The American Family Association has accused the American Association of Retired Persons of being a fringe organization that promotes a “homosexual agenda” that does not represent older American’s “values and standards.”
Why? Because, in addition to coupons for Outback Steakhouse and discounts on prescription refills, the retiree organization’s website has a page to provide “resources, news, and other topics of interest to older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their family and friends.”
Being pro-family means you're not even allowed to acknowledge the presence
of gay people? Really, do we think the AARP is engaging in some big conspiracy here, a plot to turn senior citizens gay? What, for the valuable coupons?
I remember back when these people were actually taken seriously—or, at least, more seriously than they're treated now. I remember the whole "moral majority" nonsense, for that matter, an entire movement built around a new implied segregation, right-wing Christianity versus everyone else, with the demands that the right-wing position be enshrined into all the laws and everyone else was supposed to shut up and wait patiently to be converted. What I can't decide is whether or not it's actually worse now than it was then or if it just seems that way. Has the movement gotten actively dumber? Surely, I think, it must have—but then we have to remember that back then, we had Dan Quayle, an actual sitting Vice President, locked in battle with a goddamn fictional television character about her abominable single-motherhood. That wasn't exactly a shining moment of glory for conservative familah-values Republicanism either, that one.
It feels like there's a doctoral thesis to be had in all this, some hypothesis to be looked into as to whether the rise of Fox News has made abject stupidity more popular than ever, or whether the unwillingness of society to keep discriminated-against groups discriminated-against has sent the whole subculture of far-right conservatism into a mental woodchopper, or whether there's been no actual increase in the American Family Association stupidity index at all, we just think there has been because we've blocked all the earlier crap these groups have worked themselves into a frothy mixture over in past decades. I wonder.