Charlie Kirk, co-founder of the far-right youth group Turning Point USA, greased the conservative outrage gears today by fusing two of the Republican party's most hot button issues: inflation and the existence of transgender people.
This week, the Consumer Pricing Index found that average prices of common consumer goods jumped at least 8.5 percentage points in the month of March amid international responses to Russian President Vladimir Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as well as continued supply chain disruptions in the latest stage of the pandemic.
Simultaneously, transgender rights are being targeted by Republican state legislatures across the country. Earlier this month, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill banning reversible gender affirming care such as hormones and puberty blockers for anyone under the age of 19. Before that, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive to the Lone Star State's child services officials, urging them to investigate the parents of transgender children for child abuse. According to NBC News, well over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed across the country, with the majority of them explicitly targeting transgender individuals.
Kirk, however, claims transgender people are the reason for the country's current inflation levels.
Kirk said in a recent episode of his podcast:
"So, one of the reasons why we take such a strong stance and opinion on the trans issue is it's an issue of reality. You do not get to determine your own reality. You do not get to suddenly say, I'm rich or I'm poor. ... So, there's a direct connection to inflation and the trans issue. ... They're the same in this aspect - when you believe that men can become women, why wouldn't you also believe that you could print wealth? If you believe that someone can change their gender, why wouldn't you also believe that money is wealth?"
Kirk's claim is at odds with reality. Scientists and a host of other experts have repeatedly corrected the misinformed biological essentialist lens through which conservatives view the construct of gender. What's more, transgender people have existed since long before the current U.S. economic system, and are far more susceptible to poverty than cisgender individuals.
Social media users pushed back against Kirk's error-riddled characterization.
Several trans Twitter users soon began mocking Kirk.
Kirk isn't expected to reevaluate his opinion.