Friday, February 19, 2016

Some Questions I'd Like to Ask: Why Do Some Abuse Survivors (in My Experience, Straight White Males) Love the GOP and Donald Trump?

I have some questions to ask you readers. I've been kicking around some of these questions in my head after attending the national SNAP gathering last year and meeting folks who are gung-ho about Donald Trump's candidacy — abuse survivors who think Trump is a breath of fresh air, and will help them pursue their goal of getting church leaders to crack down on child abuse.

These questions are re-emerging for me this week after one SNAP leader (a leader of a local SNAP group, not a national leader) has been snapping at my heels on Facebook for speaking critically of Antonin Scalia. And now today, another abuse survivor who never misses any opportunity to slam the Catholic church and Pope Francis, and whose comments about these issues often verge on gross homophobia, has left a comment suggesting to me that Pope Francis has criticized Trump because Trump will crack down on child abusers, in contrast to the Catholic hierarchy.

My questions — which I'd like to share with all of you:

1. In the American political context, is one of the two major parties "better" on this issue?

2. Why is it self-evident to some abuse survivors (note: all the ones I'm referencing here are white heterosexual men) that the GOP is "better" on child abuse — and that Trump, in particular, is?

3. Why would this be self-evident when the GOP, far more than the Democratic party, has aligned itself politically with the U.S. Catholic bishops, who have a deplorable record when it comes to covering up child abuse? And with the religious right, which had fought tooth and nail to cover over abuse of minors in Christian churches, while scapegoating gay folks for all such abuse?

4. To what extent has the GOP, and has Donald Trump, convinced many white heterosexual men who should know better that they are saviors of white heterosexual men, and that the problems of the world stem from despised others, including women, immigrants, homosexuals, etc.?

5. To what extent do some influential members of the U.S. community of abuse survivors buy into the very same diversionary homophobic scapegoating analysis of the Catholic hierarchy as it covers up abuse of minors — when that analysis, and the political party that seems to me far more aligned with it, absolutely does not offer real hope for dealing effectively with the abuse of minors in Christian institutions?

I have to admit, I'm getting rather tired of offering support to people — and they richly deserve my support — who then turn around and offer me, as a gay person, slaps in return. And who vote into office people who are committed to making my life hell as a gay citizen of the U.S., and who are allied with the U.S. Catholic bishops in their attempt to keep scapegoating the queer community even as they cover up cases of clerical abuse of minors.

The headscratcher illustration is from The Evening Ledger (Philadelphia, May 4, 1916), and was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Johnny Automatic of Open Clip Art Library.

No comments: