Politics & Media
Feb 21, 2024, 06:27AM

Twist and Shout

Martina Navratilova is an admirable outspoken celebrity, but the DNC remains as clueless as ever.

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People have wide-ranging political views and may vote for those opposed to what they stand for. Some contend that’s hypocritical, but not always. However, is one consistently votes against something they claim to support, the issue isn’t a top priority. Former women’s tennis star Martina Navratilova is a prime example, but she deserves credit for honesty and consistency. She’s a liberal feminist from the Czech Republic. In recent years, she’s received attention for her opposition to male transgender athletes competing in women’s sports. She’s against males in women’s spaces; critics of this mindset call their foes TERFs, or trans-exclusionary radical feminists.

When Navratilova sees examples of transgender athletes excelling in women’s sports online, she often draws attention it. Last week, she quote-tweeted a Twitter post featuring my article about a male track athlete in New Hampshire who won the women’s state championship in the high jump. Over 27,000 people liked her tweet opposing what happened.

It’s fine that Navratilova brings attention to this issue, but she also votes for people who support it. She donates money to Democratic politicians and supports Joe Biden. Someone pointed this discrepancy out to Navratilova on Twitter, and she said, “We can persuade democrats on this issue. Leaving NATO seems to be a bigger issue, so try again.”

At least she admits that, for her, having a politician in power who strongly supports NATO is more important than the occasional transgender athlete winning a state title. It’s hard to imagine Democrats caving on this issue even though it’s a political loser. One can understand her perspective, even if they disagree, like I do on NATO; Donald Trump’s right to criticize the free-riding countries in NATO, even if his rhetoric is often careless and off-putting. Countries should honor their commitments and spend at least two percent of their GDP on defense if they want protection from the most powerful military. It’s a worthwhile investment.

One can respect Navratilova’s approach, but it becomes harder and harder to understand the approach of another Democratic entity with a socially conservative aim: Democrats for Life of America. The pro-life Democratic organization made sense at one time. Pro-life Democrats existed in this country—and even many pro-choice Democrats claimed they disliked abortion and wanted to reduce the number. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all said they supported abortion reduction, and Hillary Clinton said in 2005 that she hoped, one day, abortions would never happen, despite supporting its legality.

The Democratic Party has a different abortion stance now. Biden, who personally opposes abortion, has no abortion reduction agenda. Democrats in Congress voted against a bill to give college students more information about their rights while pregnant because it supposedly stigmatized abortion. Democrats for Life of America deserves credit for supporting abortion reduction policies, even though a vote for Democrats now is a vote for a party that wants to pursue policies that will increase the number of abortions, like repealing the Hyde Amendment, codifying Roe v. Wade, putting crisis pregnancy centers out of business, creating anti-free speech buffer zones around abortion clinics, or trying to scrap Natural Family Planning coverage from the Affordable Care Act. Where are the over-the-counter oral contraceptives, insurance coverage for vasectomies, increased child tax credit, and expanded family leave (even unpaid)?

One can also make this case for right-wingers who support various economic policies backed by Democrats, like a higher minimum wage, paid family leave, tuition-free community college, universal healthcare, etc.—but maybe they prefer lower taxes, tougher crime and immigration policies while opposing affirmative action and wokeism in schools. Referenda help people vote for their interests, even when the politicians they support oppose them, though the pro-life side perpetually loses these votes.


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