The importance of not voting for Trump and his anti-LGBTQIA+ stances and laws against our community; how Trump lied about COVID-19
By: Nicole Collins* / Trans Headlines
Acknowledgements: I am white, I was raised middle-class, I am college-educated.
Understandably this places me at a certain level of privilege in the American cultural milieu, and it also bars me from knowing many other more marginalized perspectives when it comes to discussions of discrimination in the United States. So in debates about politics, voting, and enfranchisement, I acknowledge that I am not—and should not be—any sort of supreme authority on whether or not people should vote. I don’t intend to tell anybody, here, what they should or should not do. Rather, I aim simply to describe the urgency and fear that is for me surrounding the approach of the 2020 general election.
Clarification: I am a trans woman, I experience mental illness, I live with a disability.
While I am undoubtedly in a certain position of privilege when it comes to education voter enfranchisement, there are also certain fundamental ways in which I have been affected and will continue to be endangered if Trump (and other conservative politicians) are re-elected this November. Obviously, this goes for most (if not all) of the LGBTQ+ community as well.
This election season is (in case you hadn’t heard so already) monumental and historic. One need only scan the headlines the past couple days to witness the horrors the Trump Administration is imposing on the American people. In case you’re unconvinced, here are a few examples from the past couple years of the hate crimes Number 45 and his cronies have committed. This list is courtesy of the National Center for Transgender Equality, whose lengthy page of examples of Trump’s anti-trans policies should be enough to convince anybody of the danger implicated in his reelection.
- On January 20, 2017—Trump’s inauguration day—“the administration scrubbed all mentions of LGBTQ people from the websites of the White House, Department of State, and Department of Labor.”
- Famously, on July 26, 2017, Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender [sic] individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” He released a memo on August 25, 2017, advising the Defense Department to move forward with the ban.
- And just recently, on July 23, 2020, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development formally announced the rollback of a previous rule that protected transgender people from discrimination by homeless shelters and other housing services receiving federal funds.”
The list goes on and on. Seriously, just give it a cursory glance.
All this—this column, this explanation of why I and many others are at risk—is just one angle to the whole issue of Trump’s re-election. There’s so much more that will be put in danger if his reign is renewed for another four (or more) years: the environment, our control and response to COVID-19, international relations … and others. This election is multilayered and incredibly nuanced; Trump’s potential victory would throw away any hopes of a recovery from the hell his administration has already put Americans through.
And how can we forget Bob Woodward‘s work? The acclaimed journalist and author, and one of two investigative reporters who broke the news of Richard Nixon’s “Watergate” scandal that led to Nixon’s subsequent resignation, has now written his new book on Trump’s presidency. In his books, Fear and now Rage, Woodward’s latest interviews with Number 45 uncover the truthful account, in Trump’s words, about how Trump blatantly lied to all of us about COVID-19 and its deadliness. Almost 200,00o Americans, to date, have died alone from the coronavirus and there’s still no leadership from the man who could’ve changed the outcome of it all. No matter how you look at it, Trump’s knowledge about this virus and his “downplaying” of it—in the face of death and despair from the families dealing with and dying from it—are indefensible.
I’ll also address the elephant in the room: Biden’s a scummy guy, absolutely. I won’t pretend that he is—or would be—some kind of saving grace, open-minded progressive, what Bernie could have been. I am not a fan, to put it lightly, of the fact he drafted the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which added funding for tens of thousands of new police officers and billions of dollars for prisons. I also despite his history of opposing court-ordered busing mandates, which Kamala Harris controversially touched on in a debate in June 2019. And at this time in the election season, the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations against Biden seem all but forgotten, but it would be remiss not to acknowledge them here; obviously not a plus when he’s Trump’s main opponent and the Democratic nominee.
This last point also doesn’t sit well compared to Trump’s Access Hollywood “grab ‘em by the pussy” comments. It seems both candidates have a history of silencing women and victims of abuse.
But the key thing here is that he is not Trump.
I have heard a lot of (not undue) rhetoric in the form of: “This election is going to suck; it’s either vote for the rapist or vote for the rapist.” This is true, but it feels reductive. The American Democratic Party has historically had a huge number of issues, but the choice here is between a genuine politician and a fascist.
I, as a trans woman, one of those in danger now and if Trump is re-elected, will be voting—and voting for Biden—this fall. We must first avoid autocracy if we are to build a revolution.
And, you can inform yourself better and read more of what Trump has done against the LGBTQIA+ community here.
* Nicole Collins is a junior at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she studies philosophy. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.