US liberal overreach risks benefiting Trump

Democrats' embrace of transgender rights burnishes American President's Everyman appeal

Reasonable people were split over Barack Obama's decision in 2016 requiring schools to provide bathroom choice to transgender children. But many questioned his timing. The then-president's edict was among a series of tone-deaf Democratic signals that helped enable Donald Trump's election victory.

It reminded blue-collar voters of a liberal elite that seemed to care more about creating newfangled rights than addressing majority concerns. Judging by Mr Obama's would-be successors, Mr Trump's taunting presence only reinforced liberal rectitude. The fixation on gender identity has grown sharply in the past three years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2019, with the headline 'US liberal overreach risks benefiting Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe