Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson set fire to his future political ambitions when he vetoed a bill to protect children against experimental transgender medical procedures. Since that time he has been playing defense, attempting to defend his rejection of the will of the people by availing himself of the favor of the left-wing media.
On Sunday, Hutchinson continued the uncontrolled burn of his career by appearing on NBC News’ Meet the Press to torch conservatives for daring to use the law to protect themselves in the battle for American culture.
In response to host Chuck Todd’s questioning about why he vetoed the hugely popular bill, the Arkansas governor said that while he did sign two other bills aimed at the transgender dilemma, he saw too many problems with the third bill to let it pass into law.
“I signed two that I thought made sense. One was girls in sports, trying to protect women’s sports. The other one was supporting medical conscience, that doctors can claim a conscience reason if they want to deny a particular procedure, but they have to do emergency care. And so those are two bills that I signed.
The third one was not well done. It did not protect the youth. It interfered with the government, getting into the lives of transgender youth, as well as their parents and the decisions that doctors make. And to me, it’s about compassion. But it is also about making, having the laws make sense in a limited role of government.
And that’s the case that I made in the Washington Post column that as Republicans, we need to get back and ask the question: ‘Is this the appropriate role of government? Are we restraining ourselves?'”
Is it the appropriate role of government to protect children against questionable and unnecessary medical procedures that could maim them for life before they are mature enough to make that type of decision for themselves?
Yes, Mr. Governor. It most certainly is. We have laws against child abuse, human trafficking, and other forms of child exploitation. We even have laws against preventing your child from getting an education. Why on earth would we consider those laws an appropriate role of government but not laws that address a brand new phenomenon that could have dire consequences for the natural development of healthy children? “Limited government” does not mean leaving vulnerable children to fend for themselves. This seems like grasping at straws.
Todd went on to ask why Republicans are focusing on things like banning the “1619 Project” and pushing back on transgender laws, and questioned if these cultural issues were genuinely “bubbling up” in the concerns of Arkansas residents. Hutchinson’s response was a rehash of the singular “limited government” talking point with which he has been defending himself since rejecting the bill.
“Well it’s not, but the fear is about the future, and the fear is also that we’re losing our culture. And the case I make, though, is that just because you want to keep things as they have been, perhaps, you don’t need to use the instrument of the law.
You don’t need to use the state to accomplish that purpose in every instance. There is the church, there is society, there is your community. And that’s where the culture is, is impacted or reflected in the future.
And so, again, there’s too much. As a Republican Party, it’s the principles of limited government, and it’s pushing freedom and choice in the free market. That’s what the party is about. We’ve got to apply those principles, even when it comes to the social war.”
TODAY: Gov. Asa Hutchinson tells Chuck Todd that Republicans looking to fight over cultural issues should use their churches and communities.@AsaHutchinson: "You don't need to use the instrument of the law" to change society. pic.twitter.com/NZAE7NzC6P
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) April 11, 2021
So let’s recap: it’s perfectly fine for the progressive left to use the law to change culture. Despite overwhelming general public rejection of gay marriage, it was the law and not “culture,” or the will of the people, that legalized it. Despite most voters rejecting abortion as a constitutional right when the issue is presented to them, it is the law that has made it a constant cultural battle. Liberal and Democrats have been using the law to slowly shift American culture for 75 years. The attitude of people like Hutchinson has now left us in a place where we are actually having conversations about whether or not a boy should be allowed to compete in girls sports, which have long been protected by a law – Title IX.
Is Hutchinson suggesting that it’s okay for some Americans to use the law to influence culture but not others? In California, despite massive objections from parents, a pro-transgender and extremely explicit sex ed curriculum has been forced upon our children — not by culture but by law. If parents who want their children to learn masturbation techniques in elementary school are allowed to use the law to force that, why are parents who don’t want that not allowed to use the law to repel it?
The law covers us all, Mr. Governor. It is meant to protect us. It is absolutely tied to culture. The two are inseparable. In fact, it is the very foundation of our constitutional republic. Perhaps Hutchinson needs a refresher course in our nation’s history.
As Founding Father John Adams famously said:
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
Divorcing cultural morality from the law is a recipe for disaster; and disaster, at this moment thy name is “Asa Hutchinson’s political career.”