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Monday, June 17, 2024

Republican Lies About the Culture Wars


From the Boston Globe

by Teresa Hanafin

I know you are but what am I: It can be head-spinning to try to keep up with which silly culture war Republicans are going to launch next to distract voters away from the fact that they have no policy ideas.

So they gnash their teeth when M&M candy characters switch from high heels to sneakers and rend their garments when companies publicly oppose hateful laws aimed at LGBTQ people.

But their favorite tactic, honed to perfection by their cult leader, is to accuse their opponents of things they do. The most famous example is Trump’s appropriation of the term “fake news,” which was coined to describe the disinformation that Russia, other Trump allies, and Trump himself started spreading in 2015 and 2016 to help get him elected.

Another exhibition of the mimic tactic was during the final Trump-Clinton presidential debate when Trump said Putin did not respect the former secretary of state (he thought that was a terrible insult).

“Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States,” Clinton replied. “No puppet,” Trump said in his best third-grade voice. “You’re the puppet. No, you’re the puppet.”

Clever comeback, bucko!

Which brings us to the current GOP obsession: Portray anyone who opposes their anti-transgender, anti-gay campaigns as pro-pedophile and “groomers.” It’s a favored smear by weak-minded hate mongers: Portray gay people as child abusers.

Hmm. I think this is another “Please read a book” moment.

Research shows:

— 99 percent of child molesters are male.

— 91 percent of pedophiles are heterosexual.

— 79 percent of admitted child molesters are white.

— 93 percent of child abusers are religious, and the vast majority are Christian.

— 90 percent of child molesters target kids in their own family or those of friends, and the overwhelming majority are married or were married to women.

So no, your kids don’t face danger from sexed-up gays lurking around schools and playgrounds. But they could face danger from the white married Christian guy coming to pick them up from school or take them to violin practice.

Naturally, I was curious how many sex scandals involve self-righteous conservatives or Republicans. Researchers generally don’t study that, but if you look at an exhaustive list of sex scandals by federal officials in Congress, the executive branch, and on the Supreme Court — most proven, a few accusations — take a wild guess which party affiliation the majority hold.

I looked at the scandals listed by Wikipedia just since 2000. Of the 40 cases, 28 — 70 percent — involved Republicans/conservatives, while 12 involved Democrats.

Of those 28 GOP sex scandals, many involved these mostly Christian men cheating on their wives, either with mistresses (who some of them tried to coerce to have abortions) or with prostitutes. But several involved gay sex by ostensibly straight men.

Like former US representative Ed Schrock of Virginia, who loudly and aggressively opposed various gay rights issues, including gays in the military and same-sex marriage. He was caught on tape soliciting sex with men. Or Mark Foley of Florida, who resigned his House seat after getting caught sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage male congressional pages.

Then there’s the child abuse. Former House speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois admitted to sexually abusing boys when he was a high school wrestling coach. Speaking of wrestling coaches, Jim Jordan of Ohio stands accused of covering up and failing to report the sexual abuse of minors by the Ohio State University wrestling team’s doctor. Jordan was an assistant coach at the time, and several former players say he knew about the abuse and did nothing. And we know about Matt Gaetz, the loud-mouth Florida congressman who the Justice Department is investigating for allegedly sex-trafficking teenage girls.

I could go on, but you get the idea. The beam in thine own eye and all that.;;

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