Lost in Trans-lation

The satirical Babylon Bee recently selected Rachel Levine as its “first annual Man of the Year.” “Levine,” the Bee explained, “is the U.S. assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he proudly serves as the first man in that position to dress like a western cultural stereotype of a woman. He is also an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. What a boss!”

Since announcing the award, the Bee added, “we’ve been told that Levine actually identifies as a woman. We have still chosen to give the award as his self-identification has no bearing on the truth. Congratulations, Rachel Levine.” Bruce Bawer, author of the 1993 book, A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society, recently offered a similar analysis in “The Great Consonant Shift.”

In 1998, when Bawer left New York for Europe, it had never occurred to him “to see gay and transgender people as part of the same community or movement or sharing a cause.” Bawer had spoken to hundreds of gay people about their lives and politics “but had never seen or heard the acronym LGBT.” As Bawer explained in “Gender Narcissism,” this was a problem. 

“Being gay never had anything to do with being trans. Nothing. Nada.” Being gay, he explained, is “about whom you’re attracted to and fall in love with. To be trans—to think you were born into the wrong sex—is to suffer from gender dysphoria, which, until the current craze, was very rare.” Gender narcissism is now a craze, but according to Bawer, it’s not just about the narcissists “their own selves,” so to speak. 

The transgender movement, “asks the general public to acknowledge an objective impossibility—namely the notion that subjective feelings alone can determine gender.” Referring to a person by former name or pronouns is “deadnaming” a grave offense targeted by online censors. Twitter, for example, suspended the Babylon Bee for Levine’s “Man of the Year” award and suspended Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) for referring to Levine as a man

“What else in all of human society works this way, or ever has?” wonders Bawer. In all of recorded history, when has “such a radical alteration in civilization’s basic rules of the road taken effect so quickly, as a result of no public debate, and even with the slightest dissent from the new orthodoxy often punished severely?” The answer is never, until the sudden onset of reality dysphoria. 

Levine’s identification as a woman has no bearing on the truth, yet Levine demands to be addressed as a woman. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) falsely claimed to be a Cherokee and expects everyone to go along, regardless of the reality. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) falsely claimed to have served in Vietnam, and everyone is supposed to look the other way. 

Under reality dysphoria, fakery can be indulged with impunity. Blumenthal and Warren did not resign, and Warren even went on to run for president of the United States. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a government bureaucrat since 1968 and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, now claims “I represent science.” Under reality dysphoria, the people are supposed to accept this claim, despite Fauci’s repeated reversals and destructive lockdowns.

Joe Biden recently claimed that during the Six-Day War in 1967, Golda Meir tapped him to serve as a liaison between Israel and Egypt. In 1967, Joe Biden was still in law school, where he began to practice plagiarism. Under reality dysphoria, Biden’s delusional claim can have no bearing on his fitness for office.

To all but the willfully blind, Joe Biden is mentally and physically unfit for office, Fauci is a deep state fraud, and Levine’s self-identification as a woman has no bearing on the truth. Whoever says it does is, in effect, self-identifying as a totalitarian. George Orwell was on to it in Nineteen Eighty-Four, about life under English Socialism (INGSOC).

In the early going, Winston Smith says that freedom means the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. Later, Inner Party man O’Brien forces Smith to say two plus two equals five. In similar style, the commissars of reality dysphoria want everyone to self-identify as totalitarian. 

Reality dysphoria is a variant of the Dictatorship of the Subjunctive Mood. The DSM is no more a basis for a system of government than “strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords,” as we learn in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Now we see the violence inherent in the system, and these days that’s no joke. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.