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What’s Wrong With Nikki Haley on Trans Issues? – HotAir

As the various GOP campaigns wrapped up their efforts ahead of the Iowa caucuses, they were all barnstorming through as many events as possible. Due to bad weather, Nikki Haley was forced to cancel one of hers and replace it with a phone-in event where she took questions from voters. That’s when a person identifying himself as John hit her with a question that she didn’t seem prepared for. He simply asked her, “Can a man become a woman?” Haley stumbled through some unrelated campaign information before appearing to get down to the question. She talked about restrictions on procedures being performed on children and seemed to have a good grip on that subject. But by the time she finished, it became painfully obvious that she either didn’t have an answer to the original question or she was unwilling to give one. Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of her answer provided by Megyn Kelly.

Now, can a man become a woman. There’s been a lot that’s been talked about when it comes to all of these roles and all of these issues. I strongly believe that we should not allow any gender change surgeries to anyone before the age of 18. Period. We– kids now can’t get a tattoo until they’re 18. We shouldn’t have them permanently change their body until they’re 18. And that includes puberty blockers, that includes any sort of hormones that would do that.

After the age of 18, we want to make sure people can live any way they want to live. I don’t think government needs to be in control of anybody’s life. You go live the way you want to live, you should be free to live the way you want to live, and every– government and everybody else should stay out of your way.

But prior to 18, it is an important time, especially when you’re going through your teenage years that can be confusing. I don’t think we should ever in any way have any sort of permanent changes. But after 18, I’m not going to say anything. I think that, you know, you always have to believe in freedom and allowing people to live the life the way they want to live, and if that’s how they choose then, you know, I don’t think government should have any say in that.

It’s not that Haley was completely off base on this. In fact, I’ve said plenty of similar things in the past, particularly when the whole trans social contagion was really getting off the ground. Dress however you want. Call yourself whatever you like. Just don’t try to impose on my rights and tell me what I have to call you. And banning these types of medical procedures for children is the right call, so she won’t get in any trouble for that.

But, again, that wasn’t the question that John asked. He wanted to know if she believed that a man can become a woman. (Or, presumably, if a woman can become a man.) This wasn’t some sort of trick question or a gotcha. It’s been in the news so much over the past several years that she had to have known it was going to come up. Legislative battles and court cases revolving around this topic have spread all over the country.

Would it really have been that hard to simply give John an answer? She could have simply said, “No, John. Men can’t become women. They can have surgery and take drugs to make themselves look more like women, but they’re still men.” That’s really all it would have taken. People would be free to agree or disagree as they wish, but the matter would be settled. Now it’s turned into “a thing” in the heat of a primary contest.

We’ve seen this sort of approach from other Republicans recently, including sitting governors. It suggests a lack of conviction or a fear of the shifting political winds. The topic is so toxic that some otherwise ostensibly conservative leaders don’t want to appear as if they’re coming down on one side or the other. You can claim the small-government conservative mantle and tell voters that you don’t want the government making those choices for you, but the question at hand is about much more than just government restrictions on medical procedures. It’s about fundamental truths and beliefs. Do you believe that God created humans in the form of two genders, both of which are required for reproduction and the continuation of the species or not? Many voters would probably like to know your answer, and in a tight primary race (not that this one looks particularly tight at the moment), weaseling your way out of answering probably isn’t going to win a lot of people over.


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