The Michigan Republican Party recently held its endorsement convention in Grand Rapids, a process that many observers are calling a “a shit show, free and fair election that was totally well organized and showed Republican unity.”
They tapped Trump-backed Q-Anon aficionado Kristina Karamo to run against Democratic incumbent Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State. Benson just received a JFK Profile in Courage award for her work in the 2020 election, an election Karamo still insists was stolen from the disgraced former president.
That would be enough to raise eyebrows, but Karamo has a history of really wild theories. She used to be a podcast host, and in a rational world has said many a thing that should make a run for public office a no go. But we’re talking about today’s Republican Party, where the fringe is celebrated and elevated.
On Aug. 6, 2020, Karamo took issue with Ariana Grande’s song “God Is a Woman,” according to Media Matters. She said Grande, along with Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, perpetuates the rise of “paganism and witchcraft.”
“At the MTV video awards [Grande’s] performance involved recreating the Last Supper of Christ as a lesbian orgy,” Karamo says. “Then she had the Shiva, which is the Hindu goddess of death, above the supposed lesbian orgy that was the Last Supper.”
For some reason I had never heard of this performance, and so I looked it up. And, though calling it a “lesbian orgy” is a stretch, Karamo is not lying about this like she is lying about the 2020 election.
“Just total blasphemy,” Karamo continues. And then she says something about the backdrop depicting Shiva “the Hindu goddess of death” and “a portal that was a vagina.”
“Because that’s part of paganism, this female worship,” she says. “And so that’s the people who are entertaining your kids.”
Grande has said before that the song is about female empowerment. At the end of the MTV performance she brings her mom, grandma, and cousin on stage, which I guess means they a family of lesbian pagans? You know what they say, the family that lesbian pagans together lesbian staygans together.
In a video she posted in 2018, Karamo rails against sex before marriage, and you’ll never guess what else. “When we start to say, ‘Oh well, if you want to have sex with somebody of the same sex, that’s okay too.’ And now, it has morphed into something worse,” she says.
Spoiler alert: the majority of the video is about pedophilia.
“It used to be a time when it was like ‘Let me live my life and leave me alone.’ Now many of us became empathetic to that cause,” she continues. “Not that we necessarily agreed with people’s sexual lifestyles, but we said, ‘I mean, it’s not my life. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but this is your life and I’m going to leave you alone. But it’s not about that. It’s morphed into something so much darker than that. That even people who identify as one of those letters sometimes don’t even see it themselves. It has morphed into something that, ‘Either you agree with me, or you’re an evil, hateful bigot and a homophobe and I’m going to ruin your life.’”
Interesting that she thinks “evil hateful bigots and homophobes” have their lives ruined. In the circles in which she runs, bigots and homophobes often get to become serious candidates for offices like Secretary of State.
So who is to blame for all of this?
“It started back when we made it okay to engage in premarital sex,” she says.
OK, so this goes WAY back. Because sex, and for that matter homosexuality, existed long before marriage ever did. If only we could go back in time and show the world’s earliest humans footage from today’s Pride parades, perhaps everything would be different. Maybe prehistoric man would be absolutely fabulous.
This is the person the Michigan Republican Party believes should be in charge of the state’s elections. If we ever want to have another free and fair election, she cannot win. We must reelect Jocelyn Benson, a true champion of democracy. Go to her website (at votebenson.com), and throw a few bucks her way. She is a true public servant and Michigan is beyond lucky to have her.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.