Some of you, a distinct minority I’m sure, probably wonder why Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan is occasionally referred to as “Gym” Jordan. Perhaps you’ve heard he’s nefariously associated with someone with the name “Richard Strauss,” and you’ve looked that name up and come away puzzled when you’ve mistakenly learned he’s the German composer who wrote the music to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Others of you know the barest of facts. Still others of you know the whole revolting, stomach-churning saga from beginning to end.
Well here’s a summary for your enlightenment or as a reminder, whichever way it turns out. Either way, be prepared to be disgusted but not surprised that Congressman Jim Jordan, the shouty, jacketless pile of human crap that viciously and incessantly attacks the President of the United States and his hapless son with spurious and evidence-free accusations is himself an evil, hypocritical son of a bitch.
Once upon a time, back in 1978, a well-regarded and apparently scandal-free medical doctor named Richard Strauss joined the medical school faculty at Ohio State University school of medicine. So far, so good.
After a time, Strauss ostensibly was “nice” enough to volunteer his medical expertise to the school athletics department. It was then that he began examining the young male athletes in the department. He became known for extended examinations of their genitalia. Bizarrely, he was also the only academic who routinely showered with the male athletes, sometimes several times a day. Understand that this was not because the doctor was excessively concerned with personal hygiene.
Strauss quickly became notorious among the athletes. He would place a stool in the shower area and leer at the showering young men. His examinations became increasingly aggressive. He frequently groped his young male patients, committing sexual assaults in the absurd guise of “medical examinations.”
He was particularly interested in the youths of the wrestling team. Several of them reported these assaults to head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson and his assistant Jim Jordan. Hellickson and Jordan were horrified. They immediately reported these egregious sexual assaults to the authorities, had doctor Strauss arrested and imprisoned where he faced, deservedly, a long prison sentence for multiple sexual assaults and rapes.
Nah, I’m just kidding. They didn’t do a damned thing. In fact Jordan thought it was “funny.” He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “That’s just Richard.” Despite being repeatedly begged to get the doctor to leave them alone, Jordan did nothing. He couldn’t have cared less. He threw these young, helpless men to the predatory wolf of sexual assault. After all, it wasn’t his problem. Why should he care about anyone, least of all, the young men he was hired to train and protect?
All would have been just fine for our assistant wrestling coach, who later decided to become a Congressman for Ohio’s fourth congressional district, had it not been for one thing. Some of the boys who were molested by Dr Strauss grew up to be men who were deeply emotionally scarred by their horrific ordeal. They started making noise and pointing fingers. They demanded justice and they wanted answers.
In 2005 Doctor Richard Strauss committed suicide for reasons apparently unrelated to his sexual abuses. Even though Ohio State Eventually conducted a closed door hearing and terminated Strauss for his abuses in 1996, it didn’t significantly affect his medical practice. In short, he got away with it.
But the young men he’d abused still hadn’t received anything like justice for the horrors they’d been subjected to. So they turned to doctor Strauss’s enablers. In July of 2018, former members of the OSU men’s wrestling team reported that then-coaches Russ Hellickson and his assistant, our very own Jim Jordan, were aware of the abuses by Strauss but did absolutely nothing to put a stop to it.
Now it may come as a complete shock to you, brothers and sisters, but Jordan denied any knowledge of the abuses by Strauss. He effectively called those young men liars. He claimed to have no knowledge of the sexual propensities of Richard Strauss, despite the fact that it was an open secret known to just about every single faculty member at Ohio State. Except Jordan, of course.
One of the accusations came from Adam DiSabato, the brother of Mike DiSabato, who was the first former student-athlete to reveal the alleged abuse by the team doctor. Adam DiSabato condemned Jordan as a “coward” who tried to suppress the story even after his brother Mike came forward in 2018.
In a courageous and stunning testimony DiSabato said, “Jim Jordan called me crying, crying, grovelling, on the Fourth of July, begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for half an hour. That’s the kind of coverups going on here.” Jordan kept calling until DiSabato finally had his lawyer contact the congressman and insist he leave Mr DiSabato alone. Oh Lordy, if only he’d made tapes! We would be done with the shouty jacketless pile of crap this very day.
DiSabato made his feelings about Jordan abundantly clear. “He’s thrown us under the bus, all of us,” he said. “He’s a coward. He’s a coward. He’s not a leader. He’s a coward.”
Since Jordan’s name has been mooted as possible Speaker of the House, DiSabato and other Jordan victims have come forward to express their dismay and to restate that Jim Jordan has no business as house speaker, let alone representing the people of Ohio. Jim Jordan is a loathsome, despicable coward.
And of course Democrats have also expressed concerns over Jordan’s speakership bid, citing the congressman’s role leading up to and in the wake of the January 6 insurrection. “House Republicans are intent on doubling down and have chosen to nominate a vocal election-denier in Jim Jordan,” Congressman Pete Aguilar, chair of the Democratic caucus, told reporters. “A man whose rhetoric and partisanship fomented the January 6 attack on this very building, on these very steps.”
So now you know. For those of you who didn’t know the whole story about Jim Jordan, and why he’s occasionally referred to as “Gym” in reference to his wrestling coaching days, consider yourselves enlightened.
And remember, these people, like Jim Jordan, aren’t just partisan hacks, many of them are evil. Many of them were evil long before they entered politics. And they entered politics on the Republican side, because they were well aware that the Republican Party is the one party that will tolerate and even promote their particular brand of evil. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.