Should schools respect the feelings of those who chose to be transgenders? This is the key to the questions that Senator Rand Paul throws in the direction of the nominee for Secretary of Education. In the political climate of today’s radical progressive movement, nothing ever seems to supersede the feelings of a perceived persecuted minority. But there are many holes in this line of thinking.
The main issue that is problematic with allowing anybody’s feelings to dictate public policy is that feelings are endless and very often totally disconnected from reality. Ben Shapiro became a famous commentator for many reasons. But one of the key exchanges came when he said to a person who claimed to be a transgender that the “facts don’t care about your feelings.” This is a brutal truth. Progressives and non-progressives don’t like to be told that their feelings do not matter. But Shapiro is right. Some debates do indeed have two sides. And some debates contain a right side and a wrong side. Nobody today would be allowed into a school to teach science if they thought that the world was square. But in today’s environment, it is considered reasonable and acceptable to allow in someone who claims to be transgender into whatever bathroom they want. What about the feelings of the overwhelming majority of non-transgenders who are appalled by this?
In truth, these are tough issues, and the feelings of people do indeed matter. The only reasonable solution on these very thorny and emotional issues is to be as democratic as possible and allow open dialogue about the facts. Heavy-handedness on both sides will be counterproductive, but feelings should not rule the day – facts should.