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Trans Is The New Abortion?

As we note above, Donald Trump has reason to be worried about his political fortunes. Fundraising is down, interest in other Republican candidates is up, and he could end up losing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in embarrassing fashion.

Trump may be a former president, but before that he was a former reality TV star. And so he knows full well that when ratings are down, you have to come up with new plotlines and new gimmicks to win the viewers back. As regards his 2024 campaign, a lot of his 2016 talking points are old hat. Depending on which Republican you talk to, the wall is either complete already or will never be built; the swamp has been drained or it's too swampy to ever drain; China has been tamed or it can never be tamed. In other words, it's time for some new plotlines.

And so, it is unsurprising that Trump is trying out something new right now—a militant anti-trans posture. Yesterday, he posted a video to his boutique social media site in which he says that, if reelected, he will insist that Congress pass a nationwide ban on gender-affirming medical procedures, one that would punish any doctor or hospital who provided such services. We have no interest in driving traffic to his scammy site, or to his hateful content, so we're not going to link to the video, but if you want to read about it you can do so here.

Trump's instincts about these things are pretty good, and it's certainly the case that many of the voters he's after (old people and evangelicals) are very skeeved out by trans people. So maybe this will give him some attention and some momentum. That said, he's hardly the first Republican to try to leverage transphobia. Further, we suspect that the problems with his candidacy are great enough that one or two pithy talking points aren't going to fix them.

If going all-in on anti-trans doesn't move the needle at all, then what? He'll search for another new plotline, of course. And then another and another. The scary thing is that the crazies that he has to out-crazy in 2023/24 are way, way crazier than the crazies he had to out-crazy in 2015/16. So, we shudder to think of what a guy who has already hinted at tearing up the Constitution will come up with. (Z)

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