views are shared by more than my betters are willing to admit.
Trump to me is a tool, a cudgel to be used and discarded when the time presents itself. He’s a means to an end, a political Null to be used to drive out what I considered was wrong with American politics in general. With Trump, many of us could forego any allegiance to some party or other and just get the guy in office on his word, such as it was, Make America Great Again. Call it the anti-Party if you like, or the Protest vote, but either way, it achieved the desired result, and I figure will reap more rewards than just the SCOTUS for many years to come. I voted Republican because I lean more conservative, but am ashamed to be lumped with GOP, True Cons, Cons, Inc, Libertarians or any of the rest who still haven’t learned the lessons of Trump. That lesson is that the truth still matters and if you’ve spent a career spinning, whether in government or out, we’d rather do without you. I’d rather put an untrained clown car salesman in office than listen to any more of what the established parties and their paymasters want to do for me.
To me, Trump was and may still be a cad, but I don’t care. He may change his positions and views like the wind, but I won’t change mine, which are a mix of both liberal and conservative. He’ll be gone in four or eight years, but I still have to live with the mistakes and achievements he will have in office. I judge what is right for me and mine based not on purely ideological lines, but on my beliefs and experience, as most politically literate people do, but am not willing to compromise for the sake of getting along any longer. The party line is dying, and I’m glad to see it. They’re just two sides of the same coin now, and are all after my money to feed their pet victims or projects.
Trump has his charms, and seems to be a good-natured man who is good for some things, but not for others. He’ll never be all that good at chess, I bet, but he cares genuinely for the country, and I share that with him. He often says the wrong thing, has a famously thin skin, and comes off as a clown, even to those of us who strain to give him the benefit of the doubt. Still, I’d rather have him and his mistakes than the veneer of civility I’ve had to stomach up to now from the rest.
I’m enjoying his presidency, and until I actually see the wheels come off, he’s the best ride in town.
Guest Contributor @TCC_Grouchy
If you are one of the people who think that President Trump’s Executive Order to restrict travel from six Muslim-majority countries is the right thing to do, I have some bad news for you. This E.O. falls short of what is needed regarding our immigration system and national security. While it should be noted that I do not have all the answers, and am no immigration or policy expert, I am confident that the following would help the United States and its citizenry.
Before we begin, however, it is incumbent upon all of us to understand that there is no right to immigrate to the United States. There are a lot of people in other countries that are in a bad situation. And while it is human nature to feel for them, and to even be charitable toward them, they still do not have a right to immigrate here. It is a privilege that is allowed at the discretion of our government. If you have a problem understanding this simple concept, I can only offer you a trip to Mexico without proper documentation as an example of just how kind our government is to immigrants (both legal and especially illegal).
As the political left contended throughout the election season, our immigration system does need to be “fixed.” But it needs to be fixed in a very different manner than they have been trying to dictate to us. All immigration should be temporarily halted, stay three exceptions. Those three exceptions are as follows:
During this temporary stoppage of immigration, we need our legislators to design a new immigration system that allows the U.S. to be more selective about who enters our country and for what purpose. As this new system is devised, there are some points that should not be negotiable. For example, every person admitted to the U.S. needs to be completely self-sufficient. No immigrant should be allowed to use government entitlement programs (Food Stamps, Welfare, Medicaid, etc.) for a period of no less than a certain number of years (I suggest five years as a minimum, but am not opposed to an even longer period). It goes without saying that illegal immigrants should not be allowed access to any government programs. This will act as a disincentive to encourage them to return to their country of origin or to remain there to begin with. We also need to effort to identify overstayed visas, work permits, etc. and send these individuals back to their originating country. If they wish to return to the U.S. legally, they can apply like every other immigrant applying for admission.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for the sovereignty and safety of our nation that our borders be secured and our immigration laws be enforced. It is also important to our unique American culture. While not applicable to all present-day immigrants, I miss the desire of past generations of immigrants to assimilate into our culture instead of trying to change the United States into the country from which they came. I’m not sure when, or even how, the gratitude of immigrants of generations past became the government benefit-gouging of ungrateful immigrants present, but attitudes are certainly not the same as when my grandparents came through Ellis Island.
