A Letter to the Moderate Republican in your Life
Dear friend, family member or person I love,
As we dive into the last leg of the 2020 American Presidential election, our country is faced with an important task: choosing the next President of the United States.
Over the past three and a half years, we have seen the tumultuous and aggressive way that President Donald Trump has been running this country. I could spend hours upon hours curating all of the horrible things that Donald Trump has done, but for now, I want to reach those people who are on the fence with this election. The people who have been Republicans for their whole lives, those people who like small government but know and love people on the other side of the aisle. People like you will change the face of this election, and at any other time, maybe staying with your party would be the right decision. This year though, that is not remotely true. There is no longer Republicans versus Democrats. This November, we need to vote with our conscience, and we have to vote for humanity. There is no humanity anymore in the current state of American politics. That must change.
Trump’s harmful rhetoric and his fascist regime is all made unbelievably clear just in the difference of the President's responses to the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. (From here on, I will only be discussing what directly affects LGBTQ+ people. This is not to minimize other minorities’ experiences but rather, to highlight one specific group to make a point.) We know that every year President Obama was a sitting President, he addressed Pride month every year – not only supporting our right to celebrate – but lighting up the entire White House in solidarity. For the third year in a row though, this Pride month was met with no recognition from the White House, and that absence has been felt. On June 1, my social media was riddled with side-by-side photos of the White House lit up in rainbow next to the White House this year on June 1, with the White House completely dark as our sitting President hid from peaceful protestors. As Pride month continued on, I felt my community of people who have supported him in the past holding their breath, hoping that maybe, he’d light up the White House at the end of Pride month. As Pride month came to a close however, our President didn’t even send out a Tweet (which we all know he loves doing) to commemorate Pride. On the contrary, Donald Trump actively worked against the LGBTQ+ community during our month of celebration.
When LGBTQ+ marriage was legalized in America, many of us – myself included – thought that the fight was basically over. Trump and Pence’s horrifying and disgusting agenda has made it clear that change is never stagnant though, and our rights are on the line even more than before. During a national pandemic, we have had to watch the Trump Administration strip away our own rights before our very eyes. We’ve seen him ban transgender people from serving in the military, and most recently, he rolled back healthcare for transgender and nonbinary people in America. As these are the hot-button issues lately, it’s easy to forget about other things that we should be able to expect from our government, like how our President should address the blatant and obvious murders of at least 15 transgender Black women in America in 2020 alone, 5 of which were just during Pride month. These three things that the Trump Administration has done, as a very non-exhaustive list, shows the undeniably purposeful and premedicated damage that Donald Trump has caused on the LGBTQ+ community in just one year.
The kind-of-good news about all of this is that we have many people fighting for us in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and some of these bills are being fought tirelessly by those people. If 2020 has taught us anything however, it’s that we can’t rely on those branches of government as much as we thought we could. We have to be able to trust our President, and we have to know that the occupant of the White House is actively working to make every American life better. I can say with absolute certainty, and I think the LGBTQ+ community would agree wholeheartedly, that Donald Trump does not fight for us, but rather actively puts us in danger.
This is why we need every person in America to turn out and vote.
Not so long ago, the rights for American members of the LGBTQ+ community were on the upswing. Discrimination has always existed, but we were finally getting a taste of being recognized by our government. Marriage equality, Pride, the ability to adopt children with a same-sex partner: these things were all finally within reach for LGBTQ+ people. With Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the helm now though, everything has changed. This is no longer a partisan issue. It is no longer a matter of Republican versus Democrat, right versus left. In just three short years, we have seen the rights of every minority being shut down. We’ve seen what this Administration is capable of - an authoritarian police force brutally arresting and beating peaceful protestors and even journalists for doing their job. The lack of humanity in our President is unmistakable. Regardless of if you voted for Trump in 2016, have been a Republican your whole life, or you’re just barely realizing maybe you’re not as far right as you thought you were: we need you.
I cannot stress this enough: Your vote has literally never mattered more. The lives of every single minority group in America is at stake right now. If you are not feeling the effects of the Trump Administration, that is not because these things aren’t happening but rather, that you are coming from a place of privilege. Think of the people in your life who are affected by this Presidency – I promise, there’s a lot of them – and vote for them.
So, as we fill in the circles in the (virtual) ballot boxes this November, vote with the best interest of the most disenfranchised person you know. I’d be willing to bet that your vote wouldn’t be for Donald Trump.
Your neighbor, son, daughter, friend, or sibling