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.
dang. surprised nobody who works for greg abbott remembered to buy https://t.co/GXnZnfLtRt pic.twitter.com/AheMQvidXA
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) February 24, 2022
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.
bless chuck tingle's trans ally buckaroo heart 🖤🏳️⚧️ https://t.co/PwQXEL5SXM
— isis agora lovecruft (they/them) (@isislovecruft) February 24, 2022
There is good in this world and most of it is Chuck Tingle. https://t.co/KAlca5LMGb
— The 21st Century. Oh Dear. (@KyleKallgren) February 24, 2022
Your occasional reminder that Chuck Tingle is a national treasure, fun fact. https://t.co/t2HRtFunUC
— Webberly Rattenkraft (事實老鼠) (@TheFactRat) February 24, 2022
Chuck Tingle is amazing. He's not just saying "trans rights," he's giving a huge FU to Greg Abbott while also providing links to real, genuine ways you can help trans people. https://t.co/FTWwXFilu1
— Ramona G. Quaxly (MonaGee, The Iconoclast Herself) (@TheMonaGee) February 24, 2022
Oh Chuck Tingle, you magnificent bastard. https://t.co/JSRHGNwl2F
— PsionicMonkey (@PsionicM) February 28, 2022
Thank goodness for the occasional bit of good news. 🤣 Thanks, Chuck! https://t.co/YIeOyAyo32
— Mara Barovich (@MaraBarovich) March 2, 2022
But Abbott's cruel directive remains no laughing matter.
We rushed to court this morning to try to stop this. Families across Texas are being investigated and care is being halted. It is a disaster. They are trying to stop kids from being trans - but you can't make us not trans you can only make us not alive. https://t.co/ksuI8whjV4
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) March 1, 2022
What’s happening in Texas is despicable. To trans kids and their parents everywhere: we’ll never stop fighting for you. https://t.co/ThTkxZfIY8
— Congresswoman Lori Trahan (@RepLoriTrahan) March 6, 2022
A parent of a trans kid who works for the Texas state agency in charge of evaluating child abuse cases was reported for child abuse last week and is now under investigation and has been placed on a leave of absence from work. https://t.co/89KMsfzmBE
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) March 1, 2022
The directive is already facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Lamda Legal, and others.