Endorsing replacement theory, it turns out, may be not only a poor display of humanity, but a political error as well. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is now frantically defending himself, trying to completely redefine the term, after backlash.
It started with a defense of Tucker Carlson, and quickly escalated into insisting that it’s only the left and media who define Replacement Theory in terms of demographics — despite that actually literally being the whole idea of the so-called Great Replacement.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has a history of Replacement Theory here, but the short version is that it’s a racially-based theory that non-white populations are moving to “white” areas and “replacing” the population, and that the ultimate end will be “white extinction.”
When Tucker Carlson espoused it, the ADL responded, calling for his removal from Fox News. Gaetz jumped to his defense over the weekend, insisting that Carlson was right, and that the ADL are the racist ones.
.@TuckerCarlson is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.
The ADL is a racist organization. https://t.co/32Vu60HrJK
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) September 25, 2021
However, Gaetz must have realized how much of a mistake that was, because on Monday morning, he has a new response. Instead of admitting he was wrong, however, he just insisted that everyone besides himself was defining Replacement Theory wrong.
The Left/Media think of replacement solely on race/ethnicity terms. I don’t at all.
Democrats failed the voters who relied on them to run their states/cities.
Now they are importing new voters.
That is my argument.
Those reading more into it are projecting their own bias. https://t.co/iGED8QlvZB
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) September 27, 2021
Gaetz insisted that he doesn’t think about Replacement Theory in terms of race at all, but in terms of Democrats “importing new voters” — which he apparently doesn’t think is another way of saying it’s about race or ethnicity at all.
Notably, in the very Guardian article that Gaetz shared in Carlson’s defense, it’s made very clear that Carslon’s own remarks were very much about race, and that he didn’t try to hide it:
“Claiming the Biden administration was trying “to change the racial mix of the country”, Carlson said, “In political terms, this policy is called ‘the great replacement’, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries.”
Gaetz is on the defense in more ways than one at the moment. It’s not just espousing an openly racist political theory and trying to pretend it has a different meaning when he says it. He’s also still facing accusations of sex trafficking and related crimes — and according to the Daily Beast, analysis of the team he’s hired to defend him against the charges suggests he’s taking it very seriousl.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com