Sometimes, a detached, calm response conveys more than intended.
In the final presidential debate between Vice President George H.W. Bush and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988, moderator Bernard Shaw of CNN began by asking this question:
"Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?"
Mr. Dukakis coolly answered, "No, I don't, Bernard, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life. I don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent and I think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime."
Then he recited some crime statistics.
The debate, and the election, were pretty much over. Americans did not want a president unable to muster even a little outrage at the thought of his own wife being ravaged and killed.
Today, we’re witnessing a similar moment for our cultural elites. They’re being cool and calm in the face of something that cries out for moral outrage.
Birthed in San Francisco in 2015, Drag Queen Story Hour has its own website and is now found all over the nation. It is perhaps the most potent image for what’s gone wrong in America.
The far-Left American Library Association last year sponsored a workshop for librarians on how to stage them. This is called aiding and abetting.
Not long ago, a sexually confused man in women’s clothing peddling homosexual propaganda to small children would have prompted calls to the police.
Instead, it’s cool to be neutral or even applaud. You’ve heard of virtue signaling? This is it in spades. The question is, where’s the outrage?
The only real pushback has come from MassResistance, the Bay State-based group that has opened chapters in other states and leads protests against this abomination.
Leaving no doubt about their agenda, the Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) website explains that this is “just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”
You don’t want to bring your 4-year-old to this? What are you, a hater?
And what about the smiling moms and dads at these events? I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there are parents willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of political correctness. America has racked up 60 million abortions since 1973.
Kaiser Permanente has created a TV ad titled, “To Them We Say.” The ad features various people who are called “too fat,” “too skinny,” “too old,” etc. Then it shows a man in drag reading and dancing for children, who are laughing with delight.
The voiceover proclaims, “...to them we say ‘too bad.’ At Kaiser Permanente, we believe everybody deserves the right to thrive.” Who knew that corrupting children sexually was a way to thrive?
Getting back to the theme of underreaction, a major newspaper carried an opinion piece last Thursday about a Drag Queen Story Hour. It was accompanied online by a photo of “Lil Miss Hot Mess,” who appeared at a library in New York.
The author has done so much fine work for years that I’m loathe to pick on her. Maybe she thought the facts were shocking enough. But the tone of the piece epitomizes the general reluctance to openly express moral outrage.
Watching the children, she observed: “I couldn’t tell what was going on inside those small heads, of course. Perhaps they were shy, or bored. Perhaps some of them were too young. Or perhaps Venus and her 6-inch eyelashes terrified them. Heavy stage makeup can look flattering under stage lights, but in ordinary indoor daylight the effect can be more Medusa than goddess of love. …
“Still, drag is a time-honored form of comic entertainment, from the Greek stage to RuPaul. Perhaps if the drag queens toned it down and positioned themselves less as ‘queer role models’ and more as comedians in the Milton Berle tradition, they’d be less off-putting.”
Really? We’re talking here about preschoolers and kindergarteners. Apart from the effect on their innocent souls, some of these kids may go on to develop gender dysphoria and be “treated” with puberty-blocking drugs. Some may even, tragically, have healthy body parts surgically removed and regret it when it’s too late.
The whole thing is insane, immoral and should elicit more than Dukakis-style neutrality and societal co-dependence. We’re supposed to be kind to delusional people and get them help, not turn them into role models for young children.
I’ll end with a quote from Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Policy Center, who pulls no punches.
“According to ‘progressives,’ homosexuality—for which there is zero evidence of biochemical causation—is immutable, but sex—which is proven to be genetically determined—is mutable and can be changed via a new wardrobe and a few (or many) surgical snips.”
And, she adds, they demand “compulsory participation of the entire culture in an elaborate performance piece … a toxic retelling of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes.’”
Only this time, the king is wearing a wig, heavy makeup and a sequined gown.
Robert Knight is a Townhall contributor.