Banging the Drum
I wonder sometimes if I’ll be ask by ownership to be less political in this space? Probably not for another seven weeks at least. But if so, it’s a discipline I’m willing to risk. (I make no aspersions on my boss, understand, she has my utmost respect).
The reason, I suppose, that I keep coming back to the subjects i discuss here is my absolute astonishment at how many trans-folks (usually women) I’m acquainted with who tenaciously cling to their rock-ribbed pre-transition conservatism, and Republican voting pattern, no matter how often the GOP deliberately kicks them and their peers right in the teeth. I mean, I understand the initial instinct. For all of my adult life, while I was in full-on “pray it away” mode, I was a loyal – even obsessive – conservative. Including on social issues. I was an ask-no-questions, lock-step, soldier in their culture war and lived in the indoctrination echo chamber. It took me as much as two years after I accepted myself before I moved away from that rigid worldview. I explained that resistance to myself with what I thought was a clever insight: “what difference does it make if we gain equality but the country falls apart economically?” Another way of saying “I’ll accept my second class status for now for the good of my country.”
But what I eventually realized is that if my Pharisee puppet masters had spent all those years lying TO me ABOUT me then why should I assume that the rest of the party line was accurate and honest? That’s not to say I just switched over to being a blindly loyal liberal. Now I’m skeptical of all of them. But that’s off-topic. My point is that I’ve encountered a surprising number of transwomen who never moved away from a party-line conservatism on every other issue except LGB/T equality (think Caitlyn Jenner’s politics). She might seem to some on the left to be an outlier but there are a LOT of people who stake out the same position. I have not a few of them as Facebook friends who are perfectly eager to vote for Donald Trump because they can wrap their heads around the possibility that all the stuff they’d been told for 25 years about the Clintons might not be any more accurate than what the same sources are saying every day about trans people.
That’s not to say that I’m wildly impressed with Hillary Clinton. It would be hard to conceive of a more flawed major party nominee who’d been a career politician. If it were not for Donald Trump. Still, the point remains that these women (at least, I’ve yet to encounter a conservative trans man) are every bit as emotionally invested in the “Evil Clinton” worldview as, say, Pat Robertson is. I can’t wrap my head around it.
How can these women look at what’s going on in North Carolina, in Mississippi, in Texas, and 20 odd other states and think that there’s an sense in which giving Republican more political power, particularly power over the courts, is anything other than cultural suicide? Take Ken Paxton in Texas, for example. All he had to do was find ONE district judge in a courthouse in Texas and somehow, he’s got a nationwide injunction directed specifically at oppressing trans kids.
“Oh,” but some will say, “Trump is not REALLY anti-LGB/T, he even said so at his convention!”
Seriously? Were you born yesterday? When has any political figure (and he is that now, whatever he was) been bound by something he said in a convention speech? Here’s what you do need to know. Before the convention, Donald Trump, Jr. reportedly contacted Ohio Governor John Kasich’s chief of staff inquiring whether Kasich (a man known for his disgust with Trump) would be interested in the VP spot, telling him the VP would be in charge of all foreign and domestic policy. Stunned, the staffer asked what Trump would be in charge of and was told “Making America Great again.”
Now, maybe that is the actual plan, maybe not, but you can rest assured that never having held any political office, Trump will rely very heavily on his VP for advice on how to keep the base happy. And the VP he will turn to is among the most iron-clad anti-LGB/T politicians of his generation. If you don’t know much about Mike Pence, do some research. He. Is. Your. Mortal. Enemy. And if Trump is elected he’s one heartbeat away from presidential power, and may very well wield it from day one.
Don’t bother telling mew all of Clinton’s flaws. For the sake of discussion I’ll concede she’s just as bad as they say she is (apart from the idiotic notion of hit squads) – not that I won’t tell you that Trump has all the same character flaws she does, because he does. But even if she is that bad, she will appoint justices and judges that will recognize the rights of people like us. Trump/Pence will see to it we get just the opposite and many of us won’t live to see a country where we are fully equal. The big counter argument is usually gun control, “If we elect a Democrat they will try to take our guns!!!” I agree they will try to limit gun ownership to a greater degree than is currently the case, and I won’t try to convince anyone whether or not that’s a good idea. But I will tell you that if your completely unfettered right to own a gun is more important to you than your right to work, to have a home, to have medical care, to determine the course of your own life – then with all due respect, you need to re-examine your priorities.
Am I an enthusiastic Clinton voter. Not remotely. But I’m wildly enthusiastic about the idea that Donal Trump never gets to be our president, so that’s what comes with it.
Photo by: Enrico Strocchi