It’s practically a cliché when an old guy or a conservative complains about declining moral standards. But with the news of a professed pedophile now openly seeking a seat in Congress and placing his pedophilia front and center as part of his platform, I feel fairly secure in passing judgment on our society. Something is very wrong here.
Nathan Larson, 37, who has gone on record to proclaim that he is a pedophile and rapist is running for a congressional seat in Virginia. Larson’s political platform includes the legalization of child pornography, marital rape, incest, abolition of child protective services, and a repeal of the 19th Amendment.
When asked by Huffington Post reporters whether he merely writes about pedophilia or engages in it, he proudly proclaimed, “It’s a mix of both.” He also admitted to running and posting in chat rooms dedicated to promoting rape and pedophilia. In one of these, using the administrator pseudonym “Lysander,” Larson noted:
I just want to bang my daughter, actually, but even if it were legal, I’m not sure it would happen, since i don’t have custody. After sex with kids is legalized, parents (or other guardians) will still be gatekeepers to some extent, and a lot of them will want to bang their own kids and not share with others.
Charming. Thankfully, he lost custody of his child. But his first wife committed suicide after he reportedly abused and raped her repeatedly.
The Huffington Post could barely contain itself as Trump’s name came up. The article concluded with a quote in which Larson compares himself to President Trump: “A lot of people who disagreed with someone like Trump . . . might vote for them anyway just because the establishment doesn’t like them.” (I’d love to see what was left out of those ellipses). The article seems to attempt to smear Trump supporters with the brush of this one reprobate.
Larson calls his platform “quasi-neoreactionary libertarian.” I have no clue what that means, but I’m fairly sure that Ron Paul and Gary Johnson would want nothing to do with this guy. Regardless where and to whom Larson lends his “support” or compares himself, or with what party he claims to affiliate, reasonable people—regardless of politics or party—would agree he is beyond the pale.
Can we safely assume we live in a nation sufficiently populated with reasonable people when a man like this feels free not only to reveal himself but to run for office? The Trump mention is low hanging fruit, and grabbing at it is to miss a broader point. Namely, we now live in a society where pedophiles proudly run for office—on political platforms that paint them as victims.
The Irony of Troll-as-Victim
We inhabit a social ecosystem where the forces of political correctness, deconstruction of traditional mores, and intersectionality all conspired to permit this person to believe that platforming pedophilia and the creation of a troll-as-victim-class was a good idea and the natural outgrowth of expanding “rights.” Political correctness, with its focus on the primacy of victimology based on group identity, worked in tandem with critical theory. The result is the fungibility of ethics that creates this mess.
The irony, of course, is that Larson rails against political correctness but, of course, he himself is one of its primary beneficiaries. At no time before the rise of political correctness could a professed pedophile dare to expose himself to the wider culture. Yet here we are. It is precisely the ethos of victimhood capital and the unmooring of morality from any traditional continuity—phenomena actively promoted by political correctness, cultural Marxism, and critical theory—that allows a disgusting creature like Nathan Larson to believe not only that he and his ilk are a victim class beset upon by arbitrary notions of morality, but that their cause is just and needs vocal representation. As victimhood increasingly becomes political currency, it becomes progressively easier to create subjectively defined categories for victimhood.
In 2014, the New York Times published an article that laid out to the general public the intellectual foundations for pedophile victimhood when it ran an opinion piece by Rutgers professor Margo Kaplan. Kaplan argued that instead of shaming pedophiles and treating them as the stains on humanity that they are, we should, instead, pity them and allow them to come out of the shadows.
Further, as critical theory-laden politically correct culture dispensed with traditional notions of morality in favor of subjective relativism and made “shaming” an unjustifiable moral injustice this kind of thing was bound to happen.
Pedophiles and rapists no longer hide in the shadows. Their shame is gone. Moreover, they take pride in their perceived victimhood. Shame is, in part, a social regulation of norms based upon mutually adhered to moral criteria. As tradition and the idea of traditional moral criteria itself becomes suspect due to the influence of critical theory and cultural Marxism, shame disappears. What’s worse is that it is replaced with a sense of pride and perceived victimhood.
Still Reason for Hope Amid Concern
Ultimately, I still have faith that most of us—regardless of party, politics, race, sex, or socioeconomic status—can recognize that Nathan Larson is exactly the kind of disgusting reprobate who deserves not only our collective scorn, but who also should feel a constant social pressure to be ashamed of his thoughts and actions. And if he truly is guilty of the crimes he has admitted to, he ought to be in jail. This implies that the forces of political correctness, with its victimology gospel, and critical theory, with its indictment of all traditional morality, haven’t triumphed completely.
It should be disconcerting to all of us, however, that Nathan Larson is not only unashamed, but that he is proud and emboldened by those social forces that allow him to proclaim his desires while simultaneously permitting him to consider himself a victim of society.