A far-right, Trump-endorsed GOP House nominee in Michigan must not need the votes of women. In the past, he’s said that women aren’t as smart as men, shouldn’t be in the workplace with men, and the nation has “suffered” since women were given the right to vote. If I lived in Michigan, I know I would simply withhold my vote from any candidate who didn’t see me as an equal. But hey, that’s just me.
In a stunning victory during the August primary, John Gibbs beat the incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids Township. In November, Gibbs faces Democrat Hillary Scholten, a former attorney in the Obama administration's Department of Justice, The Detroit News reports.
But thanks to reporting from CNN, Gibbs’ past has come back to bite him on his misogynist ass.
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According to his campaign website, Gibbs was appointed by former President Donald Trump as acting assistant secretary for community planning and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Secretary Ben Carson. And that makes sense, knowing how incompetent Carson was in the job. Gibbs was later appointed by the 45th president to serve on the 1776 Commission, “where he fought Critical Race Theory and similar extremist ideologies by helping communities focus educational curricula on the founding documents and principles rather than divisive identity politics.” Oh brother, this just gets better and better.
But it was while he was a student at Stanford University in the 2000s that Gibbs, a Michigan native and the grandson of Black sharecroppers, found his truly extreme version of conservatism.
CNN reports that while at Stanford, Gibbs founded a “think tank” called The Society for the Critique of Feminism, where he espoused a litany of misogynistic and extremist views. Comments include everything from “having more women in the workplace does not benefit men” to stating that “the United States has suffered as a result of women's suffrage.”
More specifically, at once point, Gibbs asks if men are smarter than women. He answers himself:
“... if by ‘smart,’ one means the ability to think logically about broad and abstract ideas in order to deduce a suitable conclusion, without relying upon emotional reasoning, I think the answer is yes.”
As for whose job it is to raise children, Gibbs writes simply, “We simply believe that this is not the father’s primary task, whereas it is the mother's.”
Gibbs goes on to discuss women in the workplace, about which he writes that “having more women in the workplace does not benefit men, it only strains them,” adding, “In the post-feminist workplace, men must bend over backwards to make sure that they do not inadvertently offend any woman who might happen to hear a joke or comment uttered in humor and harmlessness.”
Of course, Gibbs’ spokesperson AnneMarie Schieber is desperate to try to clean all of this up, telling CNN that "John made the site to provoke the left on campus and to draw attention to the hypocrisy of some modern-day feminists. It was nothing more than a college kid being over the top. ... Of course, John does not believe that women shouldn't vote or shouldn't work, and his mother worked for thirty-three years for the Michigan Department of Transportation!"
According to CNN, Gibbs tried to have the site pulled in 2016, but the outlet was able to retrieve it via an archiving service. CNN additionally found comments from Gibbs decrying the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. (That’s the one that granted women the right to vote in 1920.)
More recently, and before his Twitter feed went private in 2017, the then-HUD employee regularly tweeted and retweeted scads of conspiracy theories about everything from the Democratic Party to the Sandy Hook “hoax” and claims about Hillary Clinton to satanic rituals.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski reported on a long list of Gibbs’ archived conspiracy theory tweets, such as this one from February 2016, where Gibbs called the Democratic Party the party of “Islam, gender-bending, anti-police,” and the party that makes claims of racism against others.
The Michigan district Gibbs is running in is fast becoming one of the most hotly contested in the nation. The Detroit News reports the 3rd District turned bluer during the last redistricting cycle, and would have gone to President Joe Biden by 8 percentage points if the 2020 elections were held today.
Donald Trump and his MAGA allies came close to overthrowing our democracy on January 6, and they will try again if they win in 2022. The best thing you can do is to help get out the Democratic vote for the midterms, and we need everyone to do what they can. Click here to find all the volunteer opportunities available.
Since Dobbs, women have registered to vote in unprecedented numbers across the country, and the first person to dig into these stunning trends was TargetSmart CEO Tom Bonier, who's our guest on this week's episode of The Downballot. Bonier explains how his firm gathers data on the electorate; why this surge is likely a leading indicator showing stepped-up enthusiasm among many groups of voters, including women, young people, and people of color; how we know these new registrants disproportionately lean toward Democrats; and what it all might mean for November.