Emotional intelligence is the key to combatting transgender ideology.
If conservatives are to win on this issue, we must understand how and why progressives are making their arguments.
That is not to say that progressive logic is good or based on traditional morality. It is not.
But the July 12 exchange between Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and University of California, Berkeley law professor Khiara Bridges on pregnant men demonstrates the urgency for conservatives to understand better how the left operates rhetorically and emotionally.
Such awareness and analysis are necessary to persuade those Americans who oppose the ideology’s assault on women’s sports, safety, and identities, but fear cancel culture’s ostracization too much to speak up against falsehoods.
Without emotional intelligence, which Harvard Medical School defines as the capacity for “self-awareness” and “social awareness,” conservatives will continue to talk past those receptive to the truth but are still gaslit by the left’s rhetorical gameplay.
On July 12, Bridges appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Abortion Access and the Law.
During the proceedings, Hawley asked Bridges to clarify her stance that abortion is a women’s issue and concurrent use of the term “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” How can abortion be framed as a women’s issue but then the term “women” be incorrect, Hawley inquired.
“We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that this impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive, Senator Hawley,” Bridges said.
Hawley then asked, “Your view then is that the core of this right then is about what?”
Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges: “I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence.”
Sen. Josh Hawley: “Wow. Are you saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking…” pic.twitter.com/hbGxw6RwZd
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 12, 2022
That was a fair question. Just because two concepts are not mutually exclusive does not mean that they do not require further explanation, or that the rationale for seeing them as compatible is not subject to logical fallacies.
Importantly, Bridges’ response to Hawley’s question exposed her worldview. It revealed the way in which she views and preaches transgender ideology as religious orthodoxy.
“I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence,” Bridges declared.
Hawley at no point denied that people who identify as transgender exist. He refuted the idea, however, that men can get pregnant.
Bridges could see the difference because she was waiting for Hawley to say, ‘men can’t get pregnant.’
She was not trying to persuade. Bridges summoned her accusation in the wake of Hawley’s moral certainty like a secular shaman or priest proclaiming damnation.
The echoes of religious orthodoxy are important to acknowledge because recognizing them is key to understanding the left’s emotional zealotry on the transgender issue.
However, I mean no offense against other religious Americans by comparing immoral progressive talking points to actual religion.
There is a difference.
The difference is that God is real and eternal, and “pregnant man” is an emoji that did not exist before January.
Since any affront to the secular orthodoxy amounts to heresy for the left, Bridges could not fathom the possibility that she might be wrong on whether men can get pregnant.
“Are students allowed to question you or are they also treated like this,” Hawley asked in response Bridges telling him he was transphobic.
Bridges did not answer the question directly.
The liberal media’s subsequent coverage of the exchanged parroted Bridges’ rhetoric. That Hawley is transphobic was the story.
“Professor Schools Sen. Josh Hawley For His Transphobic Questions In Abortion Hearing,” read one Huffington Post headline.
“Hawley invoked transphobia during an abortion rights hearing in an apparent attempt to rile up the GOP base,” Vox wrote.
Progressives evangelizing transgender ideology as the new woke religion is not a new observation. In 2021, Ave Maria University Professor James Patterson argued that woke identity politics were a “religious movement.”
But that is not the end of the analysis conservatives fighting against transgender ideology need to perform.
Operating from the mindset that they are adherents to the new atheistic religion, progressives can only imagine that opposition to their agenda is based on irrational fear and aversion.
Johns Hopkins Medicine defines a phobia as an “uncontrollable, irrational, and lasting fear of a certain object, situation, or activity.”
It is not a coincidence or case of semantics that Bridges and the media harped on the term transphobia. The professor’s inability – or refusal – to confirm that students can express dissenting opinions in class attests to progressives’ inability to understand differences of opinion.
The left lacks the moral and intellectual humility to think it might be wrong.
The accusation of transphobia – or xenophobia on the issue of illegal immigration – is the endpoint of attacks such as the one leveled against Hawley.
In political debates, progressives only register specific terms and phrases that reveal speaker to be on what the left considers the right side of history. Examples include: “Black lives matter” and “trans women are real women.”
In the Bible, the term “shibboleth” refers to an enunciation that reveals the speaker’s true loyalty. In the new woke religion, “men can get pregnant,” like “Black lives matter,” is a shibboleth.
No matter how or why a conservative presents an argument, the progressive will not see it as a legitimate opinion if the shibboleth is not announced.
Conservatives are not listening intently enough to how left rhetorically exposes this rhetorical weakness. If they did, they would notice that the progressive argument creates its own paradox.
According to the left’s logic, if an argument is driven by faith, rationality, or precedence, rather than a leftist shibboleth, it can only be a reactionary expression of fear.
That’s where the paradox comes into play.
The left, which claims to feel and empathize best, is the political side that produces the most simplistic of arguments: ‘you are wrong because I said so.’
The correct observations that feelings are not facts – and that progressives cannot tell the difference between the two – are not enough to persuade a critical mass to the side of eternally tested truths.
Conservatives who are standing up to leftist dogma need to cultivate a greater degree of emotional intelligence because progressive policies agenda are not based on truth – they are based on feelings.
Those on the left shoving transgender ideology and weeks-old pronouns down Americans’ throats are emotional reactionary zealots that possess all the subtlety of a heretic burning at the stake.
We will get nowhere by rhetorically asking how a man becomes pregnant. We are not achieving anything by pointing out when the left presents feelings as facts.
Those Americans in the political middle are torn between truth and logic and the left’s ungodly shibboleths that terrorize ordinary people into going along with fringe ideology for fear of being called bigoted or transphobic.
Conservatives will only win on social issues when we are able to explain simply how the left operates its deception according to one emotional register. That is not something that can be easily communicated to a critical mass at once.
But we only succeed by utilizing a greater degree of emotional intelligence because emotional intelligence gives individuals the insight and vocabulary to explain how and why people act and think the way they do.
Our schools and social institutions are suffering due to this toxic ideology.
Too many children have been sexualized at the altar of the woke transgender religion. We need to elevate our fight against transgender dogma now.