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Conservatives’ anti-trans arguments are delusional — and dangerous

By Seth Tamarkin

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

As conservative governments across the country ban books, drag queens, and transgender people from public life, it’s helpful to see why conservatives feel this is necessary. Many writers have wrote their reasons, including one of our own last week. Unsurprisingly, their arguments are absurd at best, dangerous at worst. 

Last week’s article alleges that “there’s no greater deceptive veil being held over the eyes of Western society than the ‘trans ideology.’” Let’s dig into that. 

First, the background. At conservative Comic-Con CPAC, right-wing commentator Michael Knowles (whose previous brave reporting included getting banned from Fox News for bullying a teenager) raised eyebrows when he said, “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.”  

To anyone not engaging in cognitive dissonance, it is clear that eradicating transgenderism from public life is tantamount to eradicating trans people from public life. Knowles however later argued that he did not call for a “genocide on trans people.” 

Knowles rebuffed his claim by adding, “Nobody’s calling to exterminate anybody because the other problem with that statement is that transgender people is not a real ontological category,” he added. “It’s not a legitimate category of being.” Ohhh, well that makes it less psychopathic. It’s like Hitler saying he wants to eradicate Judaism, then listing reason after reason why Judaism is the greatest “deceptive veil being held over the eyes of Western society.” But if you say that’s genocidal, he’ll say he only meant the ideology of Judaism, which apparently is a reasonable difference. More so, Jews aren’t a legitimate category anyways, so why can’t we eradicate them? 

To any reasonable reader, using this defense would come off as well, delusional. I use delusional because the article defending Knowles’ comments frequently writes that “if your view of the world does not match reality, you are delusional, simple.” 

In this case, the common argument is that being transgender does not match reality, because there are only two genders. It doesn’t matter that the concept of multiple genders has existed for thousands of years in different cultures. You can argue those aren’t relevant because they’re such small populations, but considering one of the cultures described is of Hindus in India, that means there’s hundreds of millions of people that have a conception of multiple genders.

It seems like the most anti-transgender conservatives don’t even know what they’re angry about. When generals go to war, they learn everything they can about their enemy. When angry conservatives go to (culture) war, they stay as ignorant as they were when they began their crusade, with a remarkable refusal to learn even the basic tenets of the opposition’s beliefs. 

According to the article, there’s at least two reasons that transgender people are being pushed onto the mainstream. One reason is that the pharmaceutical industry makes so much money from transgender healthcare that it just has to push this “delusion” onto the masses. But ask yourself what is more delusional; the idea that transgenderism is a real thing backed by decades of research and cultural traditions, or the idea that American pharmaceutical companies invented transgenderism in the past twenty years to steal Americans’ hard-earned dollars?

In a country where healthcare isn’t a right, so health insurance companies get to set the prices, the healthcare industry made $550 billion in 2022. How delusional does one have to be to assume that most of those profits came from transgender people? Or more importantly, that pharmaceutical companies are so strapped for cash that they had to invent a brand-new gender ideology to keep the gravy trains flowing?

The RAND corporation, a non-profit and reputable think tank, found that “the average list price for a vial of insulin in Canada was $12. Step across the border into America, and it’s $98.70.” The idea that insurance companies need to invent fake illnesses to fleece the American public is, I would argue, “delusional.” 

However, conservatives and I agree that the prices paid for transgender healthcare are way too much. Pharmaceutical companies should not be able to raise prices whenever they please and take the profits. This is why all Americans should agree to move towards a Medicare-for-all system. 

The other rebuttal to conservatives’ argument is that transgender healthcare doesn’t even cost that much money. Back in 2019, the ACLU ripped this argument to shreds when it pointed out that “an expert hired to defend the state of Wisconsin’s exclusion for transition-related care recently estimated the cost of coverage would be between four and 10 cents per insured per month. That represents less than 0.1 percent of overall medical costs.” 

Welp, surely objective reality will get conservatives to understand when an argument is wrong. After all, “if your view of the world does not match reality, you are delusional, simple.” 

The conservative delusion doesn’t end there though. The second argument conservatives utilize on why transgenderism “must be eradicated” is the “educational-industrial complex.” In their words, “Let’s not forget the educational-industrial complex, another beneficiary of this ideology Michael Knowles wishes to eradicate. The educational-industrial complex is defined as ‘all of the entities—schools, colleges, universities and non-profit and profit-making enterprises that purport to teach.’ This is where I believe the ‘trans ideology’ originated, as well as where its legitimacy stems from.”  

It’s already ridiculous to call the education system the “educational-industrial complex” in a bid to make it seem scary and all-powerful. But there’s more: “[Universities] teach made-up courses to hand out made-up degrees and make the taxpayer pay for it via loans. You help prop up the medical research and development wing of the university by validating the ideology that pays them and everyone wins. Everyone except the people plagued by the mental health crisis.” 

Let’s start with the argument that taxpayers pay for peoples’ college education because people get federal loans. The problem with this argument is that when someone gets a loan, they need to pay it back. They don’t just get free government money. 

But again, if the big criticism is that universities are making too much profit off unsuspecting students, there’s a very easy fix that surely conservatives and progressives alike will agree on; make public colleges free! 

Later, it’s argued that “most students, especially female students, don’t have as much an interest in learning the STEM curriculum, which means that they are never funneled into the college system. So, in order to recruit a bigger base of students, it seems as if the college and university system expanded their curriculum to include courses like humanities, liberal arts, philosophy, etc., which include gender studies.” 

This take is as ahistorical as they come. Liberal arts have been a strong motivating factor in higher education since at least the ancient Greeks. Philosophy is also not a recent nor cynical invention by universities. Perhaps if more people learned the critical thinking skills that Liberal Arts courses teach instead of deriding English classes, we wouldn’t have so many bigoted arguments. 

However, Forbes reported in 2020 that “the teaching of critical thinking skills is inconsistent across states and tends to drop as students get older.” Maybe, just maybe, that is a bigger threat to Western society than transgender people existing.

The irony of many transphobic conservatives saying they are “red-pilled,” a reference to the pill representing hard truths in “The Matrix,” isn’t lost either. Two transgender women created the “Matrix” movies, just one example of the amazing potential transgender people have when they aren’t being harassed for the crime of being slightly different. 

All in all, the idea that “eradicating transgenderism” is somehow not genocidal is a lie. The people who argue this way can’t even finish a paragraph before ranting about transgender people

Some of this argument makes a great point though, there does seem to be a reason that transgender issues are at the forefront of our “culture” war. Look at each one of his arguments and you see a pattern; privatized insurance companies make billions of dollars of profits on the backs of working-class Americans, yet transgender people are the enemy; and the price to a decent education has skyrocketed, yet transgender people are the enemy.

These companies are using transgender ideology for nefarious means, but it’s not so transgender people give them money – it’s so conservatives and progressives never discuss the underlying issue that private corporations hoard obscene amounts of wealth to the detriment of everyone else. 

For there is nothing scarier to the “elites” than the idea of ordinary Americans coming together to hold them accountable for gutting our education system, making gross profits while Americans die hungry, and so much more. Let us unite against the “elites,” while protecting the minority classes of America that are the first to be thrown into the fire.

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Seth Tamarkin

Townhall Editor

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