My favorite genre of right-wing ranting is undeserved “Whataboutism.” While it makes a lot of sense when progressives ask, “How would Republicans react if President Obama withheld funding from Ukraine until its president did him a personal favor?,” it doesn’t quite work in the other direction.
Take the Christian hate-group Illinois Family Institute. They can’t stand 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. Whether it’s her youth, or her well-placed rage, or her grasp of scientific realities, or her ability to recognize the bullshit politicians spew (even when they’re on her side), they’re not fans. They think of her as nothing more than a kid who’s “sanctimoniously lecturing adults.”
Without explaining why Thunberg is wrong, IFI’s Laurie Higgins wants to know how progressives would like it if a young conservative girl acted the same way:
… We are in the beginning of a mass delusion, and all you can talk about is fairy tales about the existence of 100 genders and if it feels good, do it. How dare you!
For more than 50 years, the hard science has been crystal clear about the reality of biological sex, the health risks of sexual promiscuity, and that the product of conception between two humans is a human being. And social science has been crystal clear about the good effects on children of being raised by their biological parents in an intact family. How dare you continue to look away from both science and morality! You’re doing nothing when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
Children are being commodified, with their genetic material bought and sold like meat on a commodities exchange. They are being deliberately denied mothers or fathers. They’re growing up in a world awash in sexually transmitted infections and pornography. They’re being taught in schools about anal sex and homosexuality. They’re being sterilized and mutilated by doctors at the behest of parents. And at the behest of their own mothers, they’re being exterminated before they breathe their first breath.
The simple answer is that child would rightfully be criticized because that mini-conservative has all the confidence and none of the facts. The only thing that speech is good for is an audition for FOX News. It’s not going to change any minds because that kid’s just parroting right-wing talking points that have been repeatedly debunked. The idea that same-sex parents are inferior to straight ones, or that transgender people don’t exist, or that sex education is harmful have no basis in reality. There’s no “hard science” or “crystal clear” social science defending those beliefs. There are only conservatives who long for everyone to live in an evangelical bubble and have no problem spreading fear and lies if that’s what it takes.
Thunberg’s words are backed up by damn near every scientist who studies the climate. This hypothetical teen has the backing of right-wing radio hosts. There’s a difference. Righteous anger doesn’t make you right. Calling out bullshit, backed up by the facts, is why Thunberg is capturing so much attention. She found a way to break through the noise.
I’m sure inclusive, compassionate, equitable “progressives” fully committed to diversity would welcome such a speech with the tolerance to which we conservatives have become accustomed.
Embracing diversity doesn’t mean embracing pseudoscience and bad opinions. To automatically assume both sides have valid points is to completely misunderstand how reality works. It makes no sense to ask people to consider both sides when one has no merit, and it’s downright idiotic to embrace only the side containing conspiracy theories. But that’s what conservatives have been doing for decades. They just can’t believe fewer people are falling for it.
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