The G.O.P. blew its cover in 2016. Whether there are enough rational and engaged voters in our electorate for it to make a difference is another matter. Progressives have long been studied at identifying the authentic origins of spurious policy positions championed by the G.O.P. For example, it is obvious to us that all legislation ostensibly targeted at eliminating voter-fraud in the Obama Era is in fact a voter suppression effort. This point is beyond dispute as multiple Republican officials have been caught on camera telling the truth about this issue- usually with a twinkle in their beady little eyes. The Obama coalition was such a powerful and surging presence that the only reliable relief to be had for the G.O.P. was to outright block or suppress that vote. If you can’t beat’em, block’em- by any means necessary. To be sure, pivoting on policy proscriptions and engaging in earnest outreach to these voters is the long and hard method of addressing what appears to be an electoral disadvantage that could still last for several decades to come- notwithstanding the debacle of 2016 which I contend will prove to be an outlier. The quick and easy method was to patch together a cover story that helped its core constituency cope with the upsetting reality that the world is changing from what they had grown so comfortable with while also striking a demoralizing blow to those ushering in the change. Sell the G.O.P. faithful that the other side cheated to win, and then block the other side from playing the game next time around. Since less than one one-hundreth of one percent of votes cast in America’s modern political era has been documented as having been cast under fraudulent pretenses, it is fair and reasonable to characterize the entire voter ID legislative movement as the most glaring fraud political history. Shame on anyone who is willing to interfere with even one eligible citizen’s vote behind this thread-bare veil of voter suppression. There is a special place in hell for people like you.
So how do we go from the ballot box to the bathroom stall? A quick review of the current debate over the “bathroom laws” that infected North Carolina and spread like a virus to other G.O.P. dominated state legislatures across the country will explain everything. The conservative position that blocking transgender folks from using the restroom facilities of their own gender identification is a safety measure is as ridiculous and transparently disingenuous as the “voter fraud” political scam. As if a criminally degenerate transgender sexual predator is going to change his plans to lay in wait in a public bathroom to assault the first unsuspecting entrant because the Josh Duggars, Larry Craigs and Dennis Hasterts of the world passed a law that said they have to use the men’s room. If conservatives can use the battle-worn “limited government” logic to defend taking no action on gun safety legislation then they should have no objection to leaving people the hell alone about what gender they identify with and what bathroom they should use. Regardless of what explanation is propagated, there is not now, nor has there ever been a national scourge of transgender-homosexual-predatory-bathroom-trolling freaks attacking defenseless women and children in public bathrooms from coast to coast. Pretending that this is a threat worthy of urgent legislation is living a lie- just like the Josh Duggars, Larry Craigs and Dennis Hasterts of the world. Lest we forget, these G.O.P. culture warriors are confirmed child rapists and homosexual degenerates.
I continue to reference these unfortunate characters for a reason that my conscientious conservative friends may not have considered before now that could help move useless debates like this one from the forefront of our politics to shrinking images in our rear view mirror. It is just creepy and uncool to obsess over another person’s sexuality. Young people across the country know this and they will never support candidates that traffic in this pious foolishness. Here’s a tip for all of my people from Condemnation Nation: worry about who’s doing you and not who’s doing who and you will have a lot more energy to deal with issues that really matter in your own life and in our country. I doubt many of you are aware of this, but every time some self-proclaimed, self-righteous so-called Christian spokesman/activist/politician rails about this issue, the rest of the nation assumes that his hostility is born of his own conflicted sexual feelings. That is not stated to be hurtful or hateful- only helpful and candid. Conservatives really should ask themselves why it matters to them so much what other consenting adults do with themselves and with each other. Conservatives should also ask themselves if they really want to be in league with other extremists around the world who are so obsessed by other peoples’ body parts and what they do with them that they resort to murder- both state sanctioned and vigilante style- to express their disapproval. You can’t be a small government conservative and approve of the government injecting itself into the most intimate and private parts of any person’s life. It is intellectually dishonest to do so. Besides being intellectually dishonest, it tends to make you look and act like an insufferable jack-ass.
