Transgender Bathrooms Might be the New Gay Marriage for Conservatives

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Jim Geraghty asks a question that’s been on my mind too:

How happy do you think Hillary Clinton is with the Obama administration’s decision that schools must permit transgender students to use the bathroom they prefer?

Here’s an issue that will irk a lot of parents of daughters who might otherwise not care that much about politics. It’s not an automatic political winner for Obama and his allies; a Reuters poll found 43 percent saying that people should use public restrooms “according to the biological sex on their birth certificate” compared to 41 percent who opt for “according to the gender with which they identify.” Sure, Donald Trump said he opposed the North Carolina law, but if this rule makes you feel like Washington is arrogant, meddling, out-of-touch, and forcing changes upon your community that you don’t want, who do you think you’re going to vote for?

It’s almost inevitable that liberals will annoy a lot of people over cultural issues like this. It goes with the territory. But I suspect Geraghty is right: Hillary Clinton would probably have preferred that this just stay on the back burner for a while.

It’s true that she caught a break when Donald Trump said he didn’t think this was a big problem and states like North Carolina should just settle down. But let me tell you something about Trump: he could change his mind. Really! I’ve seen him do it. It wouldn’t even be hard. All he has to do is say that he favored leaving things alone, but if the Obama administration is going to start sending out decrees to schools about it, well, that’s going too far. We need to fight back against this kind of government overreach in the service of PC nonsense.

We’ll see. But as a voter turnout tool for conservatives, this could be the new gay marriage. I wonder if it will be for liberals too?

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate