You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Conservative Race to the Bottom

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/03/2016 James Peron

Poor Fayetteville; apparently the Arkansas town has to deal with a rather boorish city councilman, John La Tour, who seems prone to buffoonery. He thinks he's being amusing, he's just not clever enough to know the way he is actually amusing people is not the way he intended.
Fayetteville passed an anti-discrimination ordinance, which upset Conservatives so they insisted it be put to a public vote. Conservatives told every lie in the book to scare the bejeezus out people, but voters approved the ordinance by a comfortable 6-point margin.
Mr. La Tour, in his dotage, makes feeble jokes about the evils of the ordinance. Of course, to do so he has to continually invoke the scary image of transgender folk. He appears convinced he's not only being witty, but assumes he making some trenchant point as well. Instead, his comments raise the specter of Curly, Larry and Moe.
La Tour reportedly stopped at Arsaga's restaurant to meet some friends and complained the music was too loud. When the restaurant didn't immediately jump to his command he decided to indulge his buffoonery and dance along to the music -- not the image of a male dancer anyone wants to see, I assure you.
He reportedly approached a waitress and made one of his not-so-witty jokes about being transgender and said to her he wanted to dance but he couldn't know whether she was a man or a woman, not since the anti-discrimination ordinance passed. Apparently the ordinance has so confused things that poor Mr. La Tour can't tell whether he's hitting on a woman or a man -- not that either gender would appreciate the effort.
Then, to make a bad joke even worse, he made a crude remark about how he could prove he's a man. Apparently since Donald Trump made his unproven brag about his own genitals -- not that anyone wants to see the proof -- it is now de rigueur for insecure Conservatives to invoke their genitalia. When it comes to statistical bragging they clearly won't invoke IQ points.
La Tour defended himself to the media with the same bad joke: "You can declare you're a man or you're a woman, whatever you want to. I'm not going to ask a man to dance with me." At that last remark gay men throughout Arkansas breathed a sigh of relief, counterbalanced by increased anxiety among the female population.
The waitress felt rather put-off by his remarks and said he told her that he couldn't tell whether she was a woman or a man. One Fayetteville resident, Gavin Smith, wrote on Facebook,

Yesterday Fayetteville Alderman John La Tour, Ward 4, assaulted a dear friend in public demanding they choose a gender in a packed restaurant. He demanded she pick a gender declaiming loudly that he couldn't tell if she was a man or a woman. She is not transgender and does not in any way present any ambiguity about gender in any way. She's a woman. He then explained that he was a man and could prove it by dropping his pants and showing his penis. That is bullying behavior and unacceptable on so many levels.

After this unpleasant encounter, La Tour returned to his table and the waitress went to speak to the manager. Apparently the manager was none too amused either and asked the council member to vacate the premises. He was not welcome in the establishment given his behavior.
One has to look with wonder and confusion on the contemporary Conservative scene. In spite of all the rhetoric about traditional values and limited government their agenda consistently comes across as the polar opposite.
There was a time when civility and courtesy were considered traditional values, yet today's Conservatives compete with one another to be as impolite and demeaning as possible. Their opponents are always branded with demeaning epithets. Obama is labeled a communist or a Muslim -- which in fundamentalist Christian circles is meant as an insult. Gay people are not just homosexual, but "radical homosexuals." It's as if radicalism is as genetic a trait as the homosexuality and comes with it as a set. Ronald Reagan could tell jokes without resorting to crudeness or demanding to see someone's genitals. He never once thought it wise to reference his penis during a political debate.
Just as modern Conservatives have betrayed their own traditional values, they have abandoned the very concept of limited government. Surely a government firmly entrenched in the bedrooms of the American people -- something the moralistic Right demands -- is about as intrusive a government as one can conceive. They applaud police violence against civilians, demand the death penalty and favor sending troops off to wars.
Surely government agents shooting people to death on the streets of our cities, executing people or sending them to battlefield deaths is just about as "big government" as you can get. Yet, Conservatives seem to want more of this.
Modern Conservatism has become a race to the bottom.

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon