Five Quick Things: Transgenderism Embodies Our Cultural Collapse - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: Transgenderism Embodies Our Cultural Collapse
Transgender flag (nito/Shutterstock)

Boy, this has sure been a banner week for the good ol’ US of A, hasn’t it?

It’s starting to get more than a little difficult to not downright hate the people in elite positions in this country. We’re obviously not supposed to feel that way, except now there are caveats.

The first one being that the SOBs so clearly hate us.

In the last column in this space, I noted that we’re fully engaged in the Cold Civil War with the anti-American woke Left — or, better put, they’re engaged in it with us. Our side increasingly isn’t just the Right but also includes the Center. You can see that pretty clearly in the fact that some of the people who used to be opponents, like Bill Maher, Joe Rogan, Bari Weiss, Dave Rubin, Alan Dershowitz, Jonathan Turley, and lots more, aren’t finding themselves so much red-pilled as driven into our camp by the Hard Left having won the internecine war for control over the Democrat Party and its contributing institutions.

The Cold Civil War has to be fought. It will certainly be won because the Hard Left is only capable of winning by forfeit. They’re incapable of performing the tasks of societal governance, something they prove by turning every institution they control into a circus.

As Donald Trump said before the Cold Civil War turned as nasty as it is now, “everything woke turns to s**t.”

Well, America is turning that way, and fast. We’ll have to fight, and like the previous two columns this week have outlined, we’d better be willing to fight ugly.

And our first entry is a golden example of why.

1. Kill the Department of Education Before It Kills Education

A press release popped out Thursday afternoon from something called the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

Today the United States Department of Education released a new Title IX rule affirming protections for transgender students’ participation in sports. The proposed rule provides that categorically banning transgender students from school sports is unlawful and that any restrictions must be firmly supported by clear evidence and must minimize harm to transgender students.

Which of course made the rights-concerned lesbians quite happy, as the apparent Grand Poo-Bah of lesbian rights, someone named Imani Rupert-Gordon, said:

Transgender youth are an integral part of every school across this country. We applaud the Department of Education for recognizing that the law requires that transgender students must be treated fairly and equally and as respected members of their school communities.

Politico’s writeup of the new rule says there are caveats to the federal government’s new intrusion into local and state education policies. Apparently it does grant that states “may adopt policies that limit transgender students’ participation.”

“In some circumstances.”

This will obviously be litigated, and it would be a bit of a surprise if the Supreme Court didn’t tell Miguel Cardona, the Biden regime’s secretary of Education, who for some reason was confirmed by the Senate despite the fact that in his previous job he shepherded into being the age of “transwomen” beating the hell out of girls in Connecticut track events, to get bent. That said, early returns on the issue with respect to SCOTUS are … disappointing.

And here’s what Trans Cardona had to say:

“Every student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “Being on a sports team is an important part of the school experience for students of all ages.”

Except his stupid rule denies that full experience to girls, who are now supposed to just take it when sexually confused Lia Thomases, or the inevitable follow-on cynical LARPers coming next to your kids’ school sports programs, start trashing them on athletic fields with the full endorsement of the federal government.

And all of this is to be enforced using your tax dollars.

There is a very easy solution to the madness of Miguel Cardona, which is to actually do what Republican politicians have been lying to their voters about doing for decades.

Simply defund the federal Department of Education. Zero out the funding. Shut the place down. Like you’ve promised to do since Reagan was president and never got around to.

We are in the middle of a debt ceiling and budget fight that is actually existential to the country. The Biden regime sent up a federal budget that spends a half-trillion MORE next year than this year when we’re already running more than a trillion-dollar deficit, and it dares to claim that over the next decade it shaves $3 trillion off the federal debt despite the fact that it’s projected to rise from $33 trillion to $51 trillion by 2033.

We can’t afford the federal Department of Education anyway. We can barely afford the departments of Defense and Justice, much less something we didn’t even have before Jimmy Carter created it — oh, and American education has dived directly into a dumpster ever since this misbegotten sop-factory for teachers union racketeers and university-credentialed cranks was born.

Kill it. Don’t waste time trying to fight this rule. Chop off the head of the snake and put Cardona and all of the rest of his bureaucratic loons in that agency out of a job.

Republican pols get their feelings hurt when their voters call them names and declare allegiance to Donald Trump rather than people who’ve fought the good fight while Trump was paying off scumbags like Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel for the privilege of doing business in New York and Chicago, but this is why. When you let the Left weaponize the federal government against girls’ basketball players without taking away their tools for such abuses, you’re as much a part of the problem as the Left is.

Change that, and earn our respect. Get rid of the Department of Education and let red states preserve sanity.

2. Which Can Be Done, as Tennessee Proved Thursday

Here’s a feel-good story for you. In perhaps the greatest example of enforced political hygiene in America this millennium, the Tennessee General Assembly expelled two Democrats who took advantage of a riot in the state capitol last week to grab a bullhorn and shut down floor proceedings by shouting stupid slogans about gun control.

