Depending on your party affiliation, former President Ronald Reagan was many. Brilliant economist. A brave leader against the Soviets. Worst man to ever occupy the White House.
But what is undeniable is his absolute genius as a public figure and his instinctive ability to win the love of the nation.
One of Reagan’s most important political insights was: “If you explain, you lose.” Voters, regardless of their level of education, must understand exactly what the candidate means from the outset.
Rhetoric is effective when it’s easy and quick to connect with people, whether it’s a truck driver driving home on Highway 126 or a college professor sitting in his velvet chair inventing new genders.
The problem with the modern left is that many of our arguments fall short of this goal.
People hear what progressives say and the first thing they say is, “Huh?” Consider a particularly compelling example:
One of the Democrats’ main stances is that it is bigotry to be suspicious of the idea that trans women should play on the same sports teams as biological women. Anyone who holds this view should be immediately canceled and sent to the cultural gulag for re-education.
Of course, this is such a ridiculous answer to a complex, multifaceted problem. There is no shame in allowing male-born students to play with girls, given the profound physical differences between the two sexes.
Recently in North Carolina, a high school volleyball player suffered a concussion after a trans athlete from the opposing team hit her in the face with a spike at 70 miles per hour. According to an ABC news report, the youth suffered “serious head and neck injuries resulting in long-term concussion symptoms.”
One of the trainers involved said they had never seen anyone beaten like that in their entire career. When Democrats say people shouldn’t worry about incidents like this, we look like total lunatics.
Should politicians now completely ban transgender people from participating in sports at all times? No, but it is clear that we need a reasonable process to ensure that biological females are protected from competition.
One easy way to achieve this would be to require trans athletes to fully develop to their new gender – in terms of muscle mass, testosterone levels and other key characteristics – before allowing them to compete with girls.
It is inevitable that the fighters for social justice will resent such a policy. But it is not important. When solving complex problems, it is necessary to take into account the interests of all parties. We cannot simply prioritize one group over another just because they identify with a marginalized community.
Sometimes in life a certain degree of discrimination is needed. As a child, I suffered from epilepsy, and because of this, I was prohibited by law from obtaining a driver’s license until I fully recovered.
This ban made sense. Seizure prone people cannot be trusted to drive without endangering public safety. They may have seizures while driving, crash their car and crash into some grandma walking her poodle.
The issue of trans-sport is no different.
Young people suffering from gender dysphoria deserve our full empathy and care, as well as as strong a safety net as society can afford. However, sometimes medical problems must be accompanied by certain restrictions and processes as a way of maintaining social order.
We simply cannot allow athletes who are biological males to play with girls until it has been verified that they no longer have significant physical advantages associated with their genetics.
Democrats must face these facts. This will go a long way in restoring our trust with ordinary people. However, it takes a certain amount of humility to accept that life is complex and problem solving is difficult.
And, of course, it’s much nicer to just call other guys mean and flatter yourself about how virtuous you are.
Joshua Heath is a resident of Santa Clarita. Democratic Voices comes out on Tuesdays and rotates among local Democrats.