There is every reason to have robust discussions about paying for broadband access, how to green our nation’s energy supplies, and what might be the best path forward when dealing with a rejuvenated Taliban. There are, and should be energized views and forceful presentations of those opinions.
That frothy nature of our dialogue has been the standard since we threw off King George III. And it is a healthy part of our republic.
But it is the most ridiculous and purposefully divisive rhetoric, far from the issues, that we too often hear that causes for the further polarizing of the nation.
Such was the case recently when Fox News’s Tucker Carlson mocked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for doing exactly what millions of other Americans do every year. The very same program that citizens desire and elected officials recognize as most prudent Carlson openly mocked.
Carlson who usually plays on the shallow end of the swimming pool could not contain himself over the idea that two male married parents were raising adopted children. He quipped that Pete and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, were “trying to figure out how to breastfeed.”
That surely made for guffaws around the nation for the low-brow who make a habit of watching such dribble on television. The anti-gay backslap was not lost on the ones who first read about it in news accounts.
The great social swing in this nation on a host of issues from racial accountability, gay marriage, transgender issues, women’s rights, and caring for refugees has left a swath of mostly rural caucasian Americans wondering what happened to their Archie Bunker world. No more smoking in a diner, slapping a waitress on the backside, and using racial slurs as a punchline.
This nation has made some fine and needed steps to structure much of the nation from our neighborhoods to the floors of the United States Senate to reflect our more rational side as a society. So, why then, do some national commentators and an entire ‘news’ network seem unaware that we are well into the 21st century?
I do not think there is a legitimate argument against paternity leave. The bonding between the child(ren) and parents has been proven to be most important in the early weeks of life. But even if someone wanted to play to the far side of the field on the issue why make an anti-gay slam as Carlson did?
What troubles Carlson, and others like him, is the normalcy that comes with gay marriage, gay parents raising children, and the seamless blending that has occurred in communities nationwide. All the wild-eyed lingo from the right-wing about gay rights folded like a wet house of cards.
But people like Tucker Carlson hold onto their prejudices like a raccoon to a late-night find in a garbage can. When they take those views public, however, and feed the base with them it continues to stunt the needed growth among that segment of the nation who keep falling farther behind the majority.
And so it goes.