If I learned anything about the Republican Party growing up in a conservative evangelical family, it was that the GOP was the party of family values. At the time, I believed the rhetoric. Why shouldn’t I? I was a homeschooled child who had never been exposed to anything that might challenge this claim. I’d never met a gay person, but I knew that they led miserable, godless, sex-obsessed, dangerous, anti-family lifestyles, because that’s what my parents and church taught me. I didn’t realize that GOP rhetoric about welfare recipients ignored the various alternative kinds of families people form. I thought the definition of the word “family” was a married man and woman and their biological or adopted children.
I’ve long since realized that much of what I was taught, as a homeschooled evangelical conservative Republican girl, was highly selective, very biased, and even flat-out false. But that’s not why I’m angry today. Oh no, I’m angry for a completely different reason. I’m angry because even on their own terms, Republicans’ claim to be the party of “family values” is spurious and hollow. I’m angry because the GOP holds double standards to beat all other double standards. I’m angry at the deception.
You can’t get much more “family man” than Barack Obama. He’s a loving husband and a dedicated father. His relationship with his wife, Michelle, and with their daughters, Malia and Sasha, is wonderful to behold. He has never been accused of infidelity. He has never been on the cover of Playboy. He has never left a wife for another woman. He speaks of Michelle with respect, honor, and admiration. Pictures of him with his daughters are a sight to behold. And yet, evangelicals accused this family man of being the antichrist, and worse. They have spent the past eight years vilifying him up and down. The hatred has been palpable.
I realize that a pretty picture does not a happy family make, but anyone who has followed the Obamas can see that the president is a dedicated, loving father who lives for his children, who values and loves his wife. I’ve never seen a hint of an affair.
Contrast this with Donald Trump. Trump cheated on his first wife with another woman, and then divorced his first wife to marry the woman. He later divorced his second wife and remarried a third time. He was on the cover of Playboy for gracious sakes.
And look at how Trump talks about his most recent wife, Melania: