One of the awkward things about bathrooms in China is that there is less privacy than we Westerners tend to like. Floor to ceiling windows may be next to urinals. There may not be a door where we would normally have one. In some areas, cleaning ladies may roam in and out of men’s bathrooms. But there does seem to be the widespread, common-sense recognition that men do not wander into women’s bathrooms. There is a basic understanding that male pedophiles and perverts in women’s bathrooms or locker rooms would put women and girls at risk. That level of sanity does not seem to exist among certain extremists in American politics. All those folks who say they want to “keep the government out of our bedrooms” seem quite happy to have the troops march into our bathrooms and compel us to accept new norms.
I woke to the news that the head of the ever-swelling Executive Branch of the US government issued a decree, wielding usurped power that is nowhere present in the US Constitution, telling America’s schools (in effect) that they must not “discriminate” against certain males who want to walk into girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms (provided they claim that they identify with the gender they wish to target–there is no way to easily verify the sincerity of someone’s claim). The child safety issue has properly been raised over the related controversy in North Carolina and needs to be front and center here as well. What kind of perverse insanity is this? Various extremist groups have already applauded this move. Millions of Americans will now be browbeaten into silently accepting this setback in privacy, morality, and child safety as “progressive,” with resistance being decried as bigotry, intolerance, or even racism.
Whether you are concerned or not about the risk of pedophiles or perverts in bathrooms and locker rooms, to me a bigger question is whether we are concerned about the ability of one man to issue decrees that overturn state or federal laws? The US Constitution is based on limitation of powers. Power is supposed to be retained by the States or the people unless expressly given to the federal government, and then those federal powers are limited, specific, and divided. It is Congress, not the President, that passes laws. To forget this, to give the Party a pass, is to enable a future, more outrageous decree. What’s next? A decree that since his year’s presidential campaign has become too divisive, that we now need to bring the nation together by postponing elections indefinitely and making our leader Commander for Life? This has happened in pother nations. What makes you think it cannot happen here? If a Presidential decree can override Parenting 101 (potty training basics), why not everything else?
Bathroom policies are just the kind of thing that should be left in the hands of local people, not the federal government. But if it is a federal issue, then it’s Congress who should act. Does anybody remember this anymore? Are we that far gone?
Those parents who have been homeschooling their kids over concerns about the lack of moral sanity in the schools are looking a lot smarter now. (For most of them, their kids have been looking a lot smarter already, based on what I’ve seen of their academic performance.) Recent concerns about the safety of children in an “anything goes” environment are looking a lot less paranoid. I salute you homeschoolers for your prescient concern for your children and mourn the failure of public education. I mourn its failure in America to provide a safe place for children to actually learn, without having to suffer at the whims of completely out-of-touch politicians who seem to value progressive theory and political paybacks more than child safety.