Don’t Relax Just Because Pathological Liar Donald Trump Says He Won’t Go After Marriage Equality

Last night, flanked by his entire family sitting atop golden chairs, Donald Trump gave his first major interview since shocking himself and the rest of the world by being elected president of the United States. When talking about the minority groups protesting his election, 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl mentioned us by name.

Lesley Stahl: One of the groups that’s expressing fear is the LGBTQ group.
Donald Trump: And yet I mentioned them at the Republican National Convention.
Lesley Stahl: You did.
Donald Trump: Everybody said, ‘That is so great.’
Lesley Stahl: Well, I guess the issue for them is marriage equality. Do you support marriage equality?
Donald Trump: It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done.
Lesley Stahl: So even if you appoint a judge that—
Donald Trump: It’s done. These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m fine with that.

Matt Wilstein of The Daily Beast immediately posted the 60 Minutes clip on Twitter and suggested that “marriage equality is here to stay.” Which, frankly, is ridiculous. Moments before he was asked about marriage equality, Trump said he’d appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court in the hopes they would overturn Roe vs. Wade — another case that’s been settled and done, for 43 years — and make abortion a state’s right issue again. And, of course, in addition to that dissonant logic, Trump proved over the course of his campaign that one of his main communication strategies is good old fashioned gaslighting. He changed his mind and his story minute by minute and insisted repeatedly that he didn’t say or do the things it was easy to verify that he did, in fact, say and do— sometimes only minutes earlier. But even if Trump weren’t a proven pathological liar, our community should take absolutely no comfort in his “promise” not to go after marriage equality. Here’s why.

Marriage equality is not “the issue” for the LGBTQ community

While marriage equality is a big deal for the LGBTQ community, it is not “the issue.” Sure, we scored our biggest judicial win — both pragmatically and symbolically — when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, but queer and trans people face more struggles than just our right to marry. Laws that affect housing, jobs, and public accommodations are already a state’s right issue and less than half of the states in the U.S. have non-discrimination laws that protect sexual orientation and gender identity. 20 states do not have laws that address hate crimes against LGBTQ people (even though 15 of those 20 states have laws that address hate crimes against other minority groups). 20 states don’t have laws that protect LGBTQ students from bullying, and an additional seven states specifically prohibit LGBTQ topics from being addressed in schools.

One enormous legislative worry the LGBTQ community faces is the introduction of more “bathroom bills” into state legislatures. North Carolina’s HB2 was no accident. The evangelical Christian lobbying group known as the The Family Research Council spearheaded a national campaign to convince state legislators to sponsor “bathroom bills,” and it worked. 10 states saw similar bills this year, in addition to other anti-trans FRC-approved bills like ones that deny trans people access to transition-related healthcare and access to their vital records.

It’s also important to note that trans rights for students this year came as a direct result of the Obama Administration tying them to Title IX, and the Department of Education suggesting that public schools that don’t permit trans students to use school facilities that match their gender identity are in violation of a student’s federally protected civil rights. And the ban on LGBT discrimination by federal contractors was achieved by Obama’s executive order.

Trump has promised to roll back Obama’s executive orders, but that’s not the only problem. Republicans control both chambers of legislature in 32 states and we’re likely to see those states chipping away at gay and trans rights in the same ways they’ve been chipping away at Roe vs. Wade. Anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice laws are still the lightning rods around which many white evangelical Christians rally.

Trump’s main advisors are vehemently anti-gay

I cannot overstate how much Mike Pence hates gay people. When he was governor of Indiana, he diverted funding for AIDS research to conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth. He also made it a felony to “lie” on a marriage application after the Supreme Court overturned DOMA, and since Indiana’s marriage license form requested the name of a husband and a wife, two people of the same gender who filled out the form were, essentially, lying and faced a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in prison. He is on record as saying that being gay is a choice and marriage equality indicates “societal collapse [that] was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.” Pence is a hardcore theocrat; he truly believes he is representing God by persecuting gay people, and he will be the most powerful vice-president in history.

