Conspiracy theorists have become an essential and accepted component of the MAGA party/religion for some time now. As much damage as it’s done to our body politic, it gets even more dangerous when it is directed with hatred at specific marginalized groups of people, as Tucker Carlson did in claiming that chemicals in milk “turn kids trans.”
The loving and respectful response is, “So? What’s the problem?” If chemicals in milk are unhealthy, then we should evaluate the benefit versus harm but not consider “turning kids trans” as an inherently bad outcome akin to cancer or skin lesions. Caution is warranted only because trans teens are the demographic segment most likely – by far – to commit suicide. It is not the resulting “trans” identity that is the problem. It is how society, like Tucker Carlson, who implies this is terrible, that is a real problem.
From a report in the Daily Beast:
Tucker Carlson sounded just like his good pal and right-wing conspiracy nut Alex Jones on Monday, at one point commenting about chemicals in milk that “turn kids trans.”
The Fox host expressed sympathy during his show for an Amish farmer named Amos Miller who has run into legal trouble over food safety issues identified by the Food and Drug Administration dating back to 2016.
“Maybe if he promises to put more chemicals in the milk that turn kids trans, they’ll lay off,” blurted out Carlson, who has targeted transgender people before. His comment was reminiscent of Jones’ loony theory that the government is “putting chemicals in the water that turn the friggin’ frogs gay.”
Amphibians are a particularly susceptible phylum in the animal kingdom. They appear to be acutely sensitive to small changes in the environment, whether it is chemicals, climate change, or the acidity of water. Whatever the cause, they are canaries in the coal mine, and some studies have shown that amphibians, particularly frogs, are becoming sterile, not “gay,” and numbers are dropping.
There is a tendency in the conspiracy MAGA community to borrow slight truths and expand them to ridiculous untruths to further their agenda. There are legitimate ongoing studies about whether hormones in chicken meat causes our girls to enter puberty at earlier and earlier ages (10-year-old pregnant girls, nowhere near womanhood in maturation). MAGAs take some legitimate concerns and blow them up into falsehoods and use those falsehoods to suit their attack.
The focus should be on Carlson’s hate, not the resulting trans teen. If chemicals in milk make fundamental changes in development (And I don’t pretend to know, for the purposes of this argument, it is irrelevant), the “problem” is not the trans result. The problem is any direct consequences to natural growth in any direction. The argument is every bit as powerful if turned around and stated as, “The hormones in milk are taking fundamentally trans teens and turning them straight, against their natural identity.” The goal is to have chemicals in any food or water not impact natural development.
But this is what Tucker Carlson does. He foments hate. It is what his audience wants. The MAGA religion is based upon the freedom to hate people who are different than them.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.