On Thursday, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump took the liberal stance on transgender restroom access. Media outlets can call it “moderate” all they want, but it is inescapable that Trump defended biological men using women’s restrooms. The Donald is not exactly hesitant to offend people, and transgressing political correctness has been one of the centerpieces of his campaign. He even declared in the past that he would protect Christians and social conservatives, but this acceptance of “transgender rights” may be a sign that he has started pandering to the “center” for the general election.
Conservatives have long warned that Trump is unpredictable, that he would make a horrible Republican standard bearer because he does not represent the classical issues of that party. Now it seems The Donald might be proving them right — after most of the socially conservative voters in the South already backed the real estate tycoon.
Trump attacked the North Carolina law which reserved multiple-person restrooms in schools and government facilities to only those people of the appropriate biological sex. This law was intended to protect the privacy of girls and boys, men and women, but many companies attacked it as discriminatory. Rather than defending the law — as those who find The Donald a champion of conservative or politically incorrect values might expect — Trump trashed it.
“North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price and there’s a lot of problems,” said Trump, who would have left things as they were. “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble.”
This stance sounds moderate — Trump is arguing that there should be no restrictions — but in reality, it is a complete surrender to a small, vocal minority. If public restrooms must be one way or the other, why side with the infinitesimal minority of people who identify with the sex opposite the one they were born with, rather than the millions of men and women who are comfortable with their birth sex?
Why can we not have more single-serve, unisex restrooms, to avoid the issue entirely? Trump attacked the idea of separate transgender restrooms as a waste of money — he’s right — but he did not address this solution, which many restaurants have already adopted.
In matter of fact, Trump is incorrect that there has been “so little trouble.” Women who claim to have been abused as children are now vehemently opposing the opening of girls’ and women’s restrooms to biological men. When the New York Times attacked Americans concerned about this issue as effectively insane, controlled by “transgender bathroom hysteria,” these disenfranchised people took to Twitter to express their outrage. Regardless of what Trump or the New York Times says, many Americans are concerned about this, and it’s not just because of “transphobia.”
Nevertheless, The Donald was quite explicit in his support for transgender access. He said that if Caitlyn Jenner (born Bruce Jenner) walked into Trump Tower, The Donald would let her use the restroom of her choice.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 21, 2016
The Federalist’s Ben Domenech once explained why social conservatives in the South might back Donald Trump. Domenech said these voters “have no illusions about [Trump’s] unbelief. The difference is that while they believe Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio would be one more round of good soldiers for their cause, they think Donald Trump would be a tank.”
But when it comes to actually fighting for conservative values, Trump ends up on the other side. Indeed, in a classic battle involving political correctness, he falls neatly in line. The Donald might not be a tank, but rather a Trojan horse.