The increasingly tawdry and grotesque story of Trump Mini-Me Matt Gaetz -- here's an update -- is just the latest in an unending, continual, predictable, depressing, ugly and yet darkly comical procession of Bible thumpers and political champions of "traditional" sexual morality who are publicly exposed as total hypocrites.
I can't say whether Republican politicians are more likely than Democrats to be the subject of sex scandals in general, if you include sexual harassment -- Andrew Cuomo needs to resign, BTW -- but some kinds of scandals are only possible for so-called social conservatives. It isn't a scandal that Pete Buttigieg is gay, but it was a scandal that Sen. Larry Craig engaged in homosexual activity. It's not that big of a deal if a liberal politician has an affair or gets divorced, but it was indeed a big deal when Newt Gingrich was outed as having an extramarital affair with a woman 23 years his junior while he presided over the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
The idolatry of the former guy is enough to prove that they don't really mean it. When I call Gaetz Mini-Me I mean that in all respects.* I'm not an expert in the psychology of this, but Jay Michaelson had some thoughts back in 2017 -- even before the saga of Jerry Falwell Jr. and the poolboy, or one you may have missed, Ravi Zacharias, who was eulogized by Mike Pence, or Donald Foose, or many others. Michaelson notes that he had easily uncovered 17 recent preacher sex scandals just with a little googling. So here's his analysis:
[O]ur blasé attitude toward clerical sexual philandering minimizes the serious harms it causes: primarily to the victims, but also to sexual and gender minorities who are persecuted in public precisely because these conservative Christians are wrestling with their own demons in private.
And that is the point that’s usually missed when the mainstream media covers religious “hypocrites” or “perverts” or whatever. It’s also missed when anti-LGBT and anti-women religious conservatives are described as “haters” or “bigots.” They’re not haters—they’re fear-ers, and the people they’re most afraid of are themselves.
There is a direct line from the religious hysteria over trans people in bathrooms to religious people hysterical over their own wayward libidos. It’s well known that the most homophobic people are also the most aroused by homosexual stimuli—this has been established in a variety of studies, some measuring arousal with ingenious devices attached to the “straight” men’s penises. Psychologically, this is what Freud called “reaction formation”—essentially, projecting your psychological baggage onto someone else.
But conservative Christianity is institutionalized reaction formation. Socially, culturally, and theologically, it drums in the message that sex is bad, that you are bad for wanting it, and that people who say they want it are even worse than you. This is not true for liberal Christians (or Jews or Muslims); but it is true for almost all conservative Christians (or Jews or Muslims).
And that of course brings up the case of Robert Aaron Long, who murdered 8 people in Atlanta including 6 Asian women and blamed it on psychosexual torment created by his conservative Evangelical church. Of course in this case it was also bound up with a racist component, although it's not entirely unique in that respect. What is really sad is that these people are a fervent, monolithic voting bloc, and they vote for politicians who claim to champion their "values" while doing everything possible in office to harm their economic interests and life opportunities.
There is also a conversation to be had about this in the context of the anti-abortion movement, but I'll save that for later.
* Don't forget about the late Roy Cohn, Donald Trump's lawyer, who was a gay man who persecuted gay men. Also J. Edgar Hoover.