One has to be a bit of a wonk to follow the myriad picayune events in day to day state politics, and this issue may just fall into wonk-world. Last week, Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas vetoed a bill his Republican legislature put on his desk. The bill would have outlawed gender reassignment procedures, surgeries and subsequent medical treatment for trans youths. “Eghads”, you say! “How can Jim Pierce possible support the Governor for that veto?”
Eghads”, I respond. “How could I possibly not support him?”
What bothers us most about the progressive left? I argue that it is the relentless assault on our individual liberties and freedom to choose how we exist. We face the assault from the left in virtually every facet of our day to day lives. It is inescapable. We resent it. We feel overwhelmed. We are spectators watching the most amazing country on earth being slowly dissected every day, with the national body parts relegated to the dustbin of history.
What do we stand for? You see, you may not like the idea of parents supporting a child’s decision to change genders. The process certainly leaves me scratching my head. But I don’t begin to pretend to understand what is going on in a young man or woman’s mind and body. In a world of almost no absolutes, I support a minimum age requirement before any such decision is manifested with irreversible surgery. But the fundamental point here is that if we mean what we say about protecting our civil liberties, then who on earth are we to tell consenting fellow Americans that they have no control over their choice of sex?
Earlier this year, Governor Hutchinson signed a bill outlawing trans gender participation in high school sports. That was also the right thing to do. He was protecting female athletes from former males competing as women. The Governor doesn’t think that is fair. I agree. But the Governor stood up and rebutted activists in his own party when they imposed their values on fellow citizens. They chose to make the decision to elect to change genders illegal, and they went as far as including punishment for participating doctors. The Governor was called “dumb” by former President Trump. That just confirms to anyone level-headed person that the former President is a hypocrite. He panders endlessly to his base. It is shameful.
The Governor said “It is compassionate to say we care for all our young people, whether they’re trans youth or otherwise; we care for them. And that’s the message of compassion and conservatism that we need to have as a party….If [the bill] becomes law we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters dealing with young people.” Bravo.
He knew he would take a lot of heat. He is still taking it. But he stood up for conservative values and principles. How many other self-proclaimed conservatives would have done the same?
Conservatives and libertarians who profess to want to get government out of their pockets and day to day lives can’t have it both ways. Governor Hutchinson just stood up and did the right thing.
More to follow-