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Why, oh why are Republicans so hung up on sex?

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The price one pays for not having empathy is the impossibility of imagining how someone else thinks and feels. This is why those Republicans in North Carolina and other states object to transgendered people using the rest room they’re comfortable with. It’s because they—the Republicans—can’t imagine the possibility of a transgendered person simply using a bathroom for the obvious reason of relieving himself or herself. No, these Republicans think there has to be something sexual about it. I always wonder why prudes–which is what Republicans tend to be, especially religious ones—are so hung up on sex.

Well, for starters, they need some group to hate on, to prove their moral superiority. They can’t hate on blacks anymore—they lost that one. They can’t hate on gays anymore—lost that one, too. Who’s left? Muslims, obviously, and Mexicans, and—well, actually, if you’re a Republican, there are still a lot of groups to hate on, including blacks and gays. But if you’re on the witch hunt for a shiny, brand new sexual group to hate on—and what Republican isn’t?—there’s always transgenders.

And so we have Trump declaring war on the transgendered community by making it easier for mean states, like North Carolina, to discriminate against them. Trump’s new Attorney-General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, wasn’t in office for 24 hours before his Justice Department announced it is undoing an Obama decision to challenge bans, like the one North Carolina seeks to impose; the Tarheel State would force transgendered people to use the rest room associated with their birth gender, not their gender identity.

I’ve known lots of transgendered people and, believe me, they use the rest room for the same reason you and I do. Why do Republicans think there has to be some sinister, nasty sexual thing going on? That’s in their heads; it doesn’t correspond to reality, which, come to think about it, puts it in the realm of “alternative facts,” right up there with the Bowling Green Massacre and “Five million illegals voted in 2016” and “I saw thousands of Muslims celebrating after Sept. 11” and “Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen.” Now, those four lies are motivated simply for political reasons—to prey upon the ignorance and prejudices of a majority of Republican voters. But to appreciate the really twisted, neurotic aspect of being a Republican these days, you have to think along the following lines:

“I’m a male with normal male (i.e. heterosexual) desires. I’d love to be able to go into women’s rest rooms to peek at them and maybe do bad stuff. But if I did, I’d get arrested. So I think I’ll cut off my penis, have sex reassignment surgery, and act and dress like a woman. Then I can legally go into women’s rest rooms without fear of being arrested.”

Now, if these Republicans had empathy, they might realize on their own that imputing such motives to transgenders is insane; nobody would go to such extremes just to sneak into a rest room. If they can’t realize it naturally, they might do some research into the phenomenon of feeling like you were born into the wrong gender. There’s lots of research out there. If they’re too lazy to read studies, they might try talking to transgendered people and ask them if they really do go into bathrooms with nasty thoughts in mind. But talking to people you hate—trying to understand them—requires empathy, doesn’t it? So we’ve come full circle.

Ever since I’ve followed politics, the Republican Party has been the anti-sex party. I don’t know what it is about them; I suspect Republicans like sex as much as Democrats do (those Protestant preachers who get caught in sex scandals and those Roman Catholic clergymen who molest little girls and boys certainly seem like they enjoy sex!). Democrats tend to have a live-and-let-live philosophy. That’s the way I feel. I don’t care what you do or who you do it with as long as it’s consensual. And I couldn’t care less if a transgendered man used the men’s locker room at my gym. In fact, I’m sure they do; there are a couple “guys” who I think weren’t born that way. But, hey, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It shouldn’t bother Republicans in the slightest. The funny thing is, we now have a Republican President whose own sexual history is truly repugnant—not only an adulterer but a serial sexual assaulter as well (and possibly, if the Russian dossier ever turns up, a devotee of prostitutes and kink*). This is the guy leading the war against law-abiding transgendered Americans? Wow. (By the way, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who’s now in charge of defending the law, told the Weekly Standard that non-consensually grabbing a woman “by the pussy…would not amount to sexual assault.”)

O.K.

*Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against prostitutes or kink. Just saying…

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