Like usual I have added all my comments in red. However, I got the urge to underline all of the text from Matt's original post that is factually incorrect. I did this conservatively, and did not include any statements that were merely misguided, misleading, unsupported, or just plain odd (that would cover most of the rest of his post).
Matt Walsh writes:
Government is always political. Every agency, every department, every office. They’re all driven by politics. Always. Every time. You love that word "always" don't you?
There might be a few diamonds in the muck who really are interested in achieving the betterment of society, but they will either be drowned and obscured in a deep sea of clumsy self-interest, or eventually convinced to sell their souls for the sake of preserving their cushy — and often useless — jobs and lavish pension plans. That’s because the government does not exist to better society. We have celebrity doctors, Burger King’s new inspirational corporate marketing campaign, and self-help gurus for that. I don't know how to respond, because I don't even know what point you're trying to make here.
Government exists to perpetuate itself, like bacteria or the aliens from Independence Day. This is why the political wheel always gets the oil while the important things are left outside to rust. Really? I didn't realize the government was an organism that existed independently of a whole bunch of people with different aims and views.
Maybe one day it will be politically advantageous for our politicians to do their jobs — but right now we have a voting base which is largely bored by mundane matters like taking care of our veterans and balancing the budget. We don’t want a president who performs his constitutional duties and manages his subordinates efficiently. So, the government sucks. And so do most of the people who live in this country. Man, we don't have much going for us. Is there anything in this country that doesn't suck? (Except, of course, for you and anyone who agrees with everything you say.)
YAWN. Totally un-sexy. Ohh, okay. Now I understand your blog. You believe people are bored by substance and reason, and you have to make a living, after all.
No, we want him to create massive healthcare entitlement programs, attack his political enemies every time he opens his mouth, appear on late night comedy shows, and chime in whenever a professional athlete comes out of the closet. This is an odd list. Making partisan statements, making appearances on various entertainment media, commenting on the random goings-on of the country - those are traditional "ceremonial" duties of an American president. Healthcare reform is a policy initiative... which is kind of exactly the sort of substantive thing you would expect a president to do, whether you agree with it or not.
That’s the sort of government that many people in this nation prefer, so that’s the sort of government we have. Are you actually trying to make the argument that the government we have is the government that most people prefer? Have you looked at opinion polls? Anyway, if that were true, isn't that pretty much what "by the people, for the people" - i.e. the essence of democracy - is all about? On the other hand, you made it very clear in one of your most recent posts (in which you said you would be elated if most people didn't vote) that you're not such a huge fan of democracy. I'm guessing theocracy is more your style. And that creates exactly the kind of cultural atmosphere where veterans in need of critical health care can be left to die on secret waiting lists, as an Army private and convicted felon gets fast tracked for “sex reassignment treatment.” [UPDATE: When figuring out where this bit of misinformation came from, I discovered that Matt lifted the entire idea for this post from a Breitbart piece. (Which, of course, he does not cite as the inspiration for this post.) Such a paragon of integrity....]
I'm soooo confused. Your unparalleled logic must be too much for me. You are saying that the government is focusing on Manning's treatment (actually, not true; the media is) because the government, in an effort to perpetuate itself, only does what people want it to do. So everyone is really concerned about Manning getting treatment and the government is responding to those concerns. But also, as you argue in a previous post, the country is predominantly comprised of conservative Christians who are not so concerned about transgender issues.
We know that over 40 veterans died after being neglected at a hospital in Phoenix — but this goes much deeper, and is a problem much wider, than that terrible statistic indicates. Well, actually, it is still unclear at the moment how much deeper and wider it goes. The latest reports I've seen indicate the media may have, to the contrary, overblown that statistic. In fact, veterans have been saying for years that the VA healthcare system is completely and totally broken, but nobody listened. Most veterans have rated the VA system favorably, as a matter of fact. Its patient satisfaction ratings are higher than other health systems. Also, I know of at least one case (supposed non-diagnosis or reversal of diagnosis of PTSD and brain injury) where the media distorted the issue at hand; it seems some of the media also might have it out for the VA system. Plus, you have to factor in the fact that Congress (pressured by citizens like you who object to government spending) has failed to provide adequate funding for VA health care, and the system, through no fault of its own, may no doubt be strained by all these recent wars.... Politicians spewed their platitudes and moved on to more urgent concerns, such as building a soccer field for Guantanamo Bay detainees.
This isn’t an issue that’ll get a lot of pop in the polls, one way or another, so they didn’t waste their time on it. But hormone therapy issues definitely get people to the polls, obvs.