Ken Blackwell, Trump’s top domestic policy advisor, believes being gay is a choice that “can be changed.” White nationalist Steve Bannon, the mastermind behind Breitbart, will be Trump’s Chief Strategist; you can hear him casually calling women “dykes” in this radio interview. The shortlist for Health and Human Services Secretary includes four horrifically anti-gay politicians: Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Scott. Every major GOP power player — many of whom rose to prominence by scapegoating LGBTQ people — has a shot at getting in Trump’s ear, and we all know Trump is notorious for simply parroting the position of the last person he spoke to.

LGBTQ women live at the intersection of multiple oppressions

It’s not just specific anti-gay legislation that will affect LGBTQ people under Trump. The Republican party has been waging class war for the rich for decades, cutting taxes for the wealthy and social spending for the poor in an effort to redistribute wealth up the food chain. And because the gender pay gap is still alive and well, LGBTQ women will be disproportionately affected by trickle-down economics. (For two-women households, the wage gap is compounded.) The planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act will hit us harder. Climate change will hit the less wealthy (women, people of color, trans people) harder. We will be able to put less money back into our communities (communities like Autostraddle, for example, and Planned Parenthood). We will have less money to protect ourselves should we be the victims of housing, job, or public accommodation discrimination.

But it’s not just Paul Ryan’s inevitably disastrous fiscal policy that endangers us. Trump has shown a shocking willingness to attack the first amendment, and if our right to a free press or our right to protest is taken away, we will be cut off from a major source of our power. Peter Thiel, the Paypal co-founder responsible for shutting down Gawker by funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against them, will be a major player in Trump’s administration. And Steve Bannon has shown an equal amount of restraint in going after his critics.

In the coming months, the calls to normalize Trump’s presidency will continue to grow. They will come from the press, from celebrities, from our own friends and family — but there is nothing normal about him or about the administration that will surround him. The GOP’s strategy since the 1906s has been to dupe low information, rural, and religious voters into putting their party into power by appealing to the fear of “the other.” Trump’s presidency is a an all-out war on “the other.” We can’t let ourselves get lulled into complacency because he blurted out “I’m fine with marriage equality” in one interview.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Thank you so much! I’ve already noticed so much “oh but he isn’t going to do that after all” with people. It’s as if they think I’m too ready for great change and pain. But I really go with the prey for peace, prepare for war stance right, and hope others keep preparing too.

  2. Trump’s problem with us is that he seems to think that we’re just as naive as some of the people that voted for him. “I mentioned you people in a speech! I waved a (upside down) gay flag! What more do you want?”

    I’m sorry, but we can see through you, you monumental piece of shit.

  3. Thank you for this! Some people are saying “he sounds pretty reasonable now, maybe he has a good head on his shoulders”. No, no he does not. This man changes his mind every second and has no idea what he’s doing.

    • I can’t stand that reasoning either. This man threw a public tantrum for over a year, demonizing minorities and displaying extreme misogyny with a dash of ignorance and now people are like, “He’s so calm now, and presidential”. No, he basically just did the equivalent of what a toddler does when you give them back their favorite toy after they throw a fit. That is not a leader.

    • It’s that sort of rationale that drove people to cooperate with the Holocaust. This is NOT normal and he IS dangerous.

  4. Are the people who are saying he sounds more reasonable now (HI OPRAH) just completely unfamiliar with the hallmarks of emotional abuse, gaslighting, NPD, etc? Or are they subscribing to the “it would be too terrible for things to be wrong so we’ll pretend they aren’t wrong” route?


  5. Thank you so much for this, I am so tired of the rhetoric I keep hearing from people about how he maybe isn’t as bad as we thought, maybe we should just give him a chance, whatever. It is exhausting, and him saying this one thing in one interview gives me exactly 0% hope that he is less horrible than I know him to be, because of everything else he is doing. I cannot say enough how having this space and these writers is saving me from my reality around me in my super red Trump loving community.

  6. I understand that Clinton had to concede as gracefully as she could, and the Obamas can’t just lock the door to the White House. But I am disgusted with all the people normalizing and promising to work with Trump, and not just the Vichy Republicans, all of whom will go down in history as opportunistic cowards. Democrats are being far too friendly in the name of rising above.
    I was always baffled by Obama’s attempts to be bipartisan when he knew that the other side didn’t have an ounce of good faith toward him. If the Democratic party wants to be relevant they need to spend the next 4 years fighting this monster with the tenacity the Republicans have shown trying to sabotage Obama for the last 8 years.

