In April, I revised the Texas Department of Agriculture dress code to ensure that all of our employees, contractors, interns, and associates are on the same page regarding the standard for professional and respectful work attire.

The memo I issued included an obvious, biologically, and historically normal sentence asking employees to dress in a manner consistent with their biological sex. It never occurred to me that this sentence would prove to be controversial. That’s because in the real world of rational and emotionally well-adjusted adults, it isn’t.

For the life of me, I cannot imagine why anyone outside of the TDA could care less about our dress code, the same dress code that is enforced by countless businesses and organizations across the country.

And the truth is that they don’t care. The handful of people screaming bloody murder over this are radical activists who have found a small but vocal community of the easily outraged willing to project their nonsense onto the rest of us via social media and left-captured national media.

Last month, Tucker Carlson was fired from Fox News. In his first public comments, he pointed out that the debates on cable news are a great distraction and complete waste of time. He’s right. And we have only ourselves to blame. Whether it’s Fox News or the endless leftist media outlets, the name of the game is outrage and distraction.

Texas faces significant drought, public schools where half the kids can’t read, mentally ill parents subjecting their children to genital mutilation, a crisis in rural healthcare, an unsecured border where thousands of migrants are exploited for sex and labor, and many other pressing issues that have real and often terrible impacts on REAL TEXANS!

But with the projective power of a small number of people on social media and in the media, an amendment to the dress code at the Texas Department of Agriculture is a national story.

For the first time in our history, America is experiencing a tyranny of the minority, where a handful of people with radical ideas and no small amount of mental illness are setting the terms of our national conversation.

I firmly believe that we must call this phenomenon out for what it is. If we don’t, those with the least merit, the least perspective, the worst mental health, and the narrowest ideological focus will continue to victimize the vast majority of Americans who understand basic biology, basic civics, and basic human decency.

I updated the policy because everyone deserves respect, whether you are a woman who wants to be able to comfortably use the restroom or a man who is embarrassed when a male coworker shows up for a meeting in 2-inch pumps.

Just because the loudest among us are also the most radical, it is no reason to give up our culture, our values, or our common sense.

What you do in your own time is your own business. What you do at the TDA, on the taxpayers’ dime, is very much my business and the business of every other TDA employee, contractor, and Texan we work with … but not woke bullies with an axe to grind.

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to

Sid Miller

Sid Miller is in his third term as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. He previously served as a member of the Texas House, a school board member, and a teacher. Sid is also a nationally renowned rodeo champion, as well as a farmer and rancher.


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