On Thursday, BuzzFeed Washington, D.C., bureau chief John Stanton published a pair of articles calling out the sons of two separate Republican members of Congress for racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, sexist, and homophobic social media accounts.
Whattaya think? Are racist/homophobic tweets by the children of politicians newsworthy? This article argues so.
there is a not insignificant portion of the GOP electorate that exists as a fever swamp of racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-immigrant hatred, and bigotry of all sorts. Obviously not all Republican politicians and voters, or not even a majority of them, are racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant bigots. But it’s a sizable enough constituency that a key part of the Republican message is to use coded—and sometimes not so coded—language to appeal to this crowd.
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To read Tanner Flake and Joey Heck’s online posts is to see the powerful strain of bigotry that exists within a certain sector of conservative politics. It’s true that children of Democrats can be just as wretched as children of Republicans and can do equally idiotic, terrible things. (See the news of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s son, Connor, being arrested on charges of drunk driving and hit-and-run driving or any one of Al Gore III’s repeated arrests for driving under the influence and reckless driving.) But when bad Democratic kids behave badly, they’re way more likely to drive 100 mph while drunk than to say the president chucks spears. Likewise, you rarely ever see Democratic officials getting in trouble for passing on horrible, racist chain emails or making horrible racist remarks. This has everything to do with the political differences between the two parties and their voters.