Caitlyn / Bruce Jenner
Annie Liebowitz is an amazing photographer. Did a great job on the photo of Caitlyn Jenner. This whole “event” has raised awareness of transgender issues more than anything we can think of. Many people have commented how acceptance of gay marriage just snowballed over the last 5-10 years and the opinion of society changed more rapidly than any would have predicted. The question is whether this new awareness of transgender issues will cause a movement in how society views transgenders.
Social Conservatives Lash Back
The Washington Post has an article about the conservative reaction. It apparently has steam coming out of their ears that a person who won an Olympic gold medal, was on a Wheaties box and celebrated for his masculine prowess is being accepted as a woman and being proclaimed as courageous. They see it as another example of how they are losing the culture wars. And they are nervously awaiting the Supreme Court decision that could make gay marriage legal in all 50 states.
Republicans – Where are they?
Many top Democrats including President Obama and Hillary Clinton have had positive things to say about Caitlyn Jenner. In contrast, none of the Republicans running for President have had anything to say on the topic. They are in a quandary because part of their base is dead set against gay marriage and transgender issues while many have accepted it. So how do they make a comment without alienating one or the other part of their base?
Rick Santorum made an accepting comment and caught heat for it. Mike Huckabee on the other hand made a typically tactless statement about how he wished he could have said he felt like a woman so he could go in the girl’s locker room for showers. He has rightly taken a lot of heat for that statement although a lot of social conservatives probably silently agreed with his underlying sentiment.
One Republican strategist said to just avoid the topic, wish him or her well and shut up so you don’t offend a large part of the US population one way or the other.
Conservative Talk Shows
Naturally, Rush Limbaugh was all over this. He basically said people shouldn’t be talking about this and encouraging this kind of behavior. Steve Deace, another talk show host said Republicans would lose in 2016 if they didn’t come out against this. The way Limbaugh sees it, acceptance of Jenner is making Republicans and conservatives into outcasts and weirdos.
There was further vitriol when ESPN announced that it would give Jenner is Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS. The conservative blogosphere felt it should have gone to Noah Galloway who is now a distance runner after losing limbs in Iraq.
Many conservative pundits claimed America was going to hell in a handbasket and that our moral compass was out of wack. They feel society has lost its way and needs to revert to proper moral values. They probably claimed the same thing when blacks and whites were allowed to marry.