From time to time, when forced to write about Jason Rapert (R-Leviticus), I like to list all of his defining characteristics, so that anyone from outside Arkansas who discovers Rapert through the internet might have the full picture.
As I’ve written before, “Depending on the day, he may show up as a fiddle player1, a flouter of campaign-finance laws (repeatedly), obliquely racist, a proselytizer of the highest order, a bigot who would attack anyone who doesn’t subscribe to his world view, vehemently anti-Muslim2 and anti-woman, fully bent over in service of the oil industry, a pompous ass who is willing to turn his back on any constituent who doesn’t blindly support him, neither a doctor nor a scientist, a huge proponent of unconstitutional bills that accomplish nothing, and completely disingenuous about his level of transparency when pressed on an issue.” We later added “jingoistic fool” to the list based on his asinine statements about “tactical nukes.”3
Today’s reason for writing about Stanley Jason Rapert falls under “a bigot who would attack anyone who doesn’t subscribe to his world view.”
Last Friday (2/3/17), Michael Hildebrand sent Sen. Rapert a private message on Facebook:
Boiled down, Mr. Hildebrand’s question was essentially:
1. Hildebrand came out as gay 15 years ago and, for a long time, endured harassment and threats because of his sexuality; and
2. Arkansas as a whole has grown over that time period and the threats and harassment are less now than they were 15 years ago; so
3. What purpose other than a desire to discriminate against LGBT people and their families could be behind Rapert’s desire for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman?
Rapert, who has never met a question that he wouldn’t attempt to spin into how hard it is to be a Christian in Arkansas, responded with two related, but independently ignorant, comments, neither of which answered the question posed to him:
1. “You don’t need marriage for a gay lifestyle.”
2. “The LGBT activists never had to mess with marriage — that was their mistake.”
Regarding his first assertion, I would note only that you also don’t need marriage for a heterosexual lifestyle. But, then, I don’t expect someone who considers the Family Research Council a reliable source to understand things like logical conclusions to arguments.
As to his second “point” — that the “activists never had to mess with marriage” — let’s substitute some other groups/rights into that sentence and see how it sounds:
“The civil rights activists never had to mess with anti-miscegenation laws — that was their mistake.”
“The women’s activists never had to mess with suffrage — that was their mistake.”
“The anti-slavery activists never had to mess with the peculiar institution — that was their mistake.”
ANYWAY, as Rapert is wont to do, he did not respond to Hildebrand’s follow-up (which correctly pointed out that Rapert hadn’t answered the question). So Hildebrand posted the exchange on Facebook and Reddit, hoping to draw attention to what this Arkansas Senator was doing and how unwilling (or unable) the Senator was to explain his motives or engage in discussion. Rapert — or someone on his behalf — even complained to Facebook about Hildebrand’s post and had it removed briefly. Because of course he did.
Rapert, apparently upset that his own words were being read by people, blocked Hildebrand on Twitter. After blocking him, Rapert commenced to his simplistic form of trash talk, referencing Hildebrand without the latter being able to respond directly.5 Ultimately, when pressed by other Twitter users regarding why he would not discuss the issues with Hildebrand or even answer the simple questions posed to him, Rapert went so far as to post screenshots from Hildebrand’s personal Facebook page as “justification” for his refusal to respond.
(Tangent: Do people still say “Not” anymore as some kind of punchline? Or has Jason Rapert not updated his pop culture references since 1992?)
Many people were taken aback by an elected official’s use of screenshots from the Facebook page of a person that he would not even engage in actual debate, and Rapert was quickly called out for this behavior:
The good news is that Hildebrand has, apparently, seen an uptick in sales of the shirt featured in the picture that Rapert posted. The bad news, however, is that Jason Rapert apparently thinks it is ok to post information about someone with whom he disagrees in an effort to…I’m not sure, actually. Make the person feel threatened if some of Rapert’s followers contact the person? Try to embarrass the person?
Whatever the reason, they say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Therefore, if you’ve ever wanted to contact Jason Rapert to voice your opposition (or support, I suppose) for anything he has done, here is all of the relevant information:
Stanley Jason Rapert
374 Breezewood Rd., Bigelow, AR 72016 [map]
email@example.com (In case you don’t get a response from firstname.lastname@example.org.)
(501) 472-2794 (Personal cell phone)
(501) 336-0918 (This one is Holy Ghost Ministries AND his main contact number for Senate work; make of that what you will.)
Go ahead and reach out to Stanjay. I’m sure he will welcome all input with civility and composure and will not come off as a belligerent child.
UPDATE: Click here to see what happened next.
His one admirable trait, actually.↩
I must’ve missed the part where Jesus said to be hateful and intolerant of others.↩
A topic which he appears to understand about as well as he understands tolerance.↩
Also, “not everything is about you or the LGBT”? Possibly true, but a bill that is specifically designed to take away a right FROM the LGBT is about them, you disingenuous shitstain.↩
He’s a brave man, that Stanley.↩