It should be obvious by now that many, if not most, Republican leaders are worthless. It’s not just that they don’t seem to grasp what being a conservative means in the current moment, it’s that they have no interest in taking a stand against the ascendent forces of woke capitalism and an aggressive cultural left — even when they are presented with easy opportunities to do so.
Take Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who was fool enough to go on Tucker Carlson’s show earlier this week to defend his veto of a bill that outlaws the genital mutilation and chemical castration of children. Carlson asked the governor a simple question: “Why do you think it’s important for conservatives to make certain that children can block their puberty, be chemically castrated? Why is that a conservative value?”
Carlson was right to frame the issue that way. After all, he noted, the state of Arkansas outlaws all kinds of behavior when it comes to minors — drinking, having sex, getting married, getting tattoos. Why, Carlson wanted to know, shouldn’t the state bar minors from undergoing experimental procedures that have irreversible, life-altering effects?
(Note that corporate media use inaccurate terms like “transgender health care” and “transgender treatment and surgeries,” which are euphemisms for castration and which Hutchinson apparently accepts; he used such language throughout the interview.)
WATCH: Tucker Carlson and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson debate the governor's decision to veto a bill banning gender surgeries for minors that was later overridden by the Arkansas state legislature.
Gov. Hutchinson says that the bill "invokes the state" in medical decisions. pic.twitter.com/kwzGtTwtle
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 7, 2021
Hutchinson’s mealy-mouthed response was an embarrassing disaster, and if he weren’t already barred by term limits from seeking reelection in 2022, his political career would likely be finished. He said that a commitment to the principles of “limited government” is what prevented him from signing the bill.
After ritualistically invoking William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan, he asked, “Are we as a party abandoning a limited role of government and saying we’re going to invoke the government’s decision-making over and above physicians, over and above health care, over and above parents?”
Yes, governor, we are. Especially if parents are consenting to have their children chemically castrated. That’s not “health care,” it’s child abuse. Many of us conservatives would go further; we’d support penalties for physicians who performed such procedures on children.
Why? Because chemically castrating minors, whether or not a physician or the parents think it’s a good idea, is harmful and wrong. It should be against the law, like abortion. Parents should have no more right to castrate their kids than they do to kill them in utero.
This isn’t complicated. So why is it so hard for someone like Hutchinson to grasp? Maybe it’s because he’s not really all that conservative. Or maybe it’s because he’s only conservative up to a point, on the easy stuff — pro-life bills and lower taxes and whatnot. Just don’t ask him to defy the cultural left and take a controversial stand for what’s right. That’s a bridge too far. After his debacle on Carlson’s show, Hutchinson told ABC News he doesn’t think conservatives should engage in these cultural and political battles.
Okay, that’s fine. Every conservative in America now knows that Hutchinson is a worthless GOP leader. He lives in a dream-world where Republican governors shouldn’t have to wade into these issues, shouldn’t have to articulate why government has a role in protecting children from experimental puberty-blocking treatments and chemical castration, shouldn’t have to do anything but repeat “limited government” like an incantation.
We have no use for leaders like him. They are in many ways worse than leftist Democrats, who at least are honest about what they stand for.
Don’t Assume Republicans Are Conservative, Make Them Prove It
Hutchinson is just one recent example. For many of the same reasons, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is also a worthless GOP leader who has no business calling herself a conservative. Noem, who rose to national prominence over the past year by keeping her state largely open during the COVID-19 pandemic, infamously vetoed a bill last month that would have prevented males from competing in female sports, from kindergarten through college.
Like the Arkansas bill (which by the way that state’s legislature promptly passed into law this week after overriding Hutchinson’s veto), the South Dakota bill was not complicated or unworkable, it was simple. It limited women’s sports to women, recognizing that men and women are physically different and it isn’t fair to allow men to compete against women. The bill fundamentally rejected the idea that transgender women — that is, men who mistakenly believe they are women — should be allowed to compete against women in sports, at any level. It should have been an easy bill for a conservative governor to sign.
But not for Noem. She reversed her earlier support for the bill once it arrived on her desk and came up with a convoluted reason for vetoing it, citing concerns over “style” and “form,” and sent it back to South Dakota lawmakers with instructions to gut key provisions of the bill, including a demand to strike collegiate athletics from the bill’s protections. Noem was worried that the NCAA would challenge the bill in court, and, invoking the advice of “legal experts” whom she never named, averred that South Dakota would lose that legal fight.
After vetoing the bill, the issue predictably blew up in Noem’s face after a host of conservative scholars and legal experts weighed in and demolished her specious claims that the bill would not survive a court challenge. In an apparent attempt to save face, Noem issued a pair of executive orders last week that seemingly do what the bill was designed to do: limit women’s sports to women.
Cases like Noem’s and Hutchinson’s are clarifying. For too long, conservative voters have assumed that because they put a Republican in office he or she will govern in a way that reflects conservative values and principles, that he or she will stand up to the left.
Stop assuming that. Assume instead that the Republicans you put in office are all cowards and frauds until they prove otherwise. Let them show that they’re willing to stand up to woke corporations, leftist mobs, and a corrupt corporate press. Until they do, assume they won’t.
The stakes are too high now to give GOP politicians, who for years now have paid lip-service to actual conservatism, the benefit of the doubt. We don’t need any more empty words but concrete actions.
One thing is for sure: In this political environment, you won’t have to wait long to find out.