Recently, I interviewed Curt Schilling at his Massachusetts home for American Sports Network in his first exclusive televised interview since being fired by ESPN. And though some may disagree and while many concur with his position on the North Carolina law, did that justify him being fired from his job as a sports analyst? We now live in a society where if your disposition is liberal leaning; it is acceptable, but if it comes from a place of conservatism, it is vehemently dismissed as bigoted and closed-minded.
The transgender agenda is a case in point. The sports media establishment has rallied behind the message being promoted by transgender icon Caitlyn Jenner. But what has been branded as a campaign for tolerance and acceptance, has in reality been nothing more than a coordinated campaign of bullying, suppressing free speech, and promoting the delusionary fiction that a man who has sired at least four biological children must now be addressed as a woman and allowed to use the female facilities. How are we supposed to take transgender issues seriously when political correctness belies objective truth? No matter what cosmetic or surgical procedures Caitlyn undergoes, it will not change the biological truth. To try to bully people into believing otherwise – addressing Caitlyn using a female pronoun for example - is to assert a political fiction that is manifestly and plainly untrue, and lacks any basis in common sense.
Claiming that someone who is a fully functioning biological male is somehow being singled out for discrimination because he is prohibited from using the ladies room just goes against the grain for many Americans. The issues of whether biological sex determines gender and vice-versa are at best debatable. But the fact is that we already discriminate based on sex in the provision of some public facilities – and virtually no one has a problem with it. The restrictions are based on societal norms regarding privacy, safety and the well-being of children in particular. Does that mean that all or even most so-called ‘transgender’ individuals are pedophiles or sexual predators? Absolutely not. But people should be able to voice their good-faith concerns about this sudden and jarring social development openly, and without being branded as bigots and having their voices suppressed.
Herein lies the essence of the feeling of voicelessness that many people are feeling in America. The feeling among many Americans that one cannot fully express one’s honestly held views in the public sphere (and that objective truths have to be sacrificed at the altar political correctness) ultimately give rise to demagoguery in the political arena. The further we diverge from truth, the less we can rely upon it as a neutral arbiter of political discourse. Many people have a visceral reaction to this dangerous trend, and rightfully so. They plainly know the truth, and yet feel that their efforts to point out the lies are being denied to them.
But it gets even worse. Political correctness is so one-sided that it permits some fictions to become fact, as long as they concur with a liberal political agenda. When they go against the grain however, the liberal media rails against them with evangelical sanctimoniousness. The case of Rachel Dolezal is a relevant counterpoint. Dolezal, who is biologically white, dared say that she considered herself ‘black’ based on her internal self-identification. The media immediately pounced, branding her a liar and a fraud – and refused to accept her claim of a ‘transracial’ identity. This reveals an obvious double-standard. How is Dolezal any less entitled to claim she is black than Jenner is to claim he is a woman?
Curt Schilling is and has been a true American hero. He demonstrated admirable grit and determination as a player on the baseball mound, and continues to make important contributions as a coach, teacher and mentor to youngsters of all backgrounds who aspire to become professional baseball players. But above all, he is a person with a social conscience and a desire to be heard and understood. To deny him his livelihood and take him away from the game he has sacrificed blood, sweat and tears for - just because of his privately-held beliefs and opinions - is truly a travesty of justice. These events provide breeding grounds for resentment that fester and ultimately explode.
It has become the social norm that we no longer tolerate differing views, but attempt to force our perceptions onto others. That is not the mentality that a free society ought to adopt. Tolerance requires at the end of the day the ability to withstand open debate, even if it is uncomfortable. Regardless of one's position on the issues, don’t we all have a right to express our honestly held opinions without fear of official reprisal? We are walking on the unstable ground when the truth becomes a lie, and the lie becomes the truth.
An open society rests squarely on two pillars; the quest for truth, and the freedom to speak without hypocrisy. Without these, we are no longer a free people and our society will inevitably decline.