It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Republicans are so unduly invested in the private lives of others, that the mere suggestion of deviance sends them scrambling for their fainting couches. Remember when conservatives used to bleat words like “small government” and whatnot? Well, now students in Florida can’t be given a nickname in school unless their parent approves it because Governor DeSantis is worried a trans person might feel safe somewhere. All of this to say, while it’s not surprising there’s a whisper campaign about Tim Scott being an unmarried presidential candidate, it is ridiculous. It calls to mind when there was great concern about the election of John F. Kennedy; as a Catholic, would he sell the country out to the Pope?!
Yes, Scott, the lone Black Republican candidate to qualify for the recent debate, isn’t married. In normal reality, this is neither notable nor an issue, but of course, in the ring of Hell we call the Republican Primary race, being unmarried is tantamount to the highest crime of being a “confirmed bachelor.” It’s fitting that the party that’s marching us back into the Gilded Age with child labor supporting a wildly inflated wealth class would bring back a term as outdated as “confirmed bachelor.” For those unfamiliar, the term was a common euphemism for “gay man” up until the 1990s or so. It calls to mind the kind of doublespeak a character might engage in on Mad Men to explain why an adult man is single, because the only reason why a man could reach adulthood without marriage is homosexuality. As we all know, there can be no other reason for this! A man definitely can’t just be single, he must be hiding something!
Leave it to the Republicans to turn a non-issue into a nuclear-level scandal. It makes sense that the party with such deeply unpopular policies that they had to make trans people and drag queens their scapegoats, but it’s no less silly to see grown adults reading into Scott’s unmarried status like a gossipy neighbor on a 1950s sitcom peering through their slatted window-blinds. He’s not even single! He has a relationship with a woman, he’s just not married. Some have pointed to the hypocrisy of being the Party of Trump while also being scandalized by Scott here, but that’s about as effective as calling Trump “Cheeto.” The hypocrisy doesn’t matter. Trump’s pet party wouldn’t care if Trump was revealed to keep a bevy of male prostitutes on retainer because none of the other things he’s done in direct violation of the Republicans’ ostensible morals have mattered. But Scott isn’t Trump, so he doesn’t get that special treatment, and it’s worth wondering if his being Black isn’t a factor as well. Racism wouldn’t exactly be a first for the Republican party. Interestingly, it was at Scott’s prayer breakfast that Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace was branded with a scarlet letter for mentioning she has sex out of wedlock. It’s almost like the Republican party is a heap of double standards and brain-dead bigotry or something! Do they just want to play-act the Puritan colonies or something? I’m sure there’s a perfectly miserable LARPing group out there that does that.
If nothing else, this pearl-clutching episode should be a stark reminder for everyone: the Republicans are a party of clowns with values generations out of date.