    • HI OK so I feel you but also, because of the two party system, and the fact that for a time Obam a was working with a split congress, bipartisan compromise is a cornerstone of how this government works.

      (I know there is no compromising on social justice, but I also think it’s safe to say that our slave owner founding fathers probably weren’t really thinking about that.)

      Obama was trying to get our congress to WORK and DO ITS JOB, which is more important than the personal opinions republican lawmakers had towards his presidency.

  7. Great article. Though it saddens me that people still don’t see why Trump won and why Hillary lost and still talk about his voters “that” way and call them racists when one of reasons of Trump’s victory is because they were sick of that. It just doesn’t work.
    And while I know this is catastrophe I personally feel better hoping that it won’t be as bad as we think, idk.

    • I think a lot of coverage of Trump supporters was very smug and people, particularly the Democratic party, failed to reach out on matters like the economy. I also don’t know how we can not acknowledge that racism was a key factor in his winning of the Republican nomination. It wasn’t the only thing that mattered, but it mattered a lot. Popular Republicans have lost support overnight for not being ‘tough’ enough on immigrants, particularly Muslims and Latinos. White people who voted Republican for reasons other than racism certainly didn’t let Trump’s bigotry stop them from supporting him. That should disturb us all.

      I do think elements of the conversation about race have room for improvement; a focus on structural inequality might be more effective than the theoretical focus on privilege, for example. So would a more intersectional approach that acknowledges how privilege theory is informed by educational privilege. I also think that Fox news has done more to radicalize white Americans than any annoying tumblr user ever could.

      • Exactly, they failed and yet they refuse to acknowledge it. People are tired of establishment, corruption, elite and Trump notices them, reaches to them. Putting Hillary, literally symbol of all these thing against him maybe wasn’t best idea.
        “White people who voted Republican for reasons other than racism certainly didn’t let Trump’s bigotry stop them from supporting him.” You are right, obviously. But the thing is the many of them considered Trump “lesser evil”. Many of them voted for them out of desperation. Like yeah, he’s racist but maybe he’ll help us. While I don’t believe in “lesser evil” I can understand it. And it is very hard to say what is the lesser evil here, when you have racist, sexist, rapist on one side and liar, responsible for deaths of people corrupt on the other.
        I do believe that racism is not only a cause, it’s also a consequence. And we are responsible for this consequence. When people are afraid of illegal immigrants, refugees because they have different culture (culture without women’s laws for example), when they are afraid that they will take their jobs, we ignore it, we laugh at them and call them racists and small-minded people. And we are so surprised that they didn’t immediately change their mind. When you’re white cis hetero man and you work hard or maybe you’re unemployed, you can’t afford college for your children, you’re struggling to provide for your family and you hear from rich people in media (or even celebrities, which is even worse I think) that you’re the most privileged group, I can only imagine that you look around and ask “where is that privilege?” I don’t know if I can link anything here but there’s good article about it by David Wong, “How Half of America Lost Its F**king Mind” on Cracked. And we ignore them, we are like “but POC have it worse, stop whining” and of course it pisses them off. It’s the same when you’re sad because of whatever and friend tells you to think about children in Africa and appreciate life. Are you suddenly happy, don’t care anymore about your issues and feel sorry for those children? No, you are angry because you feel they underestimate your problems. That’s the same mechanism.
        We look at them from above, we are the moral ones here, we are right here. And if they don’t agree with us, they are racists. White privilege doesn’t exists? Racist. Black people are violent? Racist. Muslims are terrorists? Racist. We don’t listen to them, we don’t listen to their fears. Are they racists with views based on stereotypes? Of course. Does calling people racists ever works and changes their mind? Of course not and this election showed it very clearly. In order to change others, we must change ourselves.
        Sorry for my English, I hope you get my point :)

        • Hillary is only a “symbol” of those things and Trump isn’t, only if you ignore reality. Trump is the one who is the embodiment of establishment, elitist, and corrupt.

          Hillary is not a liar OR responsible for the deaths of anyone (except maybe Osama Bin Laden). Hillary WAS talking about economic issues and had the same positions as Bernie. People. Didn’t. Care. All they did was cling to their ignorance and hate.

          • I do realize that, I’m just trying to present their poinf of view. He’s not a politician and for many people that is enough.
            Yes, she is. There are many examples of that, from e-mails to gay marriage, you can find it. My personal fav is her trip to Bosnia though. She speaks of women’s rights while supporting Saudi Arabia where women can’t drive. Oh, and Saudi Arabia backed ISIS by the way. She knew about this. She wants to still support Saudi Arabia, while children are starving in Yemen because of this war. People in Libya or Honduras also sure love Hillary Clinton since after her actions their countries are in catastrophic state and many of them died.
            I explained it before but this is exactly why you will never reach to these people. Do you wanna point out their hate and ignorance or change that?

          • In fairness, I do think Clinton can be seen as corrupt in many, many respects, but people didn’t vote against her because of the reasons listed here. Republicans didn’t care about her support of DOMA, the coup in Honduras, sketchy policies regarding Saudi Arabia, or her fondness for Henry Kissinger, for that matter. They invented corruption with stories of Benghazi, fake murder charges, the stupid fucking emails, and non stories about her foundation. Meanwhile Trump is an incredibly corrupt businessman, and there is plenty of proof for anyone paying attention.

          • I can’t change their ignorance and hate because they hate ME and think I’m a THREAT. All they care about is their RIGHT TO DESTROY ME.

          • Of course, most people either don’t know about this or don’t care. But those e-mails actually reveal a lot of connections with Saudi Arabia, they’re pretty important in my opinion. And Saudis also donated millions for foundation.
            God, the fact they were both main candidates for president of one of the most powerful countries in the world is just beyond me.

          • Oh no! The Saudi’s donated money to the Clinton Foundation?! How DARE they give to charity! Those monsters!

            Look, the Saudis are deeply problematic, but sanctioning them into the dark ages like Iran and letting religious extremists take over is not the answer either. :P And who fucking CARES that they donate to CHARITY?

          • Let’s not be naive, please. Yeah, country where women can’t drive, can’t decide about themselves donates millions for foundation fighting for women’s rights among others, not suspicious at all!

          • So you’re a conspiracy theorist? You’ve got a lot of nerve talking about naivete. Of course the U.S. has cooperated with the Saudis for years. Do you know how much Saudi Arabia goes to shit if the religious extremists take over? Do you want another Iran? Is it perfect? NO. But do you think things will get any better for people if the Saudi Royals are overthrown the the extremists take over?

            See, it’s your attitude that allowed someone like Trump to win. The status quo is so scary that somehow electing a fascist seemed like a good idea.

          • Basic logic is conspiracy theory now, nice. You do realize Saudi Arabia is shit now, right? You do realize that because of their actions in Yemen thousands of children are starving, people are killed? You do realize they backed ISIS? ISIS? Say to Yazidi girls and women that things could have always been worse. And forgive me for thiniking that maybe person who allows these things to happen isn’t better than Trump.

          • No. I will not forgive that. That’s insane. You SHOULD be held accountable for thinking she’s in the same league as Trump.

          • How can woman who is responsible for deaths, rapes, suffering of THOUSANDS of people be better than Trump? Say that to people in Libya, Yemen, to mothers of these dying children! Say that to Berta Caceres’ children! Say that to families of murdered LGBT+ people, activists! What a fucked up morality this is?
            God knows that Trump is terrible human being but Hillary is NO better than him.

        • Thanks for responding. I hear you regarding class and privilege discourse. I am wary of the way privilege discourse fails to meet people where they are.

          I think the big tension here is that many of these fears ARE racist, and they often manifest in nasty ways, as we’ve seen this week with street harassment etc. I can’t blame POC for not wanting to engage with people making racist jokes or threatening them. To draw a parallel, I came of age in a relatively homophobic town, where some people were willing to get to know me and others yelled slurs from their cars. What was I supposed to do with them?

          I do think the focus should always be on the people stoking and promoting racism from the top, like the Republican party, Fox News, Breitbart and conservative talk radio. Those people are not unemployed factory workers motivated by desperation. They are rich, and hateful, and they create racist controversies that wouldn’t exist without them.

