The social media era has completely reshaped American political campaign strategy—and it's also invited new ways for critics to troll political candidates.
One of the most popular methods that's emerged is the purchase of web domain names. In the last election cycle, then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden purchased KeepAmericaGreat.com (after the slogan of his opponent former President Donald Trump) so that it directed to a page highlighting all of the Trump administration's broken promises. The year before, Biden himself was the victim of a similar prank in which a Trump supporter bought the rights to Biden-centered domain names that redirected to a list of Trump's supposed accomplishments.
Now, the far-right Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, is the latest victim.
First: some context.
Last month, Abbott issued a directive to the state's Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the parents of transgender children for child abuse, falsely equating gender affirming care recommended by scores of medical professionals as child abuse. Already, the order has resulted in state officials showing up to the homes and schools of transgender children, demanding medical records.
That didn't sit well with gay dinosaur erotic comedy (you read that right) author, Chuck Tingle. The creator of such hits as Professor T-Rex Teaches Me Gayness and Slammed in the Butthole by My Concept of Linear Time, Tingle recently purchased the domain name governorabbott.com.
The result is a site to behold.
Naming him Governor "Gorg Abbott," the site's introductory message reads:
"Do you like saying you're for small government then building a hate based platform around exerting power over other people whose lives are none of your business? I do too!
Do you claim to care about your community but waste funds on border wall projects that statistically don't work and are ethically abhorrent? I do too!
Have you stared into the cosmic abyss and heard the moans of a thousand collapsing stars, shaking and drooling as time stretches into an endless gaping maw? Shal T'Chull Suggahall!"
For those asking the question, "What if I don't hate people who are different than me?," governorabbott.com provides links to pro-trans initiatives like the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, as well as the Transgender Law Center and Trans Lifeline.
Social media users were cackling and applauding at the same time.
But Abbott's cruel directive remains no laughing matter.
The directive is already facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Lamda Legal, and others.