Through all of the various aspects of the modern political discourse, there are a few basic things that most of us can no doubt agree on. The key phrase there is “most of us.”
The willingness of some to accept pedophilia on the part of their political leaders was put on disturbing display during the recently concluded race to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. The Republican candidate in that race, Roy Moore, was credibly accused of preying on children and teenagers. Without paying regard to the question of whether or not the alleged incidents really happened, there were numerous voters among those who made their opinions known to the media who made it clear that allegations of pedophilia weren’t enough to make them vote for a Democrat.
In the case of Roy Moore, there was perhaps one thread — one hair holding up the Sword of Damocles, you might say — that kept the race from descending into even more chaos than it did — Moore denied the allegations against him. His denials weren’t nearly as credible as they could have been, but it’s not as though he came out and said, “Yes, I preyed on children and teenagers, and no, I’m not ashamed.”
Just because Moore didn’t make such a statement does not mean, however, that there are those unwilling to make public statements in support of such a decision. Those who would make such statements are living examples of ideology taken to the extreme.
A man named Arvin Vohra currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party. Although the Libertarians have not achieved a political stature large enough to have one of their members in a position as high as the presidency, they do shoot that high and they have also had members of Congress — the Pauls — express sympathy for their positions.
It’s important to the Libertarians for the government to stay out of our private affairs — to the point that Arvin Vohra thinks that a government legislated age of consent is a bad idea.
In Facebook posts that the man — who works in private teaching — remarkably chose to make public, he wrote that he is okay with a fourteen year old getting pregnant by an adult male.
No, that’s not a stretch. That’s literally what he wrote.
He cast his comments as an attack on “welfare,” writing:
‘If a 14 year old has a kid, I would prefer the other person to be an adult, with a job. #EndWelfare‘
Although comments poured in condemning Vohra, he kept at it, and as of Friday afternoon, he’s continuing to post comments to the effect of the one quoted above — and his Facebook page is public for now at least, so you can check them out for yourself.
In a follow -up post to the one above, he claimed:
‘I have a problem with pedophilia. That’s sex with someone who could not possibly give consent. A two year old cannot possibly give consent to sex.’
No, pedophilia is not just sex with someone who could not possibly give consent — sex with someone who could not possibly give consent is a crime no matter what age the victim is.
Pedophilia is more than that. To use the definition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), besides just the aspect of it involving a fundamental lack of consent, it is a “sexual preference for children, boys or girls or both, usually of prepubertal or early pubertal age.” In other words, it’s preying on children.
There’s a significant difference between the incomplete definition of pedophila that Vohra tries to convince us he opposes and what pedophilia actually is. The difference is the children; if you’re going after a child, that’s pedophilia — and it’s also what Vohra wants to be widely accepted.
Vohra’s take seems to be that if an individual is physically capable of sex, no matter the age, they should be free to have sex with an individual of any age. He pays no attention to — among other issues — the fact that between any young teen or child and any adult there is a fundamental power imbalance that gives some assaults the space to proceed unchecked.
If a child or young teen is left alone and pressured into sexual interactions by an adult, to suggest that the child or young adult being pressured is acting completely of their own desires in the circumstance is ludicrous and disconnected from documented reality — and yet, that’s exactly what Vohra is suggesting here.
The Vice Chair of a party whose presidential candidate got 4,489,221 votes in the most recent presidential election is out there openly advocating for adults to pressure young teens into sex.
As for others take on this matter, Libertarian Party members have privately expressed their disgust with Vohra, and it’s not as though Libertarians working to try and legitimize their party and ideas are rushing to defend the man — but he does have a few allies.
On Thursday, he shared a post from Miami Community Council member Keon Antonio Grayson reading:
‘Statutory Rape and Age of Consent Laws are infringements on personal liberty and are unconstitutional.’
The Miami-Dade area’s Community Councils are listed by the county government website as having been “created to make zoning and land use decisions in a setting more accessible to the community.” They’re also meant to “serve as advisory liaisons from their communities to the Board of County Commissioners and County staff, relaying relevant information and recommendations on selected concerns of the council area.”
As of Friday, Vohra still maintains his position in the Libertarian Party, and likewise, Grayson also seemingly maintains his position.