Salon is one of several newsish websites leading the field for overwritten headlines, for certain, but Mary Elizabeth Williams has a point in explaining, “Dinesh D’Souza, adulterous felon and disgraced academic, really embarrassed himself this time”.
Dinesh D’Souza isn’t just a convicted felon and adulterer. The filmmaker, right-wing pundit, defender of Donald Trump’s right to access beauty pageant contestants’ dressing rooms, and world’s most racist amateur comedian is also generous in his praise toward those who are in his estimation great judges of character―in babies.
Of course she’s not joking.
And just when you thought this election cycle couldn’t possibly be more triggering―for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse, for women who’ve had late-term abortions, for the LGBT community, for African-Americans, for Muslims, for Mexicans, for the terminally ill. Then along comes garbage fire with a mouth Dinesh D’Souza to find a whole new population to shock.
Like Barack Obama and our last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, I, too, had a father who “dumped” me at birth, so yeah, the outrage here is personal. It’s a hell of a thing for a child to grow up trying to make sense of, and there’s a hurt that never goes away. But I’d wager that most of the millions of Americans who have made it to adulthood in spite of absent or crappy parents have at some point reached a level of intellectual awareness that poor D’Souza (and you’re probably reading this) never has: the understanding that it’s not a baby’s fault if a parent bails.
This is important: It’s not just Donald Trump. It’s not just Dinesh D’Souza. It’s not quite the same as Williams’s point, but it seems somewhat relevant to recall that the whole soccon “family values” movement has been a really awful experience for adopted children and the families who love them.α
The Gay Fray, for instance. Social conservatives hate adopted children, and it really is something astounding to hear coming from, say, a federal bench.
But that is the thing, isn’t it? Social conservatives denigrate pretty much everyone. Homosexuals have been hearing it from our governments in furious doses for decades, but, you know, we just won, so let’s only pause to wallow in it long enough to remind that it probably didn’t help the suicidal gay youth to hear governors and legislators in the state capitols bashing on them; that was pretty low.
And, you know, it is Williams we’re reading through, here, so … right. Yeah, gays have been taking it loudly from soccons for decades, but I have no idea what to tell women about the time a bunch of men decided to pass a censorship law offered them by P. T. Barnum. It’s easy enough to make jokes―and oh, I did and shall again―like when Obenshain put up his menstrual irregularity registry bill in Virginia, because, you know, unlike Barnum’s law, that was this century. And with Donald Trump running for Gaslighter in Chief, well, right. It cannot possibly feel good.
Still, though, the right wing is down to babies. This is a seriously bitter year for social conservatives.
Image note: Dinesh D’Souza. (Detail of photo by JonesFoto)
Williams, Mary Elizabeth. “Dinesh D’Souza, adulterous felon and disgraced academic, really embarrassed himself this time”. Salon. 21 October 2016.