Two stories from the US. The first:
There has been an outpouring of anger in the US from politicians, celebrities and human rights groups over a report alleging the US policy on gender recognition could be changed.
A report in the New York Times on Sunday said a government memo proposed officially defining gender as biological and fixed.
The change would rescind previous policy which eased trans recognition.
Instead, it would define gender solely on the genitalia people are born with.
That this is remotely controversial says rather a lot about the times we live in.
The administration of former President Barack Obama adopted a definition of gender in federal policy which made it easier to allow individual choice and self-determination.
What the BBC doesn’t tell us is that Obama didn’t pass a law, it was one of his infamous Executive Orders; this is why it is so easy to reverse. The reason Obama didn’t pass a law was because it would never have got through Congress.
Activists fear the changes allegedly being proposed could in effect “define out of existence” Americans who currently identify as transgender – a community who are said to number at least 1.4 million people.
Obama’s policy dates from 2010. Prior to that, trans people existed, both physically and legally. The idea that 1.4m people will cease to exist because they’re categorised under their biological sex is the product of mental illness, which the BBC seems happy to propagate.
The report has generated an angry response from some people in and outside of the US, including swathes of the LGBTQ community.
Advocacy groups organised a demonstration on Sunday evening in New York and another protest is planned outside the White House in Washington DC on Monday Morning.
In a series of Tweets on Sunday, the National Centre for Transgender Equality described the changes as an “abomination” and “a reckless attack” on transgender lives.
Okay, let’s park that there for a moment.
The second story is this:
President Donald Trump has said the US will “begin cutting off” foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador because of a large convoy of migrants heading north.
Mr Trump criticised the countries on Monday for allowing people to leave the region and come “illegally” to the US.
The group is travelling through Mexico, but is still far from the US border.
The mid-terms were already going to be a struggle for the Democrats after their Brett Kavanaugh smear campaign backfired badly, and these two issues are just going to make things worse. Note how few Democrats are actually speaking about either; normally they’d be all over the media condemning Trump. The reason for their silence is they know full well that going into an election decrying a Trump administration for officially recognising only one’s birth gender, and reversing the lunacy of self-identity, will cost them heavily in terms of votes. They will be seen as mental, and rightly so. The trouble is they’ve made the headcases their base, who will be appalled their representatives aren’t standing up for them. Most will vote Democrat anyway, but some will stay at home while others will agitate for greater lunatics to oust their current representatives.
The Democrats have a similar problem with this migrant caravan. Only the most deranged anti-Trumpers and open-border advocates will see the footage on TV and think this mass of bedraggled humanity should be allowed to enter the US, not least because of the precedent it will set. It’s unlikely the caravan will reach the border before the elections, but this plays right into Trump’s hands anyway: all he has to do is say they’re not coming in. The Democrats, by contrast, have a choice of campaigning for the caravan to be let in, or staying silent. Neither is a particularly attractive choice in the run-up to critical elections. This is a problem solely of the Democrats’ own making: had a handful of them not backed open borders and mass illegal immigration (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama opposed both) they’d be able to support Trump’s position and campaign on other issues. But they decided everything Trump says must be opposed at all costs, and ended up supporting ludicrous policies which are now, at a crucial time, making them look as though they live on a wholly different planet to ordinary Americans. Their best bet is to therefore remain silent, but this will only upset their base.
I suspect the GOP will be happy to keep both issues in the press for as long as possible in the run-up to the mid-terms, hence Trump’s remarks:
Without offering evidence, Mr Trump has repeatedly suggested the caravan was politically motivated.
On Monday he urged people to blame Democrats for the border crisis, saying: “Remember the mid-terms”.
He also tweeted that the caravan contained “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners”. When he was later pressed by journalists on what this meant, he offered no origin for the claim but invited reporters to investigate for themselves.
The media think Trump will be discredited if his claims are questioned by the media. Trump knows most people only care about the thousands of people who are heading their way, and that the media would like to let them in. Not for the first time, by keeping it in the news they’re doing his job for him.
If the Democrats want the elections to be a referendum on transsexuals’ ideas of gender identity and whether a column of ten thousand assorted south Americans should be allowed to just walk into the United States, I’m sure the Republicans won’t object. The Democrats really have painted themselves into a corner, and it’s going to be fun trying to watch them get out.