May 4, 2023

The Most Accurate Poll Ever

The instantaneous reaction by beer drinkers to Bud Light’s dalliance with Dylan Mulvaney reveals what people really think about gender fluidity.

Except for Anheuser-Busch stockholders, it’s been comical to watch Bud Light’s corporate bosses try to wriggle out from their embarrassing embrace of “transgender” “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney. The company lost $6 billion in market cap in one day. What were they thinking?

Mulvaney, a 26-year-old man-turned-woman, is a self-promoting and very successful TikTok and Instagram “transgender” personality. A few weeks ago, Anheuser-Busch rolled out an advertising blitz that featured Mulvaney in a bathtub drinking a Bud Light and nationwide distribution of commemorative cans of Bud Light with Mulvaney’s smiling picture on the front.

It did not go well. The Bud Light brand tanked overnight and has been the target of ridicule ever since. The corporation has been scrambling to regain its customer base without simultaneously offending the LGBTQ+ community. Theirs was an entirely self-inflicted wound.

First, some perspective. This is not a financial catastrophe for Anheuser-Busch. Bud Light is the best-selling American beer on the market. Six billion dollars is only about a 5% drop, and it’s not real money. Market capitalization is just the company’s hypothetical value based on that day’s stock price. The company is financially sound.

But the precipitous plunge of its stock price, clearly linked to its announcement of the Dylan Mulvaney collaboration, was astonishing. I believe that the customers’ instantaneous verdict speaks volumes about the true public views on transgenderism.

In fact, it may be the most accurate public opinion poll in history.

In a column last month, I expressed my own opinion — without statistical basis — that “Americans on Main Street think that gender fluidity is hogwash.” As expected, some disagreed, reminding me that a strong majority support transgender rights. Fair enough. We are in fact a fair-minded people. We recoil at the idea of repression or bias or prejudice targeting any of our fellow citizens, whether we agree with them or not.

In fact, there are reams of published information about public views on transgender ideology that dispute my “hogwash” assertion. For example, data compiled by Pew Research indicate that Americans are evenly divided on whether a person’s true gender may be different from that assigned at birth.

But there’s more to the story. Pollsters tailor the wording of their questions and decide whom to ask. Pew reports a huge difference between Democrat and Republican responses on that very issue. But why? There is no reason why political affiliation should have any bearing on a matter of simple biology.

Moreover, the language of the question surely skews the answers. The term “gender assigned at birth” suggests an arbitrary determination that could alter a person’s entire future. But it’s not arbitrary. It doesn’t take a medical degree to ascertain whether a naked baby is male or female.

The bottom line: Polls are loaded with political spin. They produce data — but not necessarily clarity.

Not so with our Bud Light poll. There were no nuanced questions here. The survey group responded immediately and unequivocally, with no time to think about how their answers might align with political or other considerations. Faced with the prospect of sipping beer from a can depicting a man pretending to be a woman and flashing a provocative grin, many beer drinkers evidently said, “Nah, I think I’ll go with a Coors this time.”

OK, that may not be a statistically sophisticated survey, but it’s a big one. Gallup data tells us that on any given day, about 36 million adults drink beer.

I don’t believe that the immediate negative reaction of some to the Bud Light marketing campaign suggests malice toward transgender people; it’s just reflexive resistance to in-your-face promotion of something they know to be false.

It’s quite simple. Human beings implicitly understand the difference between male and female — body size and shape, complementary reproductive systems, and billions of chromosomes in every human body.

Regardless of newfound semantic distinctions between biological sex and gender, those differences are immutable. They are unaffected by personal preference, declared identity, lifestyle, or superficial alteration of external body parts. Yes, abnormalities in body development can occur, but these are exceedingly rare — the exception doesn’t disprove the rule.

A man may “identify” as a woman — or vice versa — but he’s not actually a woman and she’s not truly a man. Deep down, we all know that to be true.

I believe that most Americans are solidly behind the principle of “live and let live.” Even if we disagree with transgender ideology, we care little if others choose that lifestyle. But we draw the line at forced complicity — like mandated use of preferred pronouns. Or drinking beer from a can that promotes that ideology.

That Bud’s not for us.

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