My grandmother, born in Barcelona, Spain, was told by her mother while approaching the dock in New York, “we are in America now, no more Spanish. Only English from now on.” I can’t imagine how hard that must have been to follow through on. But it was their dedication to total immersion into American culture that made them successful immigrants. They wanted to be Americans. It meant something more to them. Maybe it was the fact that there was no government check for them to collect. They knew that they had the opportunity to either make it on their own or not. Exactly what the Founders had in mind, equal opportunity, not equal outcome.
I was a teenager before I knew that my grandparents weren’t born in the United States. It just wasn’t spoken of in our family. My grandparents had long been naturalized citizens. My grandfather (born in Germany) had even enlisted in the Army and earned a Bronze Star during World War II, another fact that I didn’t know as a boy. Following his time in the Army, he was stricken with polio. He lost most of the use of his right arm and left leg. He still managed to become a successful businessman and a scratch golfer. I remember him performing maintenance on their cars. He had to improvise just to use hand tools, but he always found a way.
As a child, I grew up in the Dade and Broward County communities of South Florida during the 70s. There was a lot happening in the world of immigration during this time in South Florida. Cubans were still fleeing the Castro regime and making their way to Florida in droves. If it could float, they tried to ride it to the U.S. But these, and subsequent Cubans were not of the same mindset as the first wave of Cubans who escaped the communist dictatorship in the 50s and early 60s. This new wave, from the mid-60s to present day, didn’t try to assimilate into our culture. They are the ones responsible for the Little Havana community that has sprawled from downtown Miami westward. It is a “neighborhood” that has five zip codes, two area codes, and a population over 76,000. People who want to recreate Cuba instead of assimilating into American culture. People who expect government benefits instead of an opportunity to work, like the previous generation of Cuban immigrants.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have a heritage to be proud of, but first and foremost, we are Americans, or should be aspiring to be Americans. I represent only the second generation born in the U.S. on my mother’s side of the family. I had to learn Spanish in high school even though I had a grandmother and great grandmother who were fluent. But you would never have known by listening to them talk. Both sported more of a New York accent (that still comes out in me when with my mother’s family) than a Spanish accent. This is the kind of effort and pride in country I want to see from the people granted the privilege of coming to our great nation. Our country may not be perfect, but I can’t think of another country in which I’d prefer living.
In closing, I want to stress that my thinking doesn’t stem from hatred or bigotry, but from the standpoint of preserving this great nation, both culturally and financially. We can, and should, have immigration in the United States. It needs to be done with purpose and compassion, for immigrants, and even more importantly, American citizens. Having a stable, defined immigration system, with borders that are secured and laws that are enforced, and immigrants that want to be a part of our culture instead of a part of our entitlement system, is imperative to a healthy nation.
Guest Contributor Mike Out Yonder
I am a White American Man.
These days, that sentence alone stops many people from reading any further.
For some, the fact that I capitalized the W is a signal to my racist brethren that we are superior. Others see the capital A as an offense to global neighbors, and still others see the capital M as respecting the oppressive male patriarchy in a deviously subtle way.
They could all be right, or they could all be wrong.
The fact is, they are all offended by something that caused them to draw a conclusion based only on what they think they already know. They draw a premature conclusion which colors anything else after that point. The truth is, they are all so closed-minded, they never allow themselves the chance to objectively learn something new. They never learned or accepted the TRUE concept of an open mind, and trust their false concept of one, which teaches them to tolerate only those who agree with them, and to listen for key phrases, or ‘dog whistles’ as they call them today, to more efficiently dismiss a person or an idea as Not One Of Them.
I try not to be one of them.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have my own biases, and experiences based on much personal pain and suffering that cause me to consider some ideas with heavy skepticism, but to be triggered by those six words alone is why people are having trouble living in harmony today, all over the world.
In music, there are only a certain number of notes, and a melody consists of these in a line, heard one after the other. There are also chords, which are more than one note being played simultaneously, and the harmony of the three individual notes makes a pleasant new sound that the three can’t make alone.