But, finally, the stories of corruption, incompetence, abuse, neglect, and general disarray in the VA system have made it, briefly, to the headlines. The reports still aren’t afforded the same press as the “news” about Beyonce’s sister smacking Jay-Z in the face, but you take what you can get at this point. Okay, I'll add that to my list. The government sucks. The American people suck. The media sucks. Oh, I also know from a previous post that you think Beyoncé sucks. (I like how her name is autocorrected to insert the accent.)
Now, there’s plenty of angles to analyze on the VA scandal, but I think this one deserves a close inspection: Bradley Chelsea Manning, a convicted criminal**, was given special attention from the Pentagon, and will now likely be transferred to a civilian prison where he she can receive “treatment” for his her “Gender Dysphoria.” Meanwhile, veterans and free citizens of the United States have waited for years, even until death, for legitimate medical treatment of life threatening physical ailments.
**First of all, I find it ironic that you keep calling Manning a criminal when the crime with which she was convicted was whistleblowing - i.e. making transparent things the government did - and this is after you spent so much of your post ranting about how much you hate the government. So, the government sucks. And people who expose the government also suck.
It is also worth pointing out that if Manning received any "special treatment" it was not the good kind. Like, being forced to spend the night naked, standing up (not allowed to sleep) during her pre-trial detention. Or, having to go through a military trial rather than civilian trial, which is not appropriate for a whistleblowing case, with all the lack of transparency that entails.
In fact, Chelsea did not get "special attention" from the Pentagon. By law, as upheld by numerous court decisions, prisoners are required to receive treatment for various conditions, of which Gender Dysphoria is one. So, this is nothing special. This is normal prison procedure. Hormonal therapy was deemed by the court to be more cost-effective than dealing with all the potential effects of leaving it untreated.
Never mind the fact that “Gender Dysphoria” is a disease only recently invented and added to the Diagnostic and Statical Manual of Mental Disorders after years of political pressure from anti-science left wingers. Good point. Since older diseases are more legitimate, I take bilious fever much more seriously than AIDS. In fact, I refuse to believe MERS even exists. Never mind that, without a salient scientific or medical reason to do so, the focus was shifted from treating the psychological delusions which lead a person to believe that they ought to be something other than what they unequivocally and biologically are, to treating the “distress” that stems from being a man “stuck in a woman’s body,” or vice versa. Now, rather than offer someone intense psychological and spiritual counseling to help them accept who they are, we give them hormones and mutilate their genitals to help them feel better about not accepting who they are.
Sighhh.. I'm getting kind of tired, what with my real jobs and all, but I guess I have to give you another science lesson. Biological sex is complex and determined by a variety of interacting chromosomal, genetic, hormonal, anatomical and environmental factors. According to these scientists (in relation to gender verification in sports), "Sexual boundaries are not so defined and separated in two classes (male and female) as the society and sports institutions generally intend, being present a wide range of intermediate sexual conditions which have to be taken into account." Just at the chromosomal level, variations other than the common XX and XY types account for about 1-2% of the population. Just for comparison, redheads also comprise about 2% of the population (yet, we don't exclude redheads from what we consider normal human variation). Then there are all the other determinants of biological sex (I find this to be a fun, interactive educational website).
So, biological sex is much more complex and variable than we commonly understand it to be. Then you have gender, which is the cultural meanings attributed to biological sex (e.g. associating long hair, dresses, beauty products, and the color pink with women, and violence, sports, cars, and darker colors with men.) I have gone through this a number of times now, and it's getting old, so I will be brief. Gender varies cross-culturally. It also has varied historically. No link has been found between culturally-ascribed gender differences and biological traits. Sometimes I run across dubious claims about testosterone, but you must be wary of those. Testosterone is notoriously difficult to study, from a behavioral standpoint, and the only scientifically valid studies that have been conducted (all on birds), which I have read, have been inconclusive. Based on the cultural and historical evidence, there is no reason to believe that gender is anything more than a cultural phenomenon.
Given all of that, it makes sense that a certain number of people will possess a whole bunch of natural inclinations that are in direct conflict with culturally prescribed gender stereotypes. It runs a little deeper than can adequately be solved by counseling and telling them to "get over it." If this causes the type of distress that leads to depression, anxiety, and suicide (it does), what's the big deal with giving them inexpensive hormone pills? Or calling them by their preferred names and pronouns? Must we insist on making their lives miserable just because it doesn't fit into our unresearched opinion of how the world should work?
For more information about sex and gender, you can consult my favorite field, anthropology.
Never mind that. And never mind the smarmy sycophants who mock anyone who questions any part of Darwinian evolutionary theory, yet fall silent, or even join in, when the progressive chorus starts singing about how a man’s biological sex can be “changed” by giving him magic pills and cutting off his penis. Well, that's because a person's sex can, in fact, be changed through medical means. What does Darwinian evolution have to with this? Are you concerned that there are no means by which transgender people can have children (there are), or that the human population isn't increasing fast enough?
