The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Elite Consensus: How Transgenderism Became the New ‘Climate Change’

Posted on | December 22, 2017 | 1 Comment

One of the books that really changed my life is Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. If you’ve read it, you understand why I call it the best single-volume analysis of liberalism ever written. If you haven’t read it, why not?

Sowell makes the point that liberals think of themselves as “anointed,” endowed with superior wisdom and virtue, and thus authorized to impose their policy preferences on the rest of us. Ordinary common-sense people are deemed the “benighted,” whom liberals dismiss as ignorant, prejudiced, and irrationally attached to obsolete beliefs.

Once you’ve read The Vision of the Anointed, you will cease to feel guilty about disagreeing with liberals. One of the problems in American politics is that, because liberals control the commanding heights of culture — in academia, journalism, the entertainment industry, etc. — conservatives often suffer a sort of inferiority complex, awed by the enormous institutional prestige exercised by liberals. What we often encounter in the discussion of public-policy issues is that there is an elite consensus in favor of the liberal position. To disagree with this consensus puts you in the ranks of those dismissed as dimwit rubes — the “basket of deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton notoriously described Donald Trump’s supporters. The effect of the elite consensus is to make us feel that there is something disreputable about disagreeing with liberals.

Consider the case of “climate change.” Having spent vast sums to orchestrate an effort to put all the prestige of Science with a capital “S” behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), the Anointed then set out to silence all criticism of this theory. One of the results was a lawsuit filed by Penn State professor Michael Mann against columnist Mark Steyn. Mann was principal author of the so-called “hockey stick” graph which purported to show that global temperatures had dramatically increased, and which was used to promote a Chicken Little sky-is-falling “emergency” attitude about carbon emissions.


Steyn wrote a column in National Review that debunked the “hockey stick” graph with such devastating effect that the intelligent reader had to conclude either (a) Mann was laughably incompetent as a scientist, or (b) Mann was engaged in a deliberate fraud. Mann responded with a lawsuit against Steyn which has been clogging up the federal courts for six years. Steyn has published a book ‘A Disgrace to the Profession’: The World’s Scientists — in Their Own Words — on Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick and Their Damage to Science. What the book reveals is that, contrary to what some people would have us believe, the alleged “consensus” about global warming is subject to scientific criticism, and that even scientists who believe the AGW theory don’t believe that skeptics and dissenters should be silenced. The very fact that some AGW theory proponents do wish to silence dissent, however, should cause us to be skeptical of the climate-change “consensus.”

After all, the climate-change gang would have no fear of open debate with their critics, if the evidence in support of AGW theory was so clear. Yet because they have been able to recruit the elites in academia, journalism and politics to support them, Mann and his comrades seem to believe that their critics are guilty of immorality. If you disagree with Mann, he considers you not just wrong or mistaken, but evil.

Having “won” the climate-change argument (at least in their own minds), the Anointed have grown bored with it and have moved on to new ideological crusades, including the cause of transgenderism. Let the reader think back five years or so, to the time of the 2012 presidential campaign, and ask: Did anyone in either party signify that transgender rights were at stake in the re-election of President Obama? Of course not. If Obama ever mentioned the word “transgender” in 2012, I overlooked it, and I covered that campaign from start to finish. Nor did Mitt Romney (or any of his rivals for the GOP nomination) argue that Obama’s re-election would be interpreted as a mandate for the imposition of a transgender rights regime in American public life. Yet here we are, in 2017, and transgenderism is making headlines every day, with an especial push to promote this to school children, and the loudest opposition to this agenda is from radical feminists. What happened?

Well, in 2013, the Supreme Court issued its Windsor decision, striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and in 2015, the court issued its Obergefell decision, mandating same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Having thus obtained “marriage equality” through judicial activism, the proponents of Sexual Anarchy needed a new crusade to rally their supporters (and raise money), and transgenderism was the ticket.


The emergence of the transgender issue caught many people by surprise, and no sooner had the issue become apparent than opponents of this agenda discovered that they were already facing an elite consensus. Little noticed, activists had been working for years to recruit support in academia and journalism for the transgender agenda, especially including “transition” for young children. The rhetoric of civil rights was deployed in favor of this agenda, so that if you disagreed or disapproved, you were a hateful bigot, analogous to Bull Connor siccing police dogs on unarmed protesters in Birmingham. Conservatives have long since become accustomed to such smear tactics from the Left — as Peter Brimelow remarked, the modern definition of racist is “someone who is winning an argument with a liberal” — but feminists have been shocked to find themselves accused of “hate” for opposing the transgender cult.

This week, Twitter imposed new rules targeting “hate” and, predictably, feminists critical of transgenderism are among the targets. One feminist, who describes herself as both a Ph.D. and a witch — ??? — pointed out that “gender identity” rhetoric is chiefly deployed by males who want to “identity” as women, and that actual women who oppose this are smeared as “bigots” and told to “shut up.” This, she says, is “Sexism 101.”

Excuse me, but no, ma’am. Sexism 101 would involve you making me a sandwich. That is to say, we traditionalists are not your enemies in the current controversy and your accusation of “sexism” is misguided. After all, a “sexist” believes that male-female differences are real, significant, and based in biology, not “socially constructed.” It is feminist theory which claims that such differences are an illusion, a product of the social construction of the gender binary within the heterosexual matrix, to summarize the argument of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. You can accuse transgender activists of hijacking and misinterpreting feminist theory, if you wish, but you can’t blame us old-fashioned sexists for this. We tried to warn you. Even if we never imagined the current transgender insanity — “Rocky Horror Elementary School” — conservatives warned that the feminist attack on the traditional family would have dangerous consequences, and there is a certain ironic logic in how this has worked out in the post-Obergefell era.

Pardon me for mansplaining all this, but conservatives have been doing battle against this sort of elite consensus for many decades now, and if radical feminists are serious about fighting the transgender agenda, they would be wise to take our advice into consideration. Merry Christmas.