The ever rational and pragmatic Senator from California, Kamala Harris, took action recently where she was expressing concern over the upcoming census. (“Upcoming” meaning 2020, mind you.) (“Expressing” in the form of “demanding answers”, mind you.)
Of particular focus to the Democrats – the group frequently lecturing that government needs to stop obsessing over genitals, and has no business being in our bedrooms — was that the new census may not be including questions about what we do with our genitals in our bedrooms.
Harris wrote a joint letter to the U.S. Census Bureau, written with fellow Senator,Tom Carper (D-Del). In it Harris wanted to get answers regarding specific data entry questions which were not featured in the report sent to Congress that outlined the templates to be used for the next census. She seems both agitatedly concerned, and equally confused on the content not included in the report.
- As you have stated in the past, complete Census data is critical ‘to meet a wide range of federal needs—from providing apportionment and redistricting data as part of our representative democracy, to helping distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds annually. This is why it is critical that the Census Bureau’s process to include subjects to fairly and accurately count all Americans is impartial and free from undue interference.
What Harris and Carper allude to here is the “omission” of questionnaire items that pertain to yet another social sub-group acronym; sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). It is of little mystery why items of this sort would be desired. As she lays out above, this type of demographic detail is desired for purely political machinations. She cagily mentions this data is needed in order to “distribute” federal funds, however when you include an ever widening vista of beneficiary groups what you are actually talking about is “increasing” federal payouts.
With the announcement of census outlines eliding SOGI content all manner of hyperbolic reaction rose up. Meghan Maury, of the National LGBTQ Task Force, declared “The Trump Administration has taken yet another step to deny LGBTQ people freedom, justice, and equity.” Not to be out-outraged, Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD stated the Trump administration was trying to “erase the LGBTQ community.”
Allow me to offer some tempering words here: simmer down. The Census Bureau originally gave a list of potential questions, in an appendix of the report, that could be included in future census forms. What has the advocacy groups in a dander is something that has not previously taken place. Thus, how is the freedom and equality of anyone threatened, exactly? Questions involving orientation and gender identity have never been included in the census, so “erasing” cannot be accused, desirous as that may be for your cause.
Further, blaming Trump — the most sympathetic GOP politician to LGBTQ issues — for this “oversight” is not just misguided, it is wrong. The current director of the U.S. Census Bureau is John H. Thompson, an appointee of President Obama in 2013. The Census forms he is offering have already been drawn up prior to Trump’s term, and it is too late to rewrite for release in time for the 2020 tabulation.
What is baffling to a conservative mind, such as that with which I am saddled, is why anyone would want to proffer any more of their private information to the government? The less the monolithic bureaucracy knows of me the better, is my feeling. But let us look at who it is here requesting more of our intimate personal information: Democrats.
When it comes to social matters – say, involving marriage – we are commanded to stay out of their bedrooms. Federal funding of abortion often delivers the command to “leave our uterus alone!” — even while commanding we underwrite their uterine activities, (make sense of that dichotomy.) Let us not forget the new bathroom ordinances that have become the Democrats’ pet project. Conservative resistance employing common sense is met with, “Why are you so obsessed with genitalia?!”, asked by the group responsible for making it a national issue, before they mailed tampons to the White House and donned their vagina costumes for the latest political rally.
Now the same people who find it an affrontery to ask questions regarding funding of their intimate lives is demanding the government have more access to your bedroom, your bed, and the contents of your foundation garments. This becomes that rare instance when it would make sense to heed the words of the Democrats — or more accurately, throw their own words back in their faces.