I have vague memories of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, though it never took root in the Northeastern territories that I call home. The culmination of the Satanic Panic was a witch hunt based in fears of Satanic ritual abuse of children... you see where this is going?
The new culture war, centered on fears of transpersons, is a rehash of the Satanic Panic, and it also involves accusations of institutionalized child abuse and the sexual 'grooming' of children... and as Robyn Pennachia notes, it's going to get somebody killed. My belief is that the Right is still incensed about losing the last big battle in the Culture War, over same-sex marriage, that they are using anti-transperson bigotry as a Trojan Horse to roll back LGB rights as well... and they won't stop, they will also roll back women's rights.
The promulgators of this campaign are perfectly willing to see people killed, LGBTQ people, straight allies, teachers, low-level Disney employees and theme park goers... These are the same people who made up the 'Pizzagate' lie that ended up with a pizzeria in DC getting shot up and the shooter thrown in prison. They don't even care about the welfare of their dupes, much less the welfare of their perceived political enemies.
The things that concern me the most about this current round of Satanic Panic are the fact that the country seems more awash in guns than ever before, the political rhetoric has gotten more polarizing and dehumanizing, and the pundits just don't seem to understand that this is stochastic terrorism- they will 'bothsides' a goddamn shooting at a Disney store in a mall if one occurs.
As a coda, I'm going to show what one of the so-called 'smartest guys in the room' has to say about disinformation:
The theory that "misinformation" has changed electoral outcomes in the US is pretty badly underbaked, especially given that the last several elections have broadly been in line with what you might expect given underlying economic conditions, etc.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) April 14, 2022
He comes so close to getting it, but he muffs it up. Misinformation is being employed in this election season precisely because the Republicans lost the last two election cycles based on their being "broadly in line with what you might expect given underlying economic conditions, etc."
If some whacko shoots up the entrance queue at Disneyland, I'm sure he'll have some theory about why Republicans are not to blame.