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By Popular Demand, Miss USA

No, that doesn’t mean she is appearing here on PL–although, come to think of it, we could try to line up a guest appearance at Power Line Live where she would chat with our readers; I will see what I can do–only that, in response to requests from Steve and others, I’m going to comment on the Miss USA pageant, which concluded Sunday night.

The pageant was won, of course, by Rhode Island’s Olivia Culpo. In my opinion, she is a very impressive contestant and will be a strong contender at the Miss Universe competition in December. On the off chance you haven’t seen Miss Culpo, here she is:

Olivia Culpo, like most pageant winners, is very smart. She is also an excellent cellist. That, of course, won’t do her a lot of good at the Miss Universe pageant, which lacks a talent competition. Still, I think she has a shot to be the first American Miss Universe in quite a few years.

The closest thing to a controversy in the Miss USA competition was Miss Culpo’s endorsement of the Miss Universe organization’s decision to allow transgendered women to compete. Of course, “controversy” is a bit of a misnomer: as we all know, conservative opinions are controversial, liberal opinions–which this was assumed to be–are not. But let’s not jump to conclusions. This was the exchange:

Celebrity Judge Rob Kardashian [seriously]: Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?

Olivia Culpo: I do think that that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country.

Note four things: First, Culpo was endorsing a decision that had already been made by Miss Universe, hardly a radical act. Second, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the policy. Beauty pageants are not going to be overrun with transgendered contestants, let alone winners. Third, Culpo was taking a subtle dig at the fact that the major pageants, including Miss Universe, have no ban on surgical enhancement. There are already “so many surgeries” among pageant contestants, what is one more? Fourth–and this is the important one–note her rationale: “I believe it’s a free country.” Would a liberal ever say that? No! I am convinced that Miss Culpo is a closet conservative, and will root for her enthusiastically in December.

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