(Note to file: self-aggrandizement is much more persuasive in the vertical dimension.)
I had never heard of Reno before, so I could be wrong in saying that he (I think it’s “he,” but it’s hard to tell when a person’s first name is “R.”) appears to be one of those enviable writers whom some people care to read, even though he merely spouts off what he seems to be thinking, with no support or references of any kind. God, please let that be me someday.
Today, Reno seems to be thinking that lonely 30-something women would be happier if they’d just adopt a more Republican point of view. No, I don’t get that either, but that’s not the part that really caught my attention. The part that caught my attention was where, almost as an aside, he told me this:
Nine times out of ten, a “transgendered” individual would be far happier if he or she were simply told, with effective authority—you’re a boy or girl.
Never mind that the pro-LGBT community has been saying for years that accepting the gender identity of each person for what it actually is, and doing so with “effective authority” (the best source for which is what the person already knows about themself), is in each person’s best interest. No, that’s pretty much settled. What I find amazing is R.’s omission of the tenth individual. If nine of ten transgendered people is one or the other, a boy or a girl, what’s the tenth one? Both? Neither? Now, I am aware that gender identity is subtler than any question that can be answered with “Insert tab A into slot B,” but I am guessing that’s not what R. meant. I suspect he meant that all this hand-wringing he sees about sexual orientation is, to his mind, much ado about nothing much, and we should all just rely on “effective authority” (by which I assume he means himself) to tell us just not who, but what, we are.
But I think that’s the trouble with people like R. R. Reno. They don’t give you reasons for their authority. They just give you the benefit of their having that authority. They don’t have citations or references. They just tell you what they think. Well, I did that too, just now, didn’t I? I started this paragraph with, “But I think.” Who am I to expect anyone to care what I think? Well, who is R. R. Reno? I have three degrees and can write as well as R. can (can’t I?). I can think better than R. can, but so what? You shouldn’t care what I think beyond what you think of my reasons for thinking it, assuming I give you any (unlike R., who doesn’t).
At the end of the piece, however, in case you cannot think, R. tries to dumb it down for you:
Put simply, you can’t have limited government without a cultural politics that reinforces traditional modes of authority that can’t be reduced to social programs and government bureaucracies.
Well, that makes it plain, doesn’t it? No? Then let me dumb it down for you: Put simply, R. R. Reno is a jerk.
That’s what I think, anyway.