Before I present Tom P.’s Comment of the Day, one of several excellent reader reactions to the post, indulge me as I respond in detail to a slur on me by the now-banned commenter who claimed that associating transgender individuals with a “problem” evoked a fascist mindset and the genocidal intent of Hitler’s “final solution.” It was this repeatedly nasty commenter’s doubling down on his accusation that finally moved me to ban him after multiple warnings from me and his repeated defiance of appropriate discourse here.
The guy was a relentless progressive troll, though a relatively smart one, and fair debate was not on his agenda. What has become a routine tactic among such partisans here and elsewhere is to attempt to constrain language in order to make coherent arguments against Leftist cant more difficult, and also to play cognitive dissonance games by attaching sinister and discredited figures, positions and rhetoric to legitimate discourse that the ideologues don’t want to deal with fairly, or can’t.
Of course I wasn’t thinking of “the Jewish Problem,” as it was characterized by Hitler and his minions when I titled the post “Ethics Musings On The Transgender Problem,” but even if that abuse of the term “problem” had popped into my mind, it wouldn’t have dissuaded me. One dishonest and dastardly use of language for propaganda purposes cannot and should not restrict the legitimate use of the same words by others.
Germany had no “Jewish problem.” Germany’s Jewish community was among the most productive, loyal and successful ethnic groups in the nation. Hitler slandered these innocent citizens with the false claim that their religion, race and culture made them a threat to civilization, and did so with the specific goal of creating popular supports tor exterminating them. This history, I was told, meant that anyone assessing any group of any kind as a “problem” is unethical.
This is all part of the now familiar race-baiting, dog-whistling, political correctness “gotcha!” strategy used by various interest groups on the left to stifle legitimate discussion and to brand adversaries as unfit for the public square. I won’t play. If I was going to criticize the title of that post, it would be on the basis that the headline suggested that the problem discussed in the essay, the difficulty of determining whether trangenderism should be regarded as abnormal, was the only “transgender problem.” There are, of course, many. Problem: How do we ethically integrate true transgender individuals into gender-segregated sports? Problem: How does society simultaneously eliminate the stigma attached to individuals coping with serious gender identity issues without encouraging gender confusion among the young? There are others.
As for the blanket assertion that it is unethical to designate any group as a problem as far as public policy and ethical treatment goes, I reject it completely. Too many groups pose serious and difficult problems for society to mention them all, but some that come to my mind immediately, remembering that even problematic groups have members who present possible solutions to the problems or who may make valuable contributions to it, are:
- Illegal immigrants.
- Koran-obeying Muslims
- Unmarried parents
- Black Lives Matters members and supporters
- Trump supporters
- The homeless
- Drug addicts, users and peddlers
- Ignorant citizens
- Stupid people.
- Sexual predators
- White supremacists
- Teachers, professors and school administrators…
I could go on and on. The fact that I regard these and other groups as creating problems (perhaps it would have been better have used “challenge” rather than “problem”….but it was only a headline) for American society today does not mean that I advocate wiping them off the face of the earth.
Here is Tom P.’s Comment of the Day on the post “Ethics Musings On The Transgender Problem”…
The whole furor surrounding transgenderism is multifaceted. This is true of virtually all polarizing issues. Pick any polarizing issue and within the pro and con camps, you will find the following subcamps: radical activists, passionate true believers, opportunists, virtue signaling supporters, go-a-longs to get-a-longs, and casual non-vocal supporters. Continue reading