Republicans and their right-wing media counterparts love to accuse the LGBTQ community of “grooming,” which they appropriate to mean any acceptance of or education about gender and sexuality, but a new ad points out that the people who keep getting arrested for these crimes are predominantly the same ones lobbing accusations.
“Grooming” is a term used to describe behaviors that predators use to soften up child victims to make them easier to abuse.
In Republican parlance, though, it’s used as a cudgel to make it harder to be an LGBTQ child, as the GOP passes laws controlling how teachers can acknowledge gender and sexuality, and treating acceptance of a trans child as abuse.
Now MeidasTouch has released a new video ad, in which news clips are compiled to show one Republican elected official or political operative after another being accused of, charged with, or convicted of sex crimes, many involving victims who were minors or students, or of covering up sex crimes on behalf of others. It also includes clips of some right-wing operatives defending child sex abuse in their own words.
Subjects of the video include Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), accused of ignoring reports of sexual abuse against student athletes; Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor; one of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s interns defending sexual relationships between adults and minors; Republican operative and reality tv star Josh Duggar, convicted for child porn found on his computer after he and his family spent years railing against gay and trans people for existing; and Tucker Carlson defending the FLDS leader who was convicted for facilitating child sex crimes, among others.
Tucker’s words from the clip:
The rapist in this case has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person. So itis a little different.
He’s talking about children whose marriages to adult men were arranged by their religious leadership, and defending it on the grounds that the adult takes over providing financially for his too-young-to-consent child bride.
Duggar is another excellent case study presented succinctly in the ad — he’s shown with numerous prominent Republican politicians, including former Vice President Mike Pence, as the voiceover details the crimes for which he was convicted.
Other accused, admitted, or convicted GOP strategists, media personalities, and leaders appear, often alongside even more prominent GOP figures, such as Donald Trump (who himself has been accused of a string of sex crimes).
Check out the video below.
— Ben Meiselas (@meiselasb) November 5, 2022
Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here: