The most remarkable aspect of Machaela Cavanaugh’s engineered meltdown on Friday pertained to her profession: state legislator.
Reason and rhetoric once acted as currency in deliberative bodies; volume and emotion now do. Cavanaugh chanted, banged the podium, teared up, and yelled. She said nothing of substance. She shouted a mantra: “We need trans people, we love trans people, trans people belong here.” She then repeated those 12 words 18 times.
In the background of the video, one glimpses a gentleman, presumably a fellow state senator, belatedly raise his eyes, give a “what the” expression, and then depart. One assumes this man, and others surrounding, felt as though in a Twilight Zone episode.
How does one converse with such a person? How to find compromise and common ground with someone imitating a 3-year-old demanding cupcakes for breakfast? This woman represents parts of not Ann Arbor but Omaha, a place one might heretofore invoke to convey the middle of Middle America.
In other words, one finds these delusions championed everywhere in the United States. You cannot escape. No refuge exists.
In the time allotted to her, Cavanaugh could have argued her intellectual position. Instead, she emoted and behaved like a lunatic, a word used not for effect but to convey how she conducted herself. All of it seemed an appropriate representation of a position far removed from any moral or intellectual defense but rooted in amorphous feelings: Some men wish to become women, so they can. Who are you to tell them what they do not want to hear? Who are you not to go along with their delusion? Does any trans person look at this state senator and think: There goes my hero? Perhaps a few, but one senses most of that crowd possesses better sense than their “allies,” a word that once conjured up visions of forces trying to kill Nazis but now represents people who imagine 15-year-olds castrating themselves as the new civil rights movement.
In more than four decades of following politics, I do not recall anything as embarrassing as the bizarre performance this disturbed woman put on before her colleagues.
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