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Outsiders vs. Insiders: When did it become cool to embrace the abnormal in American culture?

Travel back in your mind to a time not so long ago when the notion of two women or two men marrying each other was considered a legal impossibility in practicality if not a historically barred cultural taboo in practice.

Around the mid 90’s someone introduced the concept of “civil unions” and domestic partnerships, pushed by a segment of the civil rights “movement” that argued it was immoral to deny two willing adult individuals of the Caitlyn Bruce Jennersame sex the same legal contractual rights that married heterosexual couples enjoyed.

Keep in mind that all along there was any number of “religious” organizations more than willing to offer “commitment ceremonies” where homosexual couples could pledge their allegiance and fidelity to each other before their chosen onlookers, effectively carrying the “moral” force of marriage in their friends and families’ eyes yet still lacking the full say-so of government authorization.

These leftist cultural movers reasoned in part that the AIDS epidemic in the homosexual “community” mandated some sort of state approval for gay and lesbian relationships, as if two names on a marriage certificate with an official seal would encourage otherwise promiscuous individuals to refrain from risky behaviors.

As a result of this successful initial push, shortly after came efforts in a few states to grant homosexual couples full legal marriage rights. Many other states then moved to pass laws or constitutional amendments decreeing that they’d only recognize those unions between one man and one woman. Congress also weighed-in at the federal level by enacting the Defense of Marriage Act -- and Bill Clinton signed it.

It was all considered so “normal” for those supporting traditional marriage back then. I had a friend from law school suggest that once the issue became legal in some states that eventually all would have to recognize same-sex unions due to the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause. It turns out he was right.

Now think back to a mere few years ago when 1976 Olympic Decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner was rumored to be running around in women’s clothes, high heel shoes and wearing women’s makeup, pretending to be a woman for all to see. It was scandalous. Bruce separated from fellow reality TV star wife Kris (Kardashian) Jenner and she went out of her way to deny the whispers in the tabloids that her husband was a homosexual – or even more shocking, a “transgender”.

What, cross-dressing was considered odd or not culturally acceptable, even to a woman who chose to expose her entire sordid life to the world on TV?

Fast-forward to recent times when political correctness has completely taken over the entire western world. Jenner, self-renamed “Caitlyn”, has his/her own cable show where he/she acts as a woman. He/she receives standing ovations at ESPN awards ceremonies. He/she supported Donald Trump in last year’s election because of the candidate’s economic platform. The media treats him/her like everything he/she does is perfectly “normal.”

Whereas Jenner’s own reality TV show ex-wife initially denied his gender confusion because it was embarrassing, now the whole family’s okay with it; my how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.

Not necessarily solely because of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender “rights” issue now dominates the news. Last week President Trump tweeted out a new inherently practical policy barring such individuals from serving in any capacity in the military. Democrats and the forces of PC – including some members of the GOP – condemned Trump for the action. They argued it was bigoted and unfair.

But “out there” in the public, there’s a lot of support for what Trump did. Bethany Mandel wrote at National Review, “The transgender lobby is out to drastically alter our society and will lob accusations of bigotry at anyone who shows even the slightest hesitation to endorse their cause. The same life-destroying tactics the Left used against those who didn’t want to participate in gay weddings will next be used on those who won’t pretend that a man can become a woman on nothing more than a whim.

“Donald Trump knows this, and knows that Americans are reaching the limit of what they’re willing to accept. The hysteria regarding his tweets only solidifies his support, despite hopes from the Left that accusations of bigotry will erode it.”

In her article Mandel suggests one of Trump’s purposes for the change-in-policy tweets may have been to distract media attention away from the Republicans Senate’s failure to get anything accomplished on Obamacare repeal. Fair enough. But I also think there’s a deeper motivation at hand.

President Trump certainly recognizes that in order to Make America Great Again he must restore some semblance of sanity to the culture. Though Trump himself has quite a collection of non-traditional cultural actions in his background he still respects those who adhere to the “normal” in American life. Though Trump (or his genre) may not have been the subject of any of Norman Rockwell’s famous paintings he clearly treasures the notion of all things American.

To Trump, it includes the “New York values” that became such a big part of the Republican primary campaign discussion at the end of 2015.

And as is abundantly clear, the president also has a number of cultural conservatives consulting with him on policy, most notably longtime social conservative pro-lifer Kellyanne Conway and Vice President Mike Pence, a full-spectrum conservative who has never tried to hide his traditional values. Pence drew the wrath of the liberal change-everything crowd a few months ago when he said in an interview that he wouldn’t have dinner alone with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

Meanwhile the left rages on with their campaign to make the abnormal “normal” – or at least to shame average Americans into remaining silent in the latest clashes over values and norms. Again, it’s only been a few short years since Bruce “Call me Cait” Jenner revealed his apparent long-held gender disorder.

It’s curious how whenever Jenner’s Olympic feats are discussed in the media that the politically correct crowd has a difficult time identifying him/her as a he or a she. What if gymnast Nadia Comaneci (also made famous by the ’76 Montreal Games) decided she was really a man and the feminist crowd had to start acknowledging that a man won the women’s gymnastics competition that year?

Similarly, what happens when transgendered “women” start infringing on women’s professional sports like the WNBA or world cup soccer?

The “weirdness” will then turn to outrage. The politically correct elite may pretend the “normal” world is willing to accept that a microscopically small percentage of the population can play dress-up and “let’s pretend” all at the same time, but somewhere along the line reality has to set in; and when it does, watch out.

As for the wisdom of Trump’s tweet and the military, there’s little doubt he was correct. The Editors of the Washington Examiner wrote, “[T]he military services should be the last place where such social changes are imposed, not the first. As Obama subordinated the military's mission to unrelated considerations, at the risk of complicating that mission, the reversal of his decision is the right course.

“As tempting as it is to force controversial ideology on large groups of people who are obligated by law to obey, it is a cynical urge on the part of a radical commander in chief, and it should be resisted when military effectiveness is at stake.”

Yes, keeping the military free of politically correct social experimentation is a no-brainer. The same logic could be applied to all federal, state and local government departments. I think most people would agree government employees should be required to present themselves in a manner least likely to cause surprise or shock with the people they actually serve.

“Don’t ask/don’t tell” works in this regard. People don’t wear signs that say “I’m a heterosexual” or “I’m a homosexual but I can still approve your building permit or grant money.”

But if you’re a man wearing a dress and makeup your normal-minded “customer” is likely to be a little put-off. No one much cares what government employees do in their home lives as long as it doesn’t impact their job performance or harm others.

There’s no place for personal expression in government service and the people aren’t “bigots” or “intolerant” for wanting public servants to observe reasonable standards of dress and decorum. It’s common sense; and culture is culture in spite of the left’s best efforts to change it.

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