That riot, which honestly fit the new definition of an insurrection that our elite betters established after Jan. 6, 2021, could have been highly dangerous to members of the Tennessee Legislature had the state troopers not done yeoman work in keeping the crazies back. It happened last Thursday, which was the first day of legislative floor proceedings following the mass murder at the Covenant School across town.

The two legislators, who egged the demonstrators on as they screeched from the gallery and pressed to gain entry into the chamber, were a couple of machine pols named Justin Jones and Justin Pearson. Jones is an especially noxious demagogue for whom this caper was hardly out of the ordinary. On Monday, they were stripped of their committee assignments, and on Thursday the vote was taken to expel them from the Legislature.

There’s a supermajority of Republicans in both houses of the Tennessee Legislature. And they act the part. This is how you win.

3. Nothing to See Here, Folks, Move Along

And no sooner does the Biden administration push its trans-pandering into warp speed than this happens:

Douglas Blair at the Daily Signal had a great piece forecasting precisely this; Blair said that if the trans advocacy crowd is allowed to get away with claiming some sort of “genocide” is going on among their people — a claim with no evidence whatsoever behind it — then you will have a rash of political violence like we haven’t seen in half a century or more.

Guess it didn’t take 24 hours to prove Blair right. Heaven help us with whatever is next.

4. Bye, Transheuser Busch!

Now is when you start to notice that this is an exclusively transgendered Five Quick Things, for which your author apologizes; I’m having trouble fully processing the collapse of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, the increasing likelihood of a two-front war against Russia, China, and the rest of the axis they’re assembling, with Ukraine and Taiwan serving as the immediate flashpoints, and a few other things.

Maybe we’ll hit meatier subjects in next week’s columns.

On the other hand, it’s worth it to talk about all of this because it’s a good stand-in for our cultural collapse.

And when Bud Light gave Dylan Mulvaney, a disgusting self-promoting grifter now making a killing off of the complete mockery of women, an endorsement contract, it might well have tripped a switch with the American people that should have been tripped a long time ago.

Because this, which is not safe for work, happened:

Then bars all over the country started dumping Bud Light from their taps.

Then this happened:

Something Tritt said after he announced he was dumping all AB products was interesting:

This matters because the blowback isn’t necessarily just over the woke corporate embrace of transgenderism (Mulvaney is also now hawking sports bras and leggings for Nike and, perplexingly enough, Tampax tampons) — Tritt has opened up a conversation about how much we should tolerate the cultural influence of foreign-owned and multinational corporations, period.

And there’s a lot to be discussed in that sphere. More to come on that in a future column.

5. Is The Night Agent Worth Watching?

Most people think so. The hottest show on Netflix stars Gabriel Basso, who you might remember as a child actor in Super 8 but who more recently played J. D. Vance in Hillbilly Elegy, as an FBI agent with an interesting past who gets enmeshed in a nasty web of corruption and intrigue at the highest levels of government.

I’m not going to do too much in the way of spoilers here. Basso’s character, Peter Sutherland, is a Bureau brat whose father was disgraced, and he manages to foil a terrorist attack in the Washington Metro but gets set upon by conspiracy theorists who think he was involved. He nevertheless gets an assignment in the basement of the White House answering a hotline for counterintelligence agents who find themselves in danger — a desk with a phone that never rings.

Until it does, and things go very haywire.

Everybody I talk to loves this show. I can see why — it’s fast-moving and it’ll hold your interest, and Peter Sutherland is an eminently likable character — as is the female lead, Rose Larkin, played by Luciane Buchanan.

Having said that, the acting outside of Basso isn’t great. The directing is questionable. And without spoiling the plot, by the time you get to the last episode, you’ve had to suspend your disbelief so thoroughly that it’s essentially a Sword of Damocles over your head.

On the other hand, The Night Agent reflects a public disgust of the people in power so complete that it doesn’t seem quite as laughably implausible as it would have been five years ago.

And Wednesday night, with nothing to do, I ended up watching the old 1970s conspiracy classic Capricorn One, starring James Brolin, Sam Waterston, Elliott Gould, Hal Holbrook, and O. J. Simpson (who plays the black guy who gets killed first, making this a racist movie by modern standards). It’s about a faked manned NASA mission to Mars that goes badly for all concerned.

I barely remembered the movie. I was a little kid when it came out. But I waded through the incessant commercials on PlutoTV to stream it because I was in a conversation about an article I wrote for the print edition of The American Spectator a couple of years ago comparing modern times to the late 1970s, and Capricorn One came up as a cultural reference.

That old movie fits contemporary America to a T, other than that Simpson’s character would have to be the lead and Idris Elba or Michael B. Jordan would have to play him. The distrust and malaise pouring out of Capricorn One is awfully close to that conveyed by The Night Agent, and it’s striking how similar the zeitgeist fueling both properties is.

Of course, the late 1970s were followed by the great revival of Reagan’s 1980s. We can only hope something similar is coming after the current fiasco.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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