I think people are like that too, and harmonious interactions can come from the oddest combinations. Of course, there are good people and bad people, and liars and honest people all mixed together, but these days people seem to be offended by people who are simply different.
My roots are in the Southwest Virginia mountains and the Southeast Georgia low country, but I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and only lived there a year before moving on. I never grew up in any of those places. My dad was a coal miner’s son who joined the military to get out of the mines, and met a 16-year-old girl from a broken home while he was stationed in Savannah, Georgia. That doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else, and has no bearing on how I should treat other people, but it does help me appreciate people from those cultures, and the suffering and joys they share.
I was taught to have an open mind until I learn more about things because to do otherwise makes you narrow-minded. That concept came in handy as I traveled the world from one bubble to the next, and I learned that I wanted to be from everywhere. Each culture is different, but like notes on the piano, can make some beautiful harmonies. Each has something I can’t get in my own culture, and each has a treasure I’ll never have but will always want. Of course, I never wanted them to be like me, and I never wanted to be like them, but I enjoyed being with them and appreciating them tremendously.
America is like a tapestry of people who assimilated, and began weaving their own cultural threads into the one already here. Their wisdom allowed them to consider the harmony, and each found a place to blend, and make the entire experiment better. I love the fact that when I go to Los Angeles, I am from Los Angeles and enjoy the things like a local there. When I go to Statesboro, I’m from Statesboro, and love the people and places I know. No matter where I go, I am welcomed, if I want to be.
Americans love America and their culture’s contribution to it. They are proud, and love it despite the suffering their people had here, without looking for blame or compensation. They make me proud to be an American alongside them.
I’ve eaten in palaces and hovels, and been teased by Inner-City Blacks and Texas Latinos, and I’ve teased them back and laughed with them doing it. I’m a better man because of them.
I feel sorry for those too narrow-minded to see that I’m more than just a White American Man.
When your sense of identity and personal validation come from being an oppressed victim, it’s hard to make friends. It turns out being a gay ally might not be all it’s cracked up to be in practice either. Recently, actor Andrew Garfield, currently starring in the London stage production of Angel in America, a 1990s era play about HIV/AIDS, innocently expressed his affection for gay culture, only to find himself the target of outrage. Andrew mused that to prepare for the role, he immersed himself into gay culture with gay friends and joked that he was essentially now a gay man who didn’t have sex with men. He even went so far as to explain how open he was to new sexual possibilities, but at this point in his life, he just wasn’t attracted to other men. “As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” Garfield says. “Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area, which is wonderful as well. I adore it.”
Imagine a straight man admitting that he is perfectly comfortable with open sexual exploration but finds he still prefers women being such a controversial statement. Naturally, LGBT instantly erupted in nauseatingly indignant disgust, as captured in a Washington Blade article. “Straight tourists who try on oppression for kicks make me so tired. Andrew Garfield and James Franco... guys... you will never understand.” And, “Andrew Garfield is "gay without the physical act" because he watches RuPaul. - Rich Straight White Men Try To Be Interesting Vol. 53.”
Always creative with their justification for maintaining outrage, I personally was lectured on Twitter about how the deep sociological implications of a straight man starring in a play about AIDS and fighting ‘gay shame’ could shame the act of gay sex by personally not participating in it, while still profiting off of gay men and so on. Layers upon layers of nonsense designed to satisfy an emotional preference for negativity over reason. It simply feels good to be judgmental and superior.
The Left, once defined by its obsession with diversity and inclusion, now seems focused exclusively on tightly regulated tribal silos in which only the purest of souls can enjoy. LGBT has decided that their collective, imagined experience is somehow sacred, and under the adamant belief they are oppressed, feel offended that a privileged straight man would dare think he was like them. They have glorified the noble victimized minority who, in self-righteous hostility, demands a well-meaning member of the oppressor class offering gifts and friendship be dismissed. They prefer to imagine themselves as downtrodden and marginalized, and the reality of widespread social acceptance offends their sense of uniqueness.
