Get Ready to Vote

It’s hard not to get political these days as 24-hour news channels, with nonstop talking heads, argue for their side of the political spectrum.  So a certain amount of political partisanship is expected over issues like healthcare, the national budget, gay marriage, abortion, and social security. But political partisanship over a highly contagious virus that infects people with no regard to party affiliation sounds counterintuitive to me.

I’ve stopped watching the White House coronavirus briefs because I can only take so much of an insecure narcissistic patting himself on the back for a job well done, as 81,199 Americans have died from COVID-19, and these are just the numbers from people who died in hospitals. There is no count of people who are dying at home from this virus.

Donald Trump has politicized every aspect of this virus. He has blamed lack of testing on Barack Obama, even though COVID-19 wasn’t around when Obama was president. He has blamed the lack of medical stockpile, like masks, ventilators, and PPE on Obama, even though in February of this year, the State Department sent 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China. But even if it were true that Obama left the stockpile bare, why didn’t Trump do anything to replenish it? He’s been president over three years. Seems like that should be sufficient enough time to order ore supplies, I mean, he certainly found time to golf.

Trump has encouraged this country to become even more politically divided over this virus. He has used his Twitter account to agitate his followers. As Democratic governors have issued shelter-in-place orders, Trump tweeted for those states to “liberate” themselves, and people protested with guns, nooses, and Confederate flags.

Just a few days ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled the Democratic Governor’s shelter in place order, and within hours bars were packed with patrons crowded close to each other, sans masks or any kind of social distancing.

What could go wrong?

Back in April, Trump estimated the death total by August could be 80,000, and here it is mid-May, and we’ve already surpassed that.

I wonder how differently this pandemic would have been handled if we had a competent President, with an uncorrupted administration, in charge.

But we don’t have that, so all we can do right now is wonder, at least until November. Then we can vote.

 

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What Now for the Gay Community?

The only part of my body that seems to agree with a Trump presidency is my waistline. My waist is finally doing what I’ve been struggling to get the darn thing to do for months now. It’s getting smaller.  But it’s not happening the way I had planned. I’m not exercising more than usual, nor am I restricting myself from high-calorie foods that aren’t healthy.

The pounds are peeling off because since Wednesday morning I don’t have much of an appetite.

I went to bed on election night before the final results were tallied, but the writing was on the wall. I woke up to texts asking how I was doing. And then the frantic calls came in from friends concerned what a Trump presidency means, not only for gay and lesbian people, but people of color, Muslims, women, the sick, and the poor. I just finished reading an article about how Republicans want to get rid of Medicaid and replace it with vouchers, not to mention their desire to privatize Social Security and Medicare. What could possible go wrong?

I am scared for all people who are not rich, have health conditions, or fit into a minority group because those are the ones who are most vulnerable to a Trump presidency. The protests in the streets following Trump’s election night win aren’t a bunch of babies acting out because their side lost. They’re out there because they’re afraid that hate won Tuesday night. (I’m not defending those who caused property damage and spray painted A’s all over buildings. You are anarchists and most likely didn’t even vote. You are NOT what the heart of these protests are about.)

The protesters are afraid of the divisive and hateful rhetoric Trump’s campaign was built around. And the fear is real, and it is valid. If any other Republican from the party’s long list of candidates had won, there may have been frustration, but not this kind of fear. People wouldn’t have taken to the streets, in the thousands, to protests across the country if John Kasich had become the president-elect.

But he didn’t win. Donald Trump did, and now many groups across the country are wondering what this means for them.  I’m a lesbian. And I’m wondering what this means for me.

On the morning after the election, I was lying in bed, reading an article about gay rights and a Trump/Pence presidency. It wasn’t pretty.

Here is a link to that article:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/11/09/here-is-what-president-trump-means-for-lgbt-rights/

Below is a quote from the above article:

“His running mate Mike Pence has confirmed a plan to dismantle Barack Obama’s protections for LGBT people, as part of an ‘immediate’ review of executive orders issued by President Obama…Also significantly, President-elect Trump has pledged to sign the Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, a law that would permit forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion.”

Is it any wonder that when my mother saw me that morning, and was about to gloat how Trump had won, that I burst into tears so uncontrollably that I couldn’t even talk? There is nothing subtle or more frightening than to hear words, so blatantly filled with hate, directed right at you.

Now is the time for every community threatened by a Donald Trump presidency to come together. History tells us we have been through much worse. We must do all we can to not go back there ever again.  In the meantime, call a trusted friend. Surround yourself with people who make you feel protected.

We’ll get through this together.

 

 

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