It is fair that I confess that as a committed progressive thinker, I was behind the tide on marriage equality. It is not that I was ever against it- I just had not given it the level of consideration that it warranted. I thought civil unions were sufficient to satisfy everyone on both sides of the debate. As a politically conscious person, I should not have fallen victim to that type of lazy thinking. The truth is that I have been philosophically and politically aligned with and sympathetic to the gay community but I never really exerted the mental effort to put myself in their position. When I did it became easy to see that it really didn’t matter what I thought was sufficient and politically palatable. It was about the LGBT community defining its own terms for equality and for folks on their side to get our heads out of our asses and support them openly and without reservation. In my own experience I discovered that many in the LGBT community can forgive that. What is much harder for them to forgive is the people who think about LGBT issues incessantly and seem to always make it their business to oppose anything that might indicate full equality in every area of public and private life for LGBT Americans.
Conservatives are on this issue where progressives are on gun safety: lost. It is over. Let it go and walk away folks. You have lost this war but don’t distress: those of you inclined to do so can still reminisce about the good old days when we were all kids running around the playground playing “smear the queer” and calling each other “faggots” “punks” and “sissies” whenever we got angry about something. Our juvenile obsession with sex-acts, sexuality and sexual politics can be understood if not condoned by acknowledging the fact that we were children. What the hell is Ralph Reed and Ted Cruz’s excuse? Progressives can see clearly that G.O.P. pols and their Christian Right pals are doubling down on their desire to keep the LGBT Community marginalized by our national institutions in response to the fact that this group has the wind at its back and is riding a powerful wave of public support to full legal inclusion and recognition in our body politic. It has taken a mighty long time, but the days of being able to make them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome just because a lot of people don’t like them are coming to an end. With gay marriage winning the day in the highest courts in the land, the effort to slap LGBT folks in the face with their otherness has been reduced to the most embarrassing and small-minded matter one could imagine- “Let’s tell’em they can’t go to the toilet where they want to. Let’s make’em go to the toilet with US!”
This is another issue that conscientious conservatives should be embarrassed by. The solution in search of a problem gambit is played out. But don’t believe me- believe Georgia Governor Nathan Deal who gave lovely lip-service to the state Republican Legislature before vetoing the hell out of Georgia’s copy-cat bathroom legislation. Why? Because there was far too much money to be lost in putting the imprimatur of the state on that ridiculous law. In the end, Governor Deal was true to the values of Republicans because he chose to protect the money that was on the line. In time, all states with major commercial interests or aspirations will make the same choice- proof positive that this issue has nothing to do with conservatism and it has no business flying under the conservative flag. Every conscious progressive will acknowledge that real conservatism has its place, but so much of the nonsense coming from conservative circles these days has nothing to do with conservatism. Barack Obama was right about that but folks couldn’t handle the truth.
Since when did it become a conservative value to tell somebody else where they can use the bathroom? When black Americans had to use separate facilities labeled “colored” that was not conservatism, it was just plain racism. It follows then that when LGBT Americans are being hounded about where they can relieve themselves it is not conservatism either, it is just plain hate. And it says a great deal more about their legislative tormentors than it will ever say about them. Just ask former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory who ushered the “bathroom laws” into our national politics. He suffered the embarrassment and humiliation of being voted out of office during an election cycle when his G.O.P. nearly ran the table. Evidently, voters in N.C. could not stomach this guy even if they could tolerate Donald Trump- who had the good sense to ignore this stupid issue. But ol’ Pat couldn’t concede his loss like a man. He decided he would try to chase away one boogey-man with another one: He demanded a recount alleging he lost due to mass voter fraud. And he kept up that pathetic lie for over a month before finally conceding. God bless America.