Monday, July 17, 2017

Sticking together and standing firm are keys to LGBTQ victories in Trump era

The LGBTQ community enjoyed a stunning victory last week when GOP efforts to deny transgender soldiers their necessary medical care lost in a close vote. And like every victory against those who would deny us our right to equality, this particular one demonstrates a path to the LGBTQ community should follow if we want to make such victories the normality instead of the rarity.

Michelangelo Signorile breaks it down in The Huffington Post:

. . . Since the 2016 election, we’ve heard ad nauseum from a subset of Democratic activists, pundits, and strategists that one reason Trump won is because Democrats are too focused on “identity politics,” or what Columbia University professor Mark Lilla, in a New York Times piece, derogatorily called a “fixation on diversity” and “identity drama.” In an op-ed two weeks ago in the Times, headlined, “Back to the Center, Democrats,” Mark Penn and Andrew Stein warned that Democrats had become “mired” in “transgender bathroom issues,” among other things, ignoring white “working class voters” who “feel abandoned.” It’s the same old mantra, which amounts to a call for pandering to bigotry.  
. . . But what happened this week proved, once again, that that kind of thinking isn’t just offensive; it’s bad political strategy. The Democrats stuck together, standing up for what’s right but also for their base ― which is a diverse and large coalition ― and it was the Republicans who went on the run. In the face of the danger of a rollback not just on rights for queer people but for all minorities under attack in the Trump era, this showed that standing firm, energizing activists in the base and resisting ― rather than pandering and caving in ― is the way to win.

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