Like Chicken Little, Rep. Andy Barr thinks the sky is falling and he knows exactly who to blame for the looming catastrophe – drag queens and transexuals.
In a re-election campaign message first brought to light by Austin Horn, political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Barr, a Lexington Republican, expressed his fear that this once great nation is “up against unprecedented threats to our humanity and our normal way of life.”
“When I look around at what’s happening in our country, sometimes I think we’re not going to make it,” Barr moaned. “Then I look at the precious faces of my daughters and think to myself, We have to make it.”
Mind you, the fear in Andy’s heart, which he obviously wants all of you to share, has nothing to do with the growing environmental disaster facing the planet – he appears to be in favor of that, actually; the proliferation of guns that are killing tens of thousands of individuals, including children, every year – he favors that too; the possible return of a madman to the White House – ditto; threats from places like North Korea and China; or a cloudy economic picture. Oh no.
What he specifically cites as examples of the possibility “we’re not going to make it” are, in his own words:
• Genital mutilation of adolescents
• Public drag shows for children
• Men competing in women’s sports
• Sexualization of children in education and entertainment.
As means of emphasis, Old Andy warns, “it’s only getting worse.”
One shudders at the very thought.
Of course, the reason you have to send our boy back to Washington for a sixth two-year term — a task made simpler by the most ridiculous redistricting in history, accomplished by moving Democrat-leaning Frankfort into the First Congressional District with Paducah and other points west — is so he can continue waging war against these unspeakably evil elements, sort of like Superman taking on Lex Luthor.
“The woke Radical left HATES people like me because I stand in the way of their agenda,” he modestly professed. “But I’m not backing down.”
Now there’s a brave lad, placing his life on the line to battle the “woke Radical left,” drag queens and transexuals so the rest of us can enter the promised land.
Aren’t we lucky?
Until now, and we’re offering this as a public service, you may not have been aware that there’s a drag show for kids on every corner of the block — sort of like Starbucks — or that millions of kids are lining up to have their genitals mutilated, or that grown men in heavy beards are knocking around young women on the field hockey green.
That may be because it’s all Andy-generated hooey. Are kids regularly attending drag shows? They certainly aren’t storming the gates to enter the drag clubs, and, if they do so, it’s with the permission of their parents. Conservatives like our boy Andy are all in these days on “parents’ rights” – except, of course, when they exercise those rights in a way conservatives don’t approve, no matter how harmless.
It’s impossible to understand how a kid will somehow be scarred for life watching guys in glitter and dresses. It’s not exactly everyone’s cup of tea to be sure, but the fall of the American empire as outlined by Andy Barr will never be attributed to drag shows.
You know, there has never been a report of anyone “turning gay” — if that’s your bigoted worry — watching Nathan Lane in The Birdcage. This, dear reader, is just Andy’s not-so-subtle way of nudging voters in the Sixth Congressional District in the ribs and whispering the word “Queers” in their collective ears.
Then there’s Andy’s indirect reference to transexuals, the new boogeymen, or, more appropriately, boogeypeople, of the rightwing, a faction that is constantly searching for groups that differ from your average, white Christian cis male to bully for political effect. It’s a sad time. They can’t pick on African-Americans anymore because it’s, well, racist. They can deny women their reproductive rights but face chants of misogyny if it’s taken too far. They can’t call Mexicans wetbacks anymore and gay and lesbian folks are being mainstreamed. They’re even getting married, for crying out loud. And you know what? It’s better for everyone and no one is worse off. So they’re turning their sights on transexuals, a misunderstood group, which makes them easy pickings for the like of Andy Barr and his allies.
Put simply, a transgender person is one who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. That frequently results in gender dysphoria, which the Mayo Clinic cites as “a feeling of distress that can happen when a person’s gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or from their sex-related physical characteristics.”
Those with dysphoria often seek medical assistance, which can include hormone treatment and surgery to change sex characteristics – the alleged genital mutilation Barr makes reference to.
Surgery isn’t for everyone and sometimes counseling proves sufficient. But the World Professional Association for Transgender Health said hormone treatment could be started at age 14 and some surgeries done at age 15 or 17. The group further declared it’s unethical to withhold early treatment.
According to the Associated Press, such procedures are “based on expert opinion and a review of scientific evidence on the benefits and harms of transgender medical treatment in teens whose gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth,” the group said. Such evidence is limited but has grown in the last decade, the group said, with studies suggesting the treatments “can improve psychological well-being and reduce suicidal behavior.”
Regardless, the number of teens who undergo gender reassignment surgery is extraordinarily small and, despite Barr’s raving, presents no danger to the body politic. Even if you disapprove, and many do, it ain’t gonna kill the republic. No teen undergoes hormone therapy or surgery without the approval of the attending physicians, parents, and the teens themselves. Again, Andy would step in to deny parental rights. It is far from “mutilation.” The National Library of Medicine determined that data indicates 82 percent of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40 percent have attempted suicide, with attempts highest among transgender youth. Surgery and a change in sexual identity then could save lives.
Understanding and compassion for these folks are what’s required. Andy says they’re threatening America’s future. In so doing he’s telling these folks to take a hike so he can raise more money for his campaign.
On the sports participation question, trans kids are not exactly storming the Bastille to seize the girls’ basketball court. Regardless, the ACLU has concluded that including trans athletes will promote values of non-discrimination and inclusion among all student athletes.
“Many who oppose the inclusion of trans athletes erroneously claim that allowing trans athletes to compete will harm cisgender women,” the group said. “This divide and conquer tactic gets it exactly wrong. Excluding women who are trans hurts all women. It invites gender policing that could subject any woman to invasive tests or accusations of being too ‘masculine’ or ‘too good’ at their sport to be a ‘real’ woman.”
It wasn’t that long ago that opposition to women participating in highly-physical athletic endeavors was widespread. Women’s sports have improved society. So now they’re picking on trans kids.
Poor Andy. He’s stuck in a congressional delegation that includes the likes of Tail-Gunner Jamie Comer (R-WhereverHeHangsHisHatIsHisHome); Wonder Boy Thomas Massie (R-SomewhereOrOtherLewisCounty); and Spanish Inquisition Rand Paul (R-Bowling Green), who continues his unending attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the COVID-19 warrior, well into his retirement. Those three take the oxygen out of the room, making it hard for Barr to prove to Republican voters that he’s as loony as the rest.
“If we don’t do a complete 180 degree turn toward traditional conservative American values that have made our country the greatest, safest, and most prosperous nation in history, we are doomed,” he declared.
This, obviously, is Andy Boy’s effort to grab the steering wheel on the bandwagon.
Written by Bill Straub, who served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post, and was the White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. Cross-posted from the Northern KY Tribune.