Sunday, May 09, 2021

Politico - War on transgender youth becoming more of a headache than successful wedge issue for Republicans

Do not celebrate yet but according to Politico, the Republican Party was trying to create a perfectly successful wedge issue with its attack on transgender athletes. What they got is a little success but an enormous amount of public internal division:

Republicans saw a ready-made wedge issue to rally the GOP’s base when, soon after Joe Biden took office, he moved to expand protections for transgender people, including in school sports. The president and his Democratic allies, conservatives said, were ruining women’s athletics, and Republican lawmakers across the country advanced a raft of bills designed to keep transgender women and girls from playing on female teams. Yet what once promised to be a galvanizing force for the Republican Party ahead of the midterm elections and 2024 has instead devolved into a source of division within the GOP, hobbling one potential presidential contender — Kristi Noem — and pitting other Republican governors against lawmakers of their own party.

 . . . Far from a unifying new fixture in the GOP’s culture wars, the question of how to treat transgender student athletes is instead inflaming rifts within the party — and quickly becoming a litmus test for Republicans who aspire to higher office. “For those who dream about a 2024 future, starting with Kristi Noem,” said Bill McCoshen, a Wisconsin-based Republican strategist, “you don’t want to be in a position to be against your own party, which all of those governors have done so far.”

The entire article deserves a read and a share. Whatever the case may be, it looks like the GOP are relying on the same tactics of distortion which worked to galvanize its base against marriage equality during the 2004 election. But our side seems to have learned lessons from that fight. And we took those lessons to heart in terms of the messages we are sending, the stories we are telling, and the Americans (transgender youth, their families, and medical professionals) stepping up to tell those stories.