The truth here, of course, is that a straight man taking a gay role in a classic LGBT play, openly associating himself with gay friends and inundating himself in gay culture is evidence of open and honest social acceptance. For him to jokingly refer to himself as a gay man is itself proof gays have reached a position in our society of respect and even admiration. He no doubt felt comfortable enough to assume his uninhibited exploration into sexuality and identity would be welcomed. Isn’t that what LGBT has preached for decades now?
Sadly, he did not anticipate the power of victimhood and was unprepared for the howls of condemnation he is now receiving from his would-be social justice brothers and sisters. It seems LGBT would prefer to be surrounded by hateful enemies than open and friendly allies comfortable enough to enjoy their precious culture. It has become a side effect of the Progressive mindset towards minorities in recent years that highly restricted culture be protected from the unclean.
In an article dripping with indignant, victorious vindictiveness, HuffPost Queer lamented in an absurdly titled article, Thanks To Andrew Garfield, I Now Have The Courage To Identify As Straight (Without The Physical Act), “All my life, I knew there was something different about me. Identifying as gay felt hard. Sometimes difficult. Sometimes I felt unsure, uncomfortable… unwelcomed, even. Also, I really like woodworking! If it weren’t for Andrew Garfield’s recent announcement, I’m not sure I’d even have the courage to break it to myself that I am a straight man right now, just without the physical act.
I just feel like myself now, and it’s all thanks to my hero, Andrew Garfield. Before him, I had no idea I could exempt myself from all of the negatives of being a part of the LGBTQ community. I look forward to no longer feeling fear, shame, and prejudice. Hooray! And to Andrew, I’m sure you’ll fare better with it than I did. (I will say, however, you are missing out on the best part!)”
What do LGBT liberals imagine this sort of response will accomplish? Something the Left has never mastered is the awareness of consequence or long-term planning. When you angrily shout at people attempting to be nice to you over and over and criticize their every thoughtful action as offensive, you will soon run out of nice people. LGBT are forever complaining about not being fully accepted or appreciated, and yet devote an absurd amount of energy into chastising well-meaning straight people who cross invisible and arbitrary lines. ‘That is for us! Not you!’
LGBT gained the most acceptance from the general public when they opened their world to everyone and encouraged the majority to take part in their culture. Average people developed protective and sympathetic associations with LGBT largely due to the availability of LGBT culture flowing into the mainstream. People just love the gays. But today the LGBT world seems to want to close its doors and shun anyone not considered ‘queer’ enough.
Ironically, I see a conflict on the horizon as gender and sexual fluidity become dominant trends, and LGBT can’t assert authority and ownership over their movement any longer. Andrew sounds sexually fluid. I imagine it will become far more common for young, hip men and women to identify themselves as some level of ‘other’ sexually if only to feel part of what appears to be a highly diverse and progressive movement. Most likely the majority will never fully identify as homosexual, but I bet most will feel perfectly entitled to whatever identity they land on. Will LGBT be sternly scolding them for cultural appropriation too? Will LGBT even have a say by that point?
Outside the bubble of identity politics, I can roll my eyes and laugh at this nonsense. But I can also recognize consequences. People don’t like to be lectured about how insensitive and bigoted they are all the time. If this trend continues, LGBT may create the self-fulfilling prophecy of intolerance they have been screaming about for so long now. They currently live in a world of open admiration and friendship, but they soon may find themselves uninvited to the party. Who wants a group of frowning, easily-triggered, overly offended, whiny children ruining all the fun?
I grew up in the version of gay life that welcomed straight people as brothers and sisters with absolute joy in their adoption of gay cultural artifacts. My grandmother loved the Ellen show and Will & Grace. My coworkers love RuPaul’s Drag Race and go to the gay bars sometimes on weekends just for fun. Straight guys at the gym wiggle their butts to Lady Gaga and all the absolutely enjoyable parts of gay culture are seen as pure fun. When I affect my gay voice people burst into laughter and delight. That’s the way culture should be.
Culture is not something you hold tightly in your hand and hide from the world, jealously lashing out at any interest or curiosity. And the one thing that made gay culture fun was its ability to laugh at itself. Now, all it can do is frown.
For more from Chad, visit chadfelixgreene.com and follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.
