Good morning. It’s been a really, really busy week for me, so I hope you don’t mind a shorter newsletter! Here’s this week’s top 5.
5.) The 7 Senate Republicans Who Voted to Expand the Definition of Incitement
Nope. Not gonna touch it. I explained my thoughts in detail last week. And as my mama always said, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t sass at Ben Sasse.
4.) The Equality Act Is Bad, Actually
House Democrats reintroduced the so-called Equality Act yesterday and are expected to bring it up for a vote next week. Last Congress, the bill passed the House 236-173 with 8 Republicans voting in favor. It died in the Republican-controlled Senate. This year with Democrats controlling the Senate and the Presidency, the bill has at least a non-zero chance at becoming law. Do 10 Senate Republicans defect to get it past the filibuster? Do the Democrats scrap the filibuster in order to pass one of their biggest legislative priorities into law? Seems unlikely, but the margin is still too close for comfort.
I think it’s important for those who don’t follow this issue closely to understand what exactly is wrong with the Equality Act. How could conservatives possibly oppose something that protects people against “discrimination”? That’s just awful, right? The problem is that the Equality Act wouldn’t protect people in need of protection as much as it would fundamentally change civil rights law for the worse.
First and foremost, the Equality Act effectively replaces protections for “sex” with protections for “gender identity” — a nebulous term that even the Equality Act’s most committed advocates struggle to define. What does that mean? It means everywhere in the law that women are provided for or protected, now men who identify as women would be able to enjoy those same provisions or protections.
The consequences of this are obvious:
- Female athletes would lose opportunities for playing time, championships, or even scholarships. This has already happened repeatedly in jurisdictions that allow transgender athletes to compete in girls’ competition.
- Women would lose the right to feel secure in private spaces, such as bathrooms, locker rooms, or showers, knowing that biological men with a natural physical advantage could always be present.
- Women would be forced to share facilities or even room with biological men in homeless shelters, prisons, or even battered women’s shelters, where women who have been suffered trauma at the hands of men go to mentally and physically recover.
The intent of the Equality Act may be to promote equality and tolerance — love is love! — but the practical application of it would be to grant biological men the right to impose their will on women, whenever and wherever they want.
The bill also identifies “conversion therapy” as unlawful discrimination, but the definition of conversion therapy goes beyond sexual orientation and includes gender identity. Any attempt by a medical professional to encourage a child to identify with their birth sex would be deemed illegal. The long-term result of this, combined with aggressive state statutes, is pretty frightening: parents with kids suffering from gender dysphoria will be forced to provide them with puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and ultimately sex changes, lest they violate the law. No other options would be allowed.
The Equality Act would also specifically supersede religious freedom. Religious charities would be forced to either conform to secular views on sexual ethics, or shut down. No longer would any person of faith be able to conscientiously object from actively participating in providing a particular service if it would violate their personal religious beliefs — that would amount to unlawful discrimination. This would likely impact religious parents with kids suffering from gender dysphoria as well.
One more thing: if we’re worried about discrimination, shouldn’t we be concerned about discrimination on the basis of political affiliation — especially since it’s now becoming much more prevalent? A California lawmaker introduced a bill earlier this week that would enact civil rights protections within state law on that basis. I don’t think civil rights law is something we should be messing with due to unintended consequences, but it certainly makes for a good rhetorical argument. It’s hard to argue that there’s an epidemic of discrimination against gay people (which simply isn’t true) while dismissing out of hand the idea of protecting people with minority political beliefs from being deplatformed or depersoned.
3.) Deplatforming the News Is Also Bad
Speaking of deplatforming, I wrote an essay for Newsweek about efforts by authoritarian leftists to shut down right-wing media. I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s a snippet:
…The Left often outsources deplatforming to private corporations. It happens all the time. Last week, Disney fired outspoken conservative Gina Carano for using a Nazi Germany analogy to warn that hatred for one’s neighbor can lead to political violence. Meanwhile, Disney maintained its relationship with Carano’s costar, Pedro Pascal, who has compared America to… Nazi Germany.
The endgame is simple: deny public figures with right-leaning views the ability to make money, keep a job and express mainstream opinions online.
Conservatives must recognize what they’re up against. Instead of the state cracking down on political dissidents, it’s powerful institutions and corporations enforcing the party line. Left-wing pundits who now call to deplatform right-leaning media outlets aren’t saying anything new. They’re just saying the quiet part out loud: silencing dissent is how they maintain their power. Today they’re taking down LifeSiteNews. Tomorrow it’ll be Fox News. If we do nothing to stop them, the America we once knew will be gone forever.
2.) I Miss Rush Already
Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday. There’s so much to say about him — he was absolutely incredible. But I’ll just provide you with a couple anecdotes about my personal experience listening to Rush (sadly, I never met him!)
I grew up in rural Illinois, which means we did a lot of driving. My dad always had the AM radio turned on, so I came to know and love Rush pretty early in life. My first political book was The Way Things Ought to Be. Along with my dad, Rush taught me what it meant to be conservative. As I began to engage in politics more aggressively in high school, and started debating classmates, Rush armed me with logic and reason to combat the Left’s emotion and hysteria. I remember writing my first political essay for the local newspaper as a sophomore — it was an evidence-based argument opposing abortion and opposing politicians who supported abortion. Rush helped with that. And later on after college when I worked on political campaigns thinking about ways to approach various issues, Rush helped with that, too.
Whenever I see folks talk about how he profited on anger, or hate, it’s just so obvious they never listened to his show. The man was so compassionate. He really was a “harmless, lovable little fuzzball.” He was also extremely funny. He absolutely pushed the envelope — because that’s how the most effective comedy works. I remember him talking about a story on the anniversary of Hiroshima where some liberals were criticizing America’s decision to end World War II. If I recall correctly, the liberals were asking us to “contemplate” the decision. Rush said something to the effect of, “Okay, let’s do it. Let’s contemplate. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmmmmmm.” This went on for at least a minute. “Hmmmmmmmm.” His commercial break bumper sound began. Was he going to say anything? How long would this go? Then, at the last second before he signed off for the hour, Rush exclaimed, “Damn good idea!” These types of comedic bits were common. And he had so many bits.
Rush was a big part of my life. I know I’m not alone. It’s hard to believe we won’t ever hear that booming baritone voice ever again. America just won’t be the same without him.
ALSO: If you haven’t read it already, go check out Erick Erickson’s write-up on his friendship with Rush. Powerful stuff.
1.) Buy Silver.
Something fascinating is happening in the silver markets. The spot price for silver has been hovering around $27/ounce. But physical silver is in heavy demand and going for much more, often as high as $40/ounce — if you can even find it. I’m betting on this temporary anomaly fixing itself soon enough. When demand exceeds supply, prices should go up.
Anyway, I’m in. $PSLV, baby.
TWEET OF THE WEEK:
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) February 16, 2021
Shooter’s still got it.
Have a great weekend, everyone.