Have you ever driven or walked across a bridge? Have you ever turned on your faucet and received water that you could reasonably expect was safe to drink and/or to bathe in? Have you ever flushed a toilet and watched the water swirl into oblivion rather than, say, backing up onto the floor or into your basement? Have you ever driven on a freeway?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have Infrastructure.
Don’t worry, it’s not terminal. I mean, unless you’re driving over a bridge that hasn’t been maintained for decades and it collapses, sending your car and its passengers free falling into a ravine. Then it’s terminal. But the chances of that happening are really small.
In fact, you never have to think about infrastructure at all, unless it goes wrong. The roads you drive, the pipes that deliver water to your house, the bridges your kid’s school bus drives over every day, simply… exist.
When everything is working, infrastructure is just there, and it does its thing, and that’s that. Which is how it’s supposed to work! Your tax dollars are used to fill potholes and maintain bridges and replace lead pipes to keep you safe and keep everything you depend on functioning. That’s your government at work.
Alas, if there’s one thing Republicans hate besides transgender kids playing sports, it’s a functioning government. Especially a government that tries to protect LGBTQ+ people in any way, shape, or form.
Which is why the Family Research Council sent me an email urging me to contact my U.S. Senators and ask them to vote against the infrastructure package. Why?
Come on, you know why.
“Right now, Democrats in Washington are lining up a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure ‘deal’ that’s bad news,” the email, which is signed by “Quena Gonzalez, Senior Director of Government Affairs,” reads. “Not only will the bill increase the national budget deficit, which has already ballooned to three times the 2019 level, it contains a poison pill that advances the goal of the Equality Act: the total overhaul of our federal civil rights framework to mandate special privileges based on LGBT identities.”
Oh no! Not the Equality Act! Heaven forbid that protections for LGBTQ+ people should be included in an infrastructure package.
Also, conservatives Do. Not. Give. A. Shit. about deficits unless Democrats are in charge. Under Republican rule they don’t say a word about paying for wars or tax cuts for the rich no matter how much debt results.
But as soon as Democrats get control of the budget and want to spend money doing things that actually help people, conservatives are all of a sudden worried about the debt burden we’re leaving our grandchildren. They don’t believe in climate change, though. But hey, at least when future generations are scrambling over the rubble of this nation’s former freeway system and drinking water rife with heavy metals, they won’t be burdened by debt incurred by trying to actually fix or maintain these things.
Anyway, the “special privileges” carved out for LGBTQ+ people are, unfortunately, not rainbow-colored crosswalks and bridges reserved for queer use. No, the most special privilege of all, apparently, is protection from discrimination. That’s the “poison pill.” The infrastructure bill mentions gender identity and sexual orientation so it must be stopped!
I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty recent memory of a whole building full of sleeping people crumbling to the ground in seconds in Florida. It’s the kind of truly terrifying thing that you might think would motivate our elected officials to actually address this nation’s dire infrastructure issues.
But who am I kidding. The same folks who want to torpedo any spending on infrastructure are the same ones who have watched millions of people worldwide die from COVID-19 and have come to the conclusion that the whole thing is a hoax and that vaccinations are the real problem.
“This bill advances an aggressive leftist agenda that seeks to mandate an ideology about marriage and human sexuality across the nation,” the email continues. “Please take a moment right now to make your voice heard!”
In other words, “Let our nation’s infrastructure continue its decline into dust to own the libs because we hate LGBTQ+ people so much.”
The Republican Party is truly a death cult. Vote them out.