Guest Contributor @OrneryYG
In my home, every Fourth of July, I read the Declaration of Independence. This founding document, above all others, is the most important in American history. It establishes the nature of rights, their source, the role of government in preserving those rights, and the source of its power and authority to do so. All other founding documents that we revere, from the Federalist Papers to the Bill of Rights et al., have as their cornerstone the principles outlined in the Declaration. It is the keystone of our nation, without which we would have no country. Let us honor this sacred document, inspired by Heaven and penned by patriots who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their Sacred Honor to uphold it.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness [Property]…”
Our forefathers held as an undeniable truth that all men are created equal. While they struggled to uphold this truth in an age when slavery was a global institution, that they boldly declared it despite the cultural norms of the day is something greatly unappreciated today. We take for granted the notion all men are created equal regardless of race or religion or gender. Today it is an easy thing for any Westerner to say that “all men are created equal,” but historically speaking, we are an anomaly. For tens of thousands of years of human history - with few exceptions - it was always understood there were two classes of individuals: those fit to rule, and those fit to be ruled. And most often the deciding factor of who belonged to which was determined after long and bloody conflict by the victors. To declare that white masters were no better than their black slaves was a radical shift in the global paradigm, one that set the stage for the abolition of slavery in Western nations, and the pursuit of equal rights for all.
Life, liberty, and property: these rights are endowed to us by our Creator who made us equal. As such, they cannot be violated without incurring His wrath. No man may rightfully take away my life, my liberty, or my property without my consent except as punishment for breaking the law. Our rights are not granted to us by any earthly institution - they come to us from Heaven. We are created with them, gifted them by our Maker from the moment we exist on this earth. They cannot be transacted or taken away; they are inalienable, as immutable as free will, though they can be violated and trespassed against by wicked men.
It is because wicked men exist - murderers, rapists, and thieves who would rob us of our rights for their own gain - that governments are instituted by God among men to protect and preserve those rights:
“…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...”
Just and righteous government exists for one purpose, and one purpose only: to secure for the people what they have a natural right to secure for themselves - their rights to life, liberty, and property. Government is a natural extension of man’s inherent natural right to self-defense. “No government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.” When any government does more or less than this, tyranny reigns.
“…all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
The Founders understood that human nature is to sooner subject ourselves to everyday evils - while such are tolerable - than to “rock the boat” and upset the status quo. But when enough is enough, when we have been beaten, whipped, maligned and mistreated by those in power, especially those elected to be our servants - not our Masters - then we have a moral obligation - a solemn duty - to throw off such abusive Government and replace it with Government that will more perfectly “…establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…”
‘’We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do … solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
The idea the Founders were hostile to religion or desired government to be completely divorced from religious sentiment or belief is no more contradicted than in this final paragraph which uses covenant language, not unlike the promises Israel made with Jehovah in the wilderness. Our Founders knew the cause they stood for was just and moral - which is why they appealed to the source of absolute morality and of our rights, the Supreme Judge of the world. They knew that without the support and seal of Almighty God, their cause could not prevail; with it, no enemy of theirs would triumph. They pleaded with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to see the righteous intents of their hearts - the liberty and independence of ALL MEN - and to accept their sacrifice as worthy despite their weaknesses. They liberated themselves from an earthly King, so that the men and women who reside in our shores could be free to follow a Heavenly King, according to the dictates of their own conscience. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred Honor in support of independence. Many of the signers of the Declaration were called upon by Providence to honor their pledge - dying in poverty and ignominy even after the War had been won.
We would do well to honor their sacrifice by taking up their pledge as our own - to dedicate our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the mutual protection of each other and our God-given rights. Our forefathers covenanted with God that this land would be a land of liberty, a land free from tyranny and injustice. Every generation since has, at some point, been called to uphold and honor that covenant in some way. This Fourth of July, let us all take the pledge, and renew the covenant with the Supreme Judge of the world to stand for independence and for the inalienable rights of all mankind - young and old, born and unborn, black and white, male and female - to life, liberty, and property. To do less than this would be to dishonor the Declaration, and the men and women of the past who sacrificed so much to uphold it.