Another branch of the Media Research Center has gotten in on bashing Taylor Swift for expressing political opinions. CNSNews.com published a June 6 column by Kelsey Bolar of the conservative Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal operation that berated Swift for speaking out in favor of the Equality Act -- the immediately leaped to a speculative talking point that anti-LGBT right-wingers have embraced: the specter of transgender athletes:
“Reports,” she added, “are that the majority of Americans across all parties favor these nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people (liberals at 81%, moderates at 76% and conservatives 55%.)”
It’s difficult to fact-check these statistics because the country singer-turned-pop-sensation didn’t cite her sources. But we do know the results from a more specific poll asking Americans how they feel about transgender individuals participating in sports.
According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey, just 28 percent of American adults support letting biological males participate in girls’ sports—something that the Equality Act could allow to happen.
That’s a stark difference from the numbers Swift cited about the “majority of Americans across all parties” supporting undisclosed “nondiscrimination protections.”
In public policy, the devil is always in the details, and there’s always the risk of causing unintended consequences. It’s easy to say you oppose “discrimination” in the abstract until you realize what those protections will entail.
Bolar didn't mention that Rasmussen polls tend to have a right-leaning bias, making such results dubious at best.
Bolar sneered that "Swift’s misleading form of Instagram activism is nothing new" because "Hollywood elites have been virtue-signaling to us for years" -- as if Bolar herself isn't virtue-signaling from the right by raging against the eternal conservative bogeyman of "Hollywood elites" -- then lectured that her views on equality are incorrect because the rights of conservative Christians would purported be violated:
Taylor, if you support it so much, go on TV and debate it. Answer the tough questions about how the legislation would compel medical professionals to shut down foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers. Talk to the foster kids who would never be placed with parents because their facilities would be forced to close.
Sit down and have a conversation with high school girls like Selina Soule, the 16-year-old track star from Connecticut, who lost the opportunity to compete in front of college recruiters because biological boys identifying as girls took her spot. Confront the uncomfortable fact that if this bill moves forward, middle-class families like hers could be robbed of scholarship opportunities that will go to biological boys instead.
Would that be equality or justice?
But Bolar admitted in the article she linked to that Soule finished in eighth place, meaning that even if the two transgender athletes had not competed in the race, she would have done no better than sixth. Do college recruiters really care about sixth-place athletes?
Bolar concluded by lecturing some more about how Swift can learn from her because, unlike Swift, she's in her 30s and now knows everything:
In my 20s, I learned that Instagram activism is the easy route—you’re not held accountable, and don’t really have to engage. The hard work begin with answering the difficult questions—the ones most other celebrities pretend don’t exist.
Luckily, Swift doesn’t turn 30 until Dec. 13. There’s still time for her to prove she’s not like the rest of them, and add this all-important life lesson to her list.
Hint to Bolar: You're not "answering the difficult questions" if you're staying in your right-wing bubble and automatically dismissing ideas that conflict with your worldview.