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Somehow, It Always Comes Back to the Evangelicals

Since it looks to be one of the main wedge issues of the 2024 election, we've written quite a bit about trans issues in the past couple of weeks, and some of the underlying dynamics therein. To recap:

And now, to wrap it up, we note a piece from Mother Jones brought to our attention by reader J.S. in The Hague, Netherlands. The staff of the publication filed a bunch of Freedom of Information requests for e-mails from state-level lawmakers. And what those e-mails make clear is that the folks who are really calling the shots are the evangelical lobbyists.

EVen FOIA requests can't paint a full picture, but it's clear that the same shadowy cabal that's behind the anti-abortion movement is behind the anti-trans stuff. We're talking groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American College of Pediatricians, the Eagle Forum, the Christian Medical & Dental Association, and the Heritage Foundation. Those names are chosen to make the various entities seem impartial and patriotic, but they all exist to push a hard-right agenda informed by hard-right American evangelicalism.

What is motivating these folks is not clear. It could be that they really believe in what they are doing, so much so they're willing to pull whatever strings it takes. It could also be that this is their way of retaining political power in a world where the size of the evangelical population is shrinking. Truth is, it's probably both.

And that's what it really comes down to. For the right-wing media types, and the Neo-Nazis, and the evangelicals, and the politicians there's some blend here of sincere belief and political opportunism. And since they are largely on the same page, and since they largely reinforce one another, this will not only be a major dynamic in 2024; it figures to be a major dynamic for a fairly long time. Or, at very least, until these folks find an even more effective bugaboo. (Z)

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