The “historic” LGBT event on CNN for most of last night was billed as a series of town halls with nine Democratic candidates for president. Typically the purpose of a political town hall is to allow voters with a range of views to ask difficult questions exposing differences in candidates’ policies or beliefs. Nothing of the sort happened last night.
Nine times last night the same basic half hour played itself out over and over again. As former Vice President Joe Biden pointed out early on, there weren’t many differences exposed, with the possible exception of former Congressman Beto O’Rourke promising to end tax breaks for churches, mosques, and synagogues. Instead, what we saw was a ritualistic exercise meant to make every candidate, and moderator, for that matter, accept incredibly progressive shibboleths regarding LGBT issues. It was nothing more than a purity test. They all passed, except for maybe Chris Cuomo.
Each of the candidates expressed their fidelity to the belief that gender is not based in biology, but rather on gender expression, with Senator Elizabeth Warren adding that she had been wrong just seven years ago to say that the state should not pay for sex change operations. Each candidate asked supported the idea that every business should be compelled to participate in gay marriage. Given the opportunity, no one offered any opinion of Americans who hold differing views as much more than wrongheaded bigots.
Several times the event was interrupted by trans women of color accusing CNN itself of erasing them, presumably because insufficient attention was being paid to that specific issue. The protestors were coddled by the candidates and moderators, in a confessional display common to progressivism in which the most marginalized and oppressed voices may never be challenged or pushed back against.
After his performance, moderator Chris Cuomo took to twitter to apologize for joking with Kamala Harris that his pronouns are also Her/She/Hers after Harris used that progressive salutation. After all, you can’t really have a religion, which progressivism has become, which out sin and confession. And this event was very much like a church service in which the sacraments were announced and piously taken as Gospel.
But what was most troubling about CNN’s display of propaganda masking as a town hall is that none of the very serious questions that surround the LGBT community, were addressed in anything even approaching a substantive way. There was no serious discussion about pending court cases regarding biological male athletes dominating girls and women’s sports. No real discussion of how to handle who really belongs in women’s shelters. No serious debate about how young is too young for a child to transition, either socially or medically.
And how could there have been? On two occasions 9-year-old children who transitioned from female to male appeared with their mothers to ask questions of candidates. Having a child who believes they are trans ask questions about how the state and society should deal with the issue of children transition ensures no substantive discussion can be had, because no sane and sensitive person would challenge such a child. That is why we don’t have children serve in the government. It is adults’ job to make decisions for them.
CNN’s performance last night had nothing to do with the 2020 presidential campaign. It neither broke significant news, nor highlighted significant views. Its sole purpose was to prop up a set of cultural norms that progressives want to pretend have reached a consensus point. They have decidedly not. Substantial public policy issues still exist regarding sexual preference and gender identity. As do considerable conflicts between the LGBT agenda and the agenda of those who seek to defend religious liberty.
More than anything else, CNN was trying to make beliefs, and frankly science, that run counter to the progressive LGBT project appear outside the boundaries of acceptable, polite society. But it won’t work. Those who question whether 9-years-olds should take drugs to try to change their gender know they aren’t bigots. Those who question attacks on free speech regarding gendering and pronouns know they aren’t bigots. Those with serious questions about religious liberty and how society balances competing rights know they aren’t bigots.
The very purpose of the allegation of bigotry is to avoid having any of these conversations at all. Which is exactly what CNN did last night. Progressive piety demands that these conversations never be had, because even to have them, is bigotry in and of itself. That may be the position of CNN and most Democrats, but it is not the position of millions of Americans who refused to be cowed by false allegations of prejudice. And no fake CNN town hall is going to change that.