I just went for a stroll down Main Street here in our little blue-collar New Hampshire town, and noticed the telephone polls festooned with Pride flags. This was odd enough, given that our town had never observed Pride Month (known as June on the Gregorian calendar) before. What was really shocking, though, is that the town is flying the plain old rainbow flags, not the new “Progress Pride” flags. Ours don’t have the new chevron honoring America’s two most hallowed minorities: trans people (white, pink and blue) and people of color (brown and black).
Activists claim that the chevron specifically represents trans people of color. Maybe that’s true. What’s infinitely more likely, though, is that gays and lesbians have been passé since Obergefell v. Hodges was decided in 2015. Most of the left’s talking points now revolve almost exclusively around blacks and transsexuals. It’s an attempt to represent the whole progressivist movement in a single banner. That’s what “intersectionality” means. Black is queer, and queer is black.
Anyway, back to Main Street. The town’s choice not to fly the Progress Pride flag seems a little suspicious to me. I mean, the rainbow flag is easy. These days, it takes as much moral courage to support gay marriage as it does to oppose puppy mills. I wonder: is City Hall is simply resisting Progressive Pride’s more radical imagery? Aren’t they implicitly opposing the Black Lives Matter movement? Aren’t they basically signaling their support for Glenn Youngkin’s persecution of trans students? Couldn’t it be argued that anyone flying an old rainbow flag in 2022 is dog-whistling to the far-right?
As all of these questions buzzed around my head, I had an idea. The old rainbow flag has essentially become a reactionary symbol. What if the Republican Party claimed it as its own?
After all, Republican leaders like Donald Trump and Matt Schlapp are falling over themselves to secure the gay vote. Nobody in the conservative movement cares enough about social issues to actually oppose them. If you think any Trump supporters are going to break with their hero because he’s done more to drive the GOP leftward than any politician since Nelson Rockefeller, you haven’t been paying attention for the last six years.
It would highlight Republicans’ perfect willingness to embrace any leftist fad… so long as they wait until it’s been out of fashion for about ten years. As Mark Twain once said, “Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.” We’ve worked tirelessly to coopt Dr. King against BLM. Pretty soon, Republicans will give Harvey Milk the same treatment. I’m sure of that. Hey, if you asked Milk, “What is a woman?” I bet he could tell you.
But why stop there? Republicans could argue that the radical trans movement is actually homophobic. Hey, if it’s transphobic to make any distinction between cis men and trans men, then you’re basically forcing gay men (i.e., persons with external erogenous erectile tissue who are attracted to other persons with EEET) to have sex with persons with internal erogenous erectile tissue. Perish the thought!
Really, this is about individual liberty! Self-determination! The First Amendment! Etc.
I honestly think this is a winning platform. At least, it’s what the GOP would consider a winning platform. It’s the kind of argument that would get you a forum at CPAC, a spot on Hannity, a tour with Charlie Kirk and three all-inclusive nights at Mar-a-Lago. I’d make hundreds of thousands of dollars from op-eds, book deals and speaking gigs.
Meanwhile, conservatives would go on getting horsewhipped by the left. But then the trans fad would go out of fashion with the left and come into fashion with the right. Then the whole cycle would start over again. I’d be rich! Wealthy! Comfortably well-off!
As I was writing this, my wife showed me a press release by the New Hampshire Federation of College Republicans. They are excommunicating their comrades at Dartmouth for (among other things) opposing the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. The NHFCR says the Dartmouth Republicans’ “homophobic views in regard to marriage are incorrect. The belief that same-sex marriage has damaged this country is wrong, and we believe in the ability of all men and women to choose the life that they wish to pursue.”
Dartmouth is fighting back, and I salute them. But the NHFCR is the party’s future.
According to the US Census, gay couples now earn over 10 percent more than their straight peers. Did you really think our leaders care that much about family values? Not a chance. They’re still politicians, after all. So why don’t they just come out and let their freak flag fly? (Sans chevron, of course.)