Discover more from Oliver Willis Explains
Genital-Obsessed Conservatives Are Just Minding Their Own Business, Okay?
The Cult Of Perpetual Victimhood Embraces Genocidal Tendencies
American conservatism loves a good victim narrative. Even when their allies in the Republican Party have held control of all the levers of the federal government — the presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court — conservatives will argue that they are permanently under siege, under assault by the dominant and all-pervasive Left, who insists on foisting its radical agenda on Americans.
Oliver Willis Explains is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
This is how the right lies to itself to excuse and justify its excesses, its murderous crusades against disempowered groups. That is the argument now being made about the conservative movement’s murderous campaign against LGBTQ people, particularly vulnerable transgender children.
As always, we have been here before.
In the south of the 1950s and 1960s, conservatives railed against “outside agitators” like Rev. Martin Luther King, the NAACP and other organizations fighting for civil rights like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. To hear the poor, put-upon southern conservatives tell it, they didn’t have any race problems in states like Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia. They and “their” Blacks got along just fine living their separate lives, until the radical civil rights movement started whipping up opposition to Jim Crow. Things were just fine, they said, when we were busy oppressing everyone.
Modern conservatism is the same way. They argue that they didn’t much care about transgender issues, but then the left decided to foist the agenda on them and now their reaction is merely the product of a bear poked one too many times. They brought this on themselves, you see. They wore a short dress and the right can’t be blamed for what happens if they’re shown a little skin, right?
Conservatism is obsessed with control. It wants to bend people to conform to its world view and it is willing to mow down innocent people just trying to live their lives to do so. It is a pattern we have seen over and over and over throughout American history and it has never changed.
Republicans are currently obsessed with genitals, particularly the genitals of children. They simply don’t believe in transgender as a gender identity, much like how they have spent decades on harmful junk like conversion therapy, so they propose disgusting policies and laws to stamp it out. They push absurdities like forced genital inspections under the guise of “protecting” high school sports and bathrooms. They make innocuous charitable events like drag queen story hours, where children are literally being read to from storybooks, into something sexual and unseemly simply because they can’t deal with their own weird hang-ups.
So called “small” and “limited” government conservatism has always been a lie (they’re fine with expansions of government to help white people) but it has really been exposed as a joke with the anti-LGBTQ campaign intertwined with the unceasing effort to control women’s reproductive rights.
These campaigns aren’t a result of leftist intrusion into conservative life, foisting an unwanted radical change on the public. The victim narrative the right tells itself, echoed by Republican politicians and propaganda outlets like the Republican super PAC Fox News, is a complete lie. It is a lie to excuse a nakedly fascistic impulse belonging to the same lineage as figures like Hitler and Mussolini, who pushed for so much control they embraced mass murder.
These impulses cannot be treated as merely academic disputes. This isn’t a quibble over the right tax rate to levy on income. Human rights of any sort cannot be up for polite debate. They must be defended.
The right is asserting that it has the right to control individuality. That it has the final say on what is acceptable in our society, and that anyone who tries to live their own lives outside the parameters of what they say is normal and okay must be subject to invasive policies and indignities that the right would never themselves tolerate.
These are notions that must not only be forcefully denied, but like their previous incarnations like racism and misogyny, must be snuffed out and denied oxygen at all turns. No accommodation can be made for this destructive world view. Not an inch can be given up.
Hate always has to lose. Decent people have to speak out against it, expose it for what it is, and rally others to push it back into the muck where it belongs and has always dwelled. There is no other way, no other path.
If you like this newsletter, please consider becoming a paying subscriber by clicking here to join. I won’t be putting any of my regular columns behind a paywall and they will always be free. Thanks to everyone who has subscribed so far!
Follow me, Oliver Willis, on Twitter @owillis
Exclusive Kal-El Photo
Kal likes to sit on my office chair. I try to get him to move, but then he looks at me like this, and it’s tough to be a tough guy.