Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Morality just isn’t Republicans’ thing anymore

I find it interesting how in my lifetime the Republicans have gone from the party of the Moral Majority to the party of “just don’t be a pedophile though being a hebephile might be okay” (see Matt Gaetz). Outside of a few geographical areas, it’s the upper-middle-class bourgie Democrats who are more likely to be moralistic snobs nowadays even if the true DeSadians remain concentrated among the elite.

By Steve Larkin The Week

The party of “traditional values” seems to have lost track of what they are, and has decided to go about as low as you possibly can to retake the moral high ground. To make themselves feel better, Republicans have gone far beyond the traditional accusations of loose living and government sponging to calling Democrats pedophiles as well. At first the charge of pedophilia was limited to the more fetid swamps of QAnon, but recent, more mainstream, GOP talking points are all about “groomers” — predators who make nice to their young victims before striking.

But why this particular attack, and why now?

The answer to this question is readily apparent when you look at Republican leadership and the base itself. This is a party that sees itself as a moral majority, to steal the original Jerry Falwell’s phrase, and will force all the facts to fit that narrative.

When I talk about morality here, I do not primarily have in mind the hot-button culture war issues of sex and gender that dominate the current discourse, but a broader set of what could be called socially conservative values. These include the importance of religious belief and observance, the importance of strong and intact families, a notion that the leaders of any organization should be beyond reproach, a dislike for vulgarity, both profane and sexual, opposition to drug use, and things like that. It strikes me now, as I write this list, how old-fashioned it seems.

Things have changed.


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