Never mind all of that. And never mind the quacks who take advantage of sick people by charging them exorbitant sums of money hormonal therapy is inexpensive to deform themselves in pursuit of a goal that is, in every sense, literally unattainable.
Never mind that. And never mind the fact that Bradley Chelsea Manning’s “treatment” will come on the taxpayer’s dime. It's an insignificant amount of money, and it's not any different than any other prisoner's health care. And never mind that Pentagon officials claim it would be “cruel and unusual punishment” to refuse to play along with Manning’s unfortunate hallucinations. It is considered cruel and unusual to deny medical treatment to prisoners. Medical professionals have deemed treatment for transgender individuals to be necessary, so take it up with them.
Never mind, also, that we’ve reached a point where “transgendered” folks get to be included under the civil rights banner, further proving how little respect progressives have for the historical plight of black Americans. Man, you have no problem trying to manipulate the feelings of your African American readers, do you? Fortunately, I would assume most of them are smarter than that. You have never made any attempt to hide your utter lack of concern for the historical plight of black Americans. Or their current plight. And never mind that saying you “identify as a woman” when you’re actually a man is exactly like saying you identity as a tomato or a kangaroo when you actually are neither a tomato nor a kangaroo. Nope. Not even close to being the same thing.
And never mind every whining, insufferable bully who comments under this post to tell me I’m a bigot for making a series of unassailable, scientifically accurate statements. (In Matt's mind, "unassailable, scientifically accurate statements" = "things I believe are true, but have never bothered to confirm against any scientific research.")
And never mind the fool who Tweeted me to say this about the Bradley Chelsea Manning/VA scandal dichotomy:
And never mind the despair that sets in when you realize that we are languishing away in a world where news reports can include sentences like this: “Pte Manning has been diagnosed by military doctors with gender dysphoria, the sense of one’s gender being at odds with the sex assigned at birth.” GASP! NO! You mean to tell me that a NEWS report said that Manning was diagnosed by doctors with a condition, and then it defined the condition she had been diagnosed with!?! The news is out of control!
Assigned at birth? ASSIGNED? So now my sex is some superfluous identifier handed down to me by an outside agency at the moment I emerged from my mother’s birth canal?
Man, when the doctors say “it’s a girl,” I always thought they were merely observing biological traits. But, it turns out, they were assigning biological traits. I guess I can see why doctors sometimes have a God Complex.
But never mind that.
The point, here, is one of priorities. It’s been known for years — decades, even — that veterans frequently waste away on waiting lists while do-nothing bureaucrats forge documents and cover their tracks. Yet nothing was done about it. Nothing. But the first criminal military man who grew out his hair and told the world he’s a she automatically received the undivided attention of the top brass at the Pentagon. As always, just saying things doesn't make them true.
Haven’t these pencil pushing cultural Marxists in our government done enough to our troops? They use them, abuse them, send them all over the world for dubious reasons, wielding them like pawns in a global chess match. And then when they get home, battered and broken, their plight is ignored while a cross dressing convict takes center stage. I was going to laugh at your use of the term "cultural Marxists" to describe our government, but then found out that the term is specifically used by Christian conservatives to label anything that they perceive to be in conflict with their conservative, Christian values. (That's actually the scary part; the fact that you spend your day mindlessly repeating the catchphrases of other conservative Christians indicates that, for some of the crazier things you say, there might be other people saying that crazy stuff!) Anyway, I am quite familiar with what cultural Marxism really is, and it has nothing to do with our government. I especially like how you call them cultural Marxists (people who critique power relationships, including those related to the U.S. military) and then immediately go on to complain about how they send the military all over the place.
I'm still confused about what you are really upset about here. The government sucks. The American people suck. The media sucks. Sending people all over the world to fight wars on spurious grounds sucks. But also, people who expose what is really going on in these wars also suck.
Our politicians and our president are using our troops like lab rats in the social experimentation lab. They repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, they’re working towards putting women on the front lines, and now transgenders are the next group to get special treatment from the sociopaths running this country. None of these things make our military safer and none make it easier for them to do their jobs. That’s because the mission and the man will both gladly be sacrificed on the altar of the Church of Liberalism. So, you still have not managed to explain, at all, how this terrible liberal elite managed to wrest control of every American institution and maintain power, despite the fact that most Americans are conservative Christians and despite the fact that they need corporate money and backing to be elected. Interesting world you live in....
This whole thing disgust me.
Every day, I think “things can’t get any crazier,” but then every day this country makes a liar out of me. I'll agree with you. The world, as you see it, really can't get any crazier.