At a Saturday campaign event in Conway, South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) insisted that the confirmation of Trump pick Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court shows that women can get ahead in the United States… if they follow what he called “traditional family structure.” Graham’s idea, of course, reeks of sexism. Why not work to make sure that women can get ahead in the United States no matter the “structure” of their family? Barrett is married (to a man) and has a number of children. What about women who don’t want to get married? What about LGBTQ women? Is Graham trying to make himself sound totally out of touch?
Did he mean to imply that there’s not — or shouldn’t be — a place to advance in America for women who don’t “follow traditional family structure”? He could have been trying to “encourage” American women who follow “traditional family structure,” but the whole underlying notion of connecting family structure to getting ahead in the U.S. seems sexist. At his campaign event, Graham said the following:
‘You know what I like about Judge Barrett? She’s got everything. She’s [not just] wicked smart. She’s incredibly good. She embraces her faith. I want every young woman to know that that there’s a place for you in America if you’re pro-life, if you embrace your religion and you follow traditional family structure — that you can go anywhere, young lady.’
Watch Graham’s dubious comments below:
Sen. Lindsey Graham says Amy Coney Barrett shows young women can go anywhere in America "if you are pro-life, if you embrace your religion and you follow traditional family structure."
The term "traditional family structure" has been used to exclude and denigrate LGBTQ families. pic.twitter.com/bbpvnBdFU7
— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) October 31, 2020
Strikingly — this occasion is not even the first time that Graham has made a comment along these lines! During a televised forum amidst this same campaign, Graham insisted that black Americans can get ahead in South Carolina… if they’re conservative. Specifically, he said that “if you’re a young, African American or an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal.” Who appointed Lindsey Graham to be the arbiter of what standards black people have to abide by before they can find success in South Carolina? Nobody made such an appointment, obviously. Graham sounds intent on making himself sound out of touch — but since he likely does not actually sit around thinking of ways to try and sink his own campaign, he just sounds incompetent.
Graham is running in a close re-election race against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison, who is black and used to serve as the chairperson of the S.C. Democratic Party. In the final lead-up to Election Day, FiveThirtyEight estimates that there’s an about 23 percent chance of a Harrison victory — and, although it’s slim, the fact that there’s an almost one-in-four chance of an upset Democratic victory in South Carolina says a lot about Republicans’ sinking political prospects.
Graham is a top ally of Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate. He has been a prominent voice on behalf of the president during the confirmation of Trump Supreme Court picks including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
He has also used his post as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to lead a punitive investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, which the president and his allies falsely allege was simply meant to undermine Trump.