Tucker Carlson and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) engaged in a passionate discussion on Friday, focusing on topics such as the government’s role in COVID mandates, and the controversial debate surrounding transgender rights, particularly with respect to minors.
The interview started off with a discussion on COVID-19, and the government’s authority in deciding on medical treatments for its citizens. Carlson pressed Hutchinson on his views about the government’s power to mandate COVID-19 vaccines as well.
The conversation then shifted to the highly sensitive subject of transgender rights, and more specifically, the use of hormone therapy for prepubescent children. Carlson asked Hutchinson whether he had any different feelings about it, given the permanence of changes induced by such treatments. Hutchinson said he vetoed a bill on this issue as he believes parents should be able to guide their children through these challenges independently.
“This is one of the biggest issues in the country and I think every person in this room would agree that it is a central issue because these are children who are being altered permanently and you can defend that alteration that change if you like but there’s really no debate about whether or not it’s permanent,” Carlson argued. “So I think it’s fair to ask you in a calm, rational, and I very much hope polite way, why you would support that?”
A central point of contention was the definition of treatment in the context of transgender children.
Tucker was concerned about whether preventing a child from going through the natural process of adolescence can be classified as “treatment.” Hutchinson held that he did not necessarily support these procedures, but he firmly stood by his belief that the government should not interfere with decisions made by parents, children, and their doctors.
Carlson challenged his view, questioning how Hutchinson could agree that a child could choose their gender but not their bathroom. In response, the former governor stated that he believed that the government should not push an agenda in schools and that parents should be informed about any such discussions their children may be having at school.
“I want the parents and communities and our faith to guide us through these difficult decisions,” said Hutchinson.
The discussion ended with Hutchinson reiterating his belief that taxpayers’ funds should not be used for gender-changing procedures and stating that each state must decide its own approach to these issues. “We have to have a debate as to what is the limit role of government,” he said.