People get angry about stuff that is much less consequential than other stuff that no one cares about
It's wild that the leftish massively overestimate cop-on-black killing and conservatives do exactly the same on transgender medical procedures. Why, it's almost as if our brains are completely addled by unexamined moral intuitions.
Also, is Desantis a genuine idiot or a cynical operator?
Anyway, your piece lands just as my interest in the culture war flatlines, so it's hard agree all the way, from me.
By turning transgender healthcare and rights into the top political issue at the forefront of the culture wars -- a pretty terrible place for productive discussions and debate -- I worry that we're putting the actual transgender population more at risk. I definitely see the data that the internet and increased exposure has increased the amount of trans men. There are also obviously stories of people detransitioning. In a systematic review of 27 studies in 2021 published by AP News, they found that 1% of the transgender people who underwent surgery had regrets, and some of those regrets were only temporary.
I wish people would remember that behind the increases in rates of transgenderism, there are also many people whose mental health issues benefit from coming out, from going to therapy, and finally from getting gender-affirming care (hormones, surgery).
I am still unclear whether the rates of poor mental health after transitioning are even worse than before transitioning, too, because for the people I know who are trans, their mental health was horrendous for a large portion of their life before they came out, and then it improved, but it was still probably below average. Transitioning is confusing, and not as straightforward as getting a sterilizing surgery as lots of the debates I've seen make it out to be. Much more common is transitioning by changing the name one goes by, changing your pronouns, and changes in self-expression... is any of that harmful? I don't think so. I don't find it inconvenient to change the pronouns I'm using. Honestly, it's been kind of eye-opening in my experience to the presumptions we hold about gender in the first place.
It’s nice to know there are sane people in the world... I’m trans and I really just wish people would stop talking about us. It’s fucking exhausting that every person has an opinion on where I can and can’t go.
In my opinion you are absolutely right. We as Americans are stepping over dollars to pick up dimes and it is making for an unbearable political climate and a slow decline of my faith in the United States.
Allow me to defend* the culture war.
*[First, let's set aside foreigners and animals. Obviously those are most important, but unfortunately neither party cares. Nothing matters relative to those two massive issues. So let's look at the culture war vs other domestic issues.
I would also argue that housing and healthcare are the two most important human domestic issues. Again, neither party takes a good position on either. I would prioritize supporting any candidate who takes a strong YIMBY stance or has a plan to dramatically cut total healthcare costs.
For most political races and debates, it's about prioritizing culture war issues vs. taxes, inflation, debt ceiling, unions, etc. So I'll make the (narrower) case that the culture war is very important relative to other mainstream issues.]
- I'm confident wokeness and trans ideology is making our kids depressed. I'm not worried my kid will actually chop off his genitals (like you said, that's very rare). But I am worried he may want to "identify" as "LGBT" of some sort (extremely common!), and "LGBT" identifying people (not the same as homosexual, which I have no problem with) have sky-high rates of depression.
- School choice is a culture war issue. A significant part of everyone's lives takes place in school, so this matters a lot.
- Race is another major culture war issue, and I'm confident it's very important. It's not the only important issue or the end or the world, but it's definitely not a healthy obsession.
- I would count covid as a culture war issue. That's a really big deal, no matter which side you land on.
On the economy, I'm a pretty normal fiscal conservative/libertarian. But my taxes being cut or raised 3% pales in comparison to schoolchildren being forced to mask for 8 hours every day or being bombarded with ideologies I disagree with.
Consequential for who? This is just utilitarianism, a dangerous place to put your moral compass.
Obviously true, good article.
This is painfully true. One of the best texts I've read recently. This exaggerated hyperfocus on comparatively less important issues (in terms of their global consequences) needs to give way to a bigger focus on really consequential things: factory farming and global poverty would be examples of more important problems, as you've mentioned. Great text!
You CLAIM that there are most important things than the culture war YET you spend 8.3% of your time on twitter?