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A Republican in Michigan is using text messages aimed at inspiring transphobic rage to raise funds for his run at the U.S. House of Representatives.
State Sen. Tom Barrett sent out fictitious text messages to supporters, copies of which were obtained by Michigan Advance. Through multiple iterations, the messages claim the "Gender Reassignment Surgery" for the recipient's child has been scheduled. For those with issues to the "operation" the site directs them to links to oppose "Biden's National Transgender Strategy" and otherwise donate to Barrett's campaign.
Readers are directed to a fundraising site for Barrett that claims "President Biden is forcing 5-year-olds to learn about gender reassignment surgeries, gender identities, and other radical ideas."
\u201cQuite the shock tactic for fundraising: Michigan congressional candidate (state Sen. Tom Barrett) sends text messages that open with this language:\n\n"your child's gender reassignment surgery has been booked"\nhttps://t.co/AgKEmuy1DV\u201d— Zack Stanton (@Zack Stanton) 1650577466
The site continues by claiming "our children are doomed" unless "every American" steps up to stop what it calls "this sick and twisted ideology from poisoning our children." On the Tom Barrett For Congress website, Barrett proudly claims to have been "one of Michigan's leading conservative voices" with the "most conservative voting record of any member of the Senate in 2021."
The texts are aimed at inspiring transphobic rage and vitriol, spurring concerned parents into action. It is a part of an overall strategy over the past year to weaponize children in a bid to win votes and dollars. As The Advocate's editor at large John Casey recently pointed out, this is aimed particularly at suburban moms. Gender confirmation surgery is extremely rare on minors.
Barrett, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, is running for the Republican nomination to represent Michigan's 7th Congressional District in the House. He is currently in his second term in the Michigan State Senate after serving two terms in the state's House of Representatives. The Michigan primary takes place on August 2 and the general election takes place on November 8.
The winner of the Republican primary will face incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin in the November general election.