Josh Duggar — And The Conservative Infatuation With Fame

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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By now, you’ve heard about the Josh Duggar molestation scandal. I’m not going to rehash it. Nor am I going to get on a soapbox about the hypocrisy of people preaching values having a plank in their own eye — or the increasingly creepy connotation attached to a reality show titled, “19 Kids And Counting.” And lastly, I’m not going to criticize the numerous Republican politicians who posed for photos with Duggar (if you’re famous and someone wants a picture, you usually grant it).

What I am going to do is zero in on what struck me as an especially interesting, if largely unrelated, sentence in the Washington Post’s coverage of the story: “Duggar was running a used-car lot before he became the new face of the Family Research Council.”

How does this happen? I’m not suggesting that someone who runs a used car lot in Arkansas can’t eventually become the executive director of a group like FRC Action. But is that where you start? Shouldn’t you maybe, I don’t know, work for a social conservative outfit before being promoted to essentially running one?

Of course, this sort of favoritism and lack of vetting is utterly consistent with a conservative movement that is starstruck. Despite all the talk about hating Hollywood, conservatives generally turn into fawning fanboys the minute a celeb shows us a little love.

It doesn’t even matter how big a name. It can be a race car driver, a washed up, aging actor, or even the oldest son on a reality TV show. Doesn’t matter. We can’t get enough.

It’s why Phil Robertson gets a political platform. It’s why Clint Eastwood got to debate a chair. It’s why Kid Rock gets trotted out on TV and at campaign appearances And it’s why, if the first GOP primary debate were held today, Donald Trump would probably be included (while John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham would not) …

Someone has a strong unnatural attraction that keeps causing trouble. (And no, I’m not talking about Duggar’s alleged activities here.)

Matt K. Lewis