Fox News pundit says Christine Hallquist’s success is down to ‘transgender privilege’
A Fox News pundit has said that Christine Hallquist won the nomination to be the Democratic candidate for Vermont Governor because of “transgender privilege.”
Hallquist became the first trans person to be chosen as a major party’s gubernatorial candidate when she won the primary in a landslide on Tuesday.
The progressive candidate picked up 48.4 percent of the vote – more than double her nearest rival’s tally of 22.1 percent – and will face off against Republican incumbent Governor Phil Scott in November’s election.
Despite the overwhelming nature of her win, conservative journalist Chadwick Moore poured scorn on the 62-year-old’s qualifications, which include being the CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative for more than a decade.
On Tucker Carlson Tonight, Moore emphasised that Hallquist had “transgender privilege.”
He added: “She can get away with many, many things simply by being transgender. Who knows if that’s even how she won this primary.”
Moore, a gay journalist who last month alerted the FBI on Twitter after his Grindr profile was shut down, continued: “While the entire country is fixated on the fact that she’s transgender, nobody knows anything about her policies.
“You know that she’s for Medicaid for all, she’s a climate alarmist, she believes in $15 minimum wage, and that’s kind of it.”
Hallquist clearly supports more than just these policies, as the people of Vermont know from her campaigning and her website, where she highlights her support for a woman’s right to choose, retraining programmes for displaced workers and fibre optic broadband, among others.
Like fellow groundbreaking trans politician Danica Roem – who became Virginia’s first ever openly transgender state official – Hallquist is running on her policies, not her identity.
The Virginia delegate acknowledged this fact last month, when she tweeted that Hallquist was “a well-qualified policy wonk extraordinaire.”
Not just in Virginia but all over the country. We have some really brilliant trans people on the ballot this fall. I genuinely believe Christine Hallquist can win her primary and flip the Vermont governorship #RedToBlue. She’s a well-qualified policy wonk extraordinaire.
— Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) July 23, 2018
Hallquist also sees herself in this way, having called on voters to see beyond her gender identity.
“I consider myself a very strong leader with a good history who happens to be transgender,” she said.
“I mean, I’d ask the voters who may be struggling with the fact I am transgender to try to look beyond that. Try to look at what I’ve done.”
Annise Parker, president of the Victory Fund – which supports out candidates in races across the US – condemned the remarks.
She said: “For two cisgender white men on Fox News to bemoan ‘transgender privilege’ in a conversation about one of the few openly trans candidates in the entire nation requires extraordinary ignorance, at best.
“Christine was the chief executive of a well-respected energy utility company for more than 12 years and travelled the entire state sharing with voters her progressive vision for Vermont.
“They claimed Vermont primary voters know nothing beyond her gender identity while in fact the opposite is true – voters chose Christine because of her experience and positions, not because of her gender identity, and it is an insult to Vermont voters to say otherwise,” she added.
“To say trans candidates have ‘privilege’ is simply these two pundits spewing nonsense and hate – there are only 13 trans people in elected office nationwide, hardly a privileged group.”
Parker continued: “Tucker Carlson and Chadwick Moore built their careers on attacking people because of who they are and are as responsible as anyone for the degradation of American political discourse.
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“Their obsession with attacking a trailblazing trans candidate only continues this legacy.
“Vicious attacks on the qualifications and appearance of a gubernatorial candidate solely because she is transgender is intolerable and must be addressed by Fox News leadership.
“Fortunately, Vermont voters don’t carry the prejudiced views of some in the Fox News lineup,” she added.
In March, a New York gay bar rubbished Moore’s claim that he was ejected from it for being conservative.