Yesterday, the chair of the Cabarrus County Republican Party, Lanny Lancaster, shared a Facebook post that showed a photo of an awkward looking teenager in braces with an explanation that read “This is Christine Blasey Ford in 1982.” Lancaster commented on his share, “This is the alleged victim of sexual assault. Wow.” Lancaster clearly implied that Ford wasn’t attractive enough to be sexually assaulted.
Then, last night, Donald Trump mocked Ford in his rally in Mississippi. The crowd of Trumpers cheered wildly, chanting “Lock her up!” Before that, he told reporters that “it’s a very scary time for young men in America,” implying that men are at risk of false accusations of sexual assault.
The #MeToo movement is really hard to understand for certain elements of the GOP. They can’t quite grasp that demeaning women is no longer acceptable and resent people who call them out. The president plays upon this resentment and shows why the Republican Party is quickly becoming a haven for narrow-minded white men.
We’ve seen these attitudes before. In the years following the Civil Rights Movement, people resented being called out for making racist jokes or comments. They called it being “politically correct” and took pride in not being “PC.” That really meant not respecting people of other races.
Now, they’re going to resent not being able to demean or shame women publicly. And they’ve got a champion in the president. He’ll side with the accused because he’s one of them. He’s never admitted he was wrong about anything, so why should people like Lanny Lancaster?
Lancaster’s post didn’t even get much attention. No Republicans condemned it. The only person who called him out was Democratic Congressional candidate Frank McNeill whose district includes Cabarrus County.
It’s that mentality that will drive a wedge between the GOP and women of all stripes. History is moving in a direction that will give women more power and influence. As they acquire it, they’ll demand equal respect, too. For people like Lanny Lancaster and Donald Trump, that demand steps on their right to be awful. And anybody who disagrees is too sensitive.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >