Why Do We Love Trans Activists, But Not Kids With Down Syndrome?
I’d like to make a science fiction series. In the style of The Man in the High Castle (where the Nazis won World War II) it would depict an alternative present, where a few historical changes produced a world quite different from ours.
In this world, people suffering from gender dysphoria (i.e. “transgenders”) were seen as a curse and a burden. Society looked at them and the medical costs they imposed, the unsettling questions they raised, and decided, “Nah, you’re just not worth it.” We all made our excuses, pointing to their high depression and suicide rates — regardless of how they’re treated. We reasoned that they didn’t face much prospect for happiness, and likely would cost us all far more than they’d contribute. After all, as I’ve pointed out here before about our own real world:
So in this imaginary scenario, we set up procedures by which families burdened by their relative’s transgenderism could have them humanely euthanized — for the good of all involved. These medical and legal arrangements proved highly effective, eliminating (by some estimates) 80 percent of transgender patients in the country. The remaining 20 percent belonged to families with strong ethical or religious reasons for refusing euthanasia.
Among this eccentric remnant, the surviving gender dysophorics and their families reported a surprising result, however: They claimed that virtually all the patients and their relations were glad they were still alive. They were happier being alive than dead.
But most of us paid no attention, silently thinking, “Better you than me,” or “It takes all kinds, I guess,” and went on with our lives.
Maybe the Nazis Actually Won the War
Would you like to live in such a world? However frustrating, politically obnoxious, and creepy I find the whole transgender phenomenon, I wouldn’t. I’d feel that we were dehumanizing not just the euthanasia victims but our entire society by callously dismissing one subset of human beings as “life unworthy of life.”
Whew, a good thing we don’t have a society like that, isn’t it?
Except that we do. Look at my counterfactual above, and for “transgender” plug in instead “Down syndrome.” According to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee:
Medical advancements have helped increase life expectancy of people with Down syndrome from about 10 years in the 1960s to over 50 years in 2020 according to JEC Republican estimates, but at the same time have led to expanded screening during pregnancy that opens the door to a rise in selective abortions.
JEC Republicans estimate that absent selective abortion, 80 percent more babies with Down syndrome would be born each year and that the Down syndrome population would be 217,000 people greater in 50 years, an increase which is greater than the current Down syndrome population.
The Final Solution to the Down Syndrome Problem
Entire countries in Europe (such as Iceland) are boasting that they have “cured” Down syndrome by detecting and aborting every unborn patient diagnosed. Well, that’s one way to do it, isn’t it? Has a very Nordic efficiency about it, though one I associate more with the Nazi SS than Icelandic fishermen.
Why does our society embrace transgender people as victims and heroes, as brave pioneers and fascinating transgressors — while ruthlessly hunting down and wiping out kids with Down syndrome?
It’s not as if people with Down syndrome made the same kind of demands as trans activists do. You don’t see Down syndrome advocates demanding that we abolish IQ tests, dismantle every barrier to Down syndrome acceptance, until people with Down syndrome were piloting airplanes and serving as cabinet members — and labeling those who opposed this as bigots and haters. Keeping a person with Down syndrome person healthy is nowhere near as expensive as changing a person’s sex, and fooling his body for decades with artificial hormones.
Down syndrome advocates don’t insist we use special pronouns, reject fundamental truths of biology, or otherwise reengineer our education and society to accommodate them. They’d just like us to stop hunting them down and wiping them out.
Why Don’t We Love Them?
At this point I’d like to share the video that inspired me to write about this, posted by writer Ben Zeisloft:
This video is incredible.
People with Down syndrome truly do elevate our society. They teach us much about joy and loving the simple things in life.
They are image-bearers of God and should be seen by our culture as blessings, not burdens.pic.twitter.com/YoiDN8RahW
— Ben Zeisloft (@BenZeisloft) January 22, 2024
The West has chosen to kill off people like this. Instead it embraces people like this:
As a Christian who deplores the euthanasia or persecution of anyone whatsoever, I’d like to ask why we scapegoat and destroy kids with Down syndrome, but cosset and indulge transgender fantasies.
That Drag Queen Stands in for Your Favorite Sins
And I think I know the reason. It’s a dark one. While the average citizen might be equally unsettled by either a person with Down syndrome or one with gender dysphoria, there’s one critical difference between them. The former is simply a person who has been born with some physical and intellectual challenges. There’s nothing sexy or kinky about him, he’s simply somewhat disabled. Seems like he might be a “burden” to his parents, or the taxpayer. (Though in fact he’s a genuine bargain compared to the impact of a transgender person on insurance rates.)
The transgender person, however, is a sexual transgressor. He’s doing outrageous and kinky things that violate the Natural Law (whatever his culpability). If we condemn or reject his sins, what would that mean for us? For our own sins, the ugly stuff in our past or our Internet history? Libertines argue that rejecting transgender claims is only the “thin end of the wedge,” which will quickly be followed by bans on abortion, pornography, and other Natural Law violations.
And a lot of people are attached to those, much more than they are to innocent, harmless people who just got born with an extra chromosome.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. His upcoming book is No Second Amendment, No First.