I have made an interesting observation about right-wing Republicans who like to think of themselves as the absolute authorities on morality in this country: It appears that their tolerance for others’ “immorality” is, like everyone else’s, dependent on their own life experiences.
I will give two examples. Dick Cheney, surely no left-wing radical, shamelessly supported our unnecessary war in Iraq and is still an advocate for the torture of prisoners under our control. Surprisingly, however, he is supportive of gay rights. Do you suppose that his views on homosexuality have anything to do with the fact that one of his daughters is a lesbian?
My second example is more recent. Most Republicans are falling all over themselves to object to the release of a Senate report on the torture of prisoners by the CIA during the George W. Bush administration; Cheney himself is one of the loudest whiners. And, yet, John McCain strongly supports this acknowledgment of our country’s mistreatment of prisoners so that we will never again be tempted to repeat those acts. I wonder if McCain’s opinion has anything to do with the fact that he was imprisoned and tortured for several years.
All of this makes me wonder if Republicans’ attitudes toward poor people and immigrants might be different if they had grown up under poor and difficult conditions.