Baseless accusations of pedophilia have been used as a political tactic to smear opponents and discredit their ideas, rather than engaging in substantive political discourse.
This type of harmful behavior should be condemned because it is important to focus on facts and evidence-based arguments in political debates, rather than resorting to unfounded personal attacks.
Crackpot Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene doubled down on calling Democrats “pedophiles,” when the Republican appeared in a fiery ’60 Minutes’ interview with veteran reporter Lesley Stahl.
“Stahl didn’t push back nearly heard enough on some of Taylor Greene’s more lunatic claims,” said Arizona Republic media critic Bill Goodykoontz, who faulted ’60 Minutes’ for helping “to normalize a leading purveyor of radical fringe garbage.”
In one of her more shocking comments, the Georgia lawmaker responded, “I would definitely say so” when Stahl asked her about previous remarks that she has made about Democrats being “the party of pedophiles.”
Taylor Greene, 48, said without providing evidence, “Democrats support — even Joe Biden the president himself — support children being sexualized and having transgender surgeries. Sexualizing children is what pedophiles do to children.”
After Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California said that LGBT+ people are being falsely smeared on social media as being a “groomer” or “pedophile” merely because of their gender identity and sexual orientation, Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas falsely accused her of having said that “pedophilia isn’t a crime.”
Republicans like Taylor Greene and Jackson are repeatedly making assertions about Democrats but their insinuation neglects critical context, including the fact that many Republicans have a shady past when it comes to pedophilia, or sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children.
Former President Donald Trump was accused of barging into a dressing room during a Miss Teen USA Pageant in 1997. His campaign denied the accusations, but a 2005 Howard Stern interview revealed that he bragged about walking into the backstage dressing rooms at the pageants.
Mariah Billado, Miss Teen Vermont 1997, and three other teenage contestants from the same year confirmed the story about Trump entering a changing room where girls as young as 15 were undressed. Former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon also claimed that Trump entered the Miss USA dressing room in 2001 when she was a contestant.
Alabama Republican candidate Roy Moore was accused of pursuing sexual relationships with girls as young as 14 when he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Six women came forward with accusations, and Moore was banned from a local mall due to his behavior.
Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was accused of covering up sexual misconduct while he was the wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Many former wrestlers claimed that Jordan was aware of the abuse that happened during the early 1990s but chose to ignore it. Jordan denies any knowledge of the abuse, and the team doctor accused of the misconduct committed suicide in 2005.
James A. West – former Republican state senator from Washington who was exposed in 2005 for offering government jobs to young men in exchange for sex.
Donald Edgar “Buz” Lukens was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio whose political career ended in 1990 when he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Neil Goldschmidt – former Governor of Oregon and Clinton cabinet member, who admitted in 2004 to having sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl when he was mayor of Portland in the 1970s.
Ruben Verastigua, a former GOP staffer, was sentenced to over 12 years in prison for his involvement in a child pornography ring.
Former Republican U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty to withdrawing almost $1 million to use as hush money to cover up his sexual abuse of teenage wrestlers he coached. Five Republican congressmen wrote letters to the judge to request leniency for Hastert, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison and two years’ supervised probation.
Larry Jack Schwarz, former Republican county commissioner in Texas, was convicted in 1999 of molesting a 12-year-old girl.
Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, former Republican mayor of Yorba Linda, California, was convicted in 2003 of molesting a 13-year-old girl.
Joseph Monteleone, former Republican mayor of Middleboro, Massachusetts, was convicted in 2007 of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.
Dale Duncan, former Republican mayor of Hubbard, Ohio, was convicted in 2008 of raping a 13-year-old girl.
Former Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortage was sentenced to three years’ probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year-old girl, according to The Guardian.
Eric Bodenweiser, former Republican candidate for Delaware Senate, was convicted in 2014 of molesting a boy who was under the age of 16.
Tennessee Republican State Rep. David Byrd was accused of sexual misconduct by three underage girls, including Christi Rice, who alleged that Byrd sexually abused her during her sophomore year of high school while he was her basketball coach.
Republican commentator Tucker Carlson defended Warren Jess, a convicted child rapist and cult leader, saying that his conviction was unjustified and based on his “weird and unpopular beliefs.”
Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is currently under investigation for sex trafficking and transporting a minor over state lines for sexual purposes. In 2017, Gaetz was the only member of Congress to vote against a law that strengthened human trafficking investigations.
Former Republican Waterbury, Conn., Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year-old girls, according to the New Haven Register.
Richard Delgaudio, former Republican political consultant, was convicted in 2019 of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman Mark Foley resigned in 2006 after it was revealed that he had sent sexually explicit messages to underage boys who had served as congressional pages.
Timothy Leonard, former Republican mayor of Windsor, Missouri, was convicted in 2006 of molesting a 7-year-old girl.
Former Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl, according to The New York Times.
Former Republican U.S. Sen. Strom Thurman had sex with a 15-year-old which produced a child, according to The New York Times.
Former Republican Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico, Edison Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughters when they were between the ages of 9 and 17, according to the Guardian.
Former Ohio Republican State Representative Wesley Goodman resigned from his position in 2017 after being caught having sex with a man in his office. He had previously been an advocate for “family values” and opposed LGBT rights.
Former Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig was arrested in 2007 for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in a men’s restroom. He later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
There are more than 300 accusations or convictions that could still be written about. There are also widespread examples among Republicans of corruption, bigotry and hypocrisy that could be exposed.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman Bob Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2007 for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, which included accepting bribes in exchange for political favors. He also admitted to committing fraud in relation to a charity he had established.
Former Republican New York State Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb pleaded guilty in 2020 to driving while intoxicated after crashing his state-owned vehicle on his way home from a holiday party. His blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.
Former Republican Ohio State Senator Steve Huffman was fired from his job as an emergency room doctor in 2020 after he made racist remarks about Black people and their susceptibility to COVID-19.
If conservatives are going to smear Democrats and pose as the nation’s protector of children, it’s certainly fair to bring up this history. Republicans are calling Democrats pedophiles to shield themselves from being accused of bigotry towards homosexuals, trans people, and other non-gender conforming or sexually fluid people.
In a bizarre twist, America First Legal, the group founded by sinister former White House adviser Stephen Miller, recently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the maker of M&M’s.
The pro-Trump nonprofit alleges Mars Inc.’s efforts to increase diversity and representation of minorities within its workforce constitutes discrimination and a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The MAGA faction apparently believes preventing them from engaging in discrimination is an act of discrimination.
It is worth noting how weak the GOP’s response has been to recent scandals among its own rank and file, but on this the Democratic political establishment does deserve equal blame.
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