          • Yes, exactly, instead of blaming people for voting Trump we should focus on WHY they voted for him. And media played big role in it.
            It’s kinda vicious circle and it reminds me of situation of Jews in my country, Poland in 30s, which is not very optimistic. But since I’m also idealistic I believe you can fight hate only with love. If you seperate yourself from these people, hate them you’re only making it worse. Of course, it’s not easy and it frustrates me, but what other choice do we have?
            If someone yells at you from the car there’s not really much you can do. I’m sorry you had to go through this. In situations like these all you can do is not to respond with hate I think. But there a lot of people who are not that extremely racist or homophobic, who are afraid maybe, who are willing to listen if you speak in a right way to them. And we should focus on them. Education is the key, I quess?

          • You clearly have the privilege to love. But if you want a reason, it’s hate, ignorance, lies, and fear. Not racist and homophobic… ? They just tolerate it, like the sexism and ableism, so that’s okay?

          • What lies? And again – if you call people racist because they are afraid you already lost them.
            Seriously, where did I say racism etc. is okay? I’m saying one thing – you cannot change racist’s views if you start by saying they’re racist = offending them (no, I’m not saying they can offend you but “an eye for an eye” doesn’t work ever). If they don’t like you, they probably not gonna listen to you.
            You kept telling Trump voters that they are racists and bigots (many of them aren’t!) and well… I’ve read it on Twitter, but I can’t find it, so – it doesn’t matter if you should change or not, you must change or you will keep losing.

          • What lies? Every time Trump opened his fucking mouth. Oh no. God forbid I offend the racist by calling them a racist! They ALREADY don’t like me! Are you fucking kidding me? They HATE ME. Many want to KILL ME.

            And you have the GALL to say many Trump supporters aren’t racist or bigots? Of COURSE they are! If not maliciously, than they’re complicit! You’re just giving them a pass!


          • You’re missing my point. You can call racist people racists. It’s true. But it only makes them hate you more. It’s basic psychology. If your friend hates your movie and you’re trying to make them like it, do you start by telling them they’re idiots because they don’t like?
            I’m not saying racism is okay. I’m saying if you wanna keep calling them names, hate them, go ahead, but accept the fact that you’re not gonna change anything, they don’t stop being racists, they’ll still vote for racist and decide about your country. It doesn’t lead to anything.
            And no, many Trump supporters aren’t racists (many voted for Obama, by the way). Most of them are poor, uneducated, tired and desperate for change. Nevermind what change. Calling them racists is totally gonna convince them not to vote for him.
            Well, of course you don’t have to. But then accept the fact that they won mostly because of the way you speak about them right now. People don’t like to feel disregard (yes, I know that is the problem of POC mostly but that argumention doesn’t work and I already explained that) and election was the moment when got their way.
            And stop yelling at me, can’t we have a civilized discussion?

          • You’re comparing racism to dislike of a movie… ? You’re serious?

            No, I don’t call someone an idiot for not liking a movie because that’s asinine! That is NOT THE SAME THING as calling out someone’s racist language! What the fuck?!

            They are COMPLICIT racists! They tolerate and APPROVED everything Trump said by voting for him! That is NOT OKAY! This is NOT NORMAL!

            They did not “Win” because we called them out on hate! They won BECAUSE THEY HATE!

            And NO! We cannot have a civilized conversation! There is nothing civilized about this! If you don’t want to talk to me then don’t, but I’m going to keep calling out the INSANE BULLSHIT going on right now!

          • Seriously, stop. I did not say it’s the same thing, I was trying to make a point. If you wanna convince someone to something, maybe offending him first isn’t the best idea.
            I did not say it’s okay or it’s normal. But quess what, people are not born racists so instead of shitting on them (YES, I do know they deserve shit) we could try to undestand them, why they think like that and what can we do change them (because I don’t know, world would be better with less racists?). Imagine you’re a teacher, you have a class full of racists and you have to change their mind. Do you start yelling at them or do exercices, give them tasks etc., to understand they shouldn’t hate people with different skin colour?
            The thing is, hate leads to hate. If you spread hate, hate will come back to you. If racists hates POC, they’re not gonna love them. If we hate racists, they’re not gonna love us either. It’s vicious circle and we can keep hating each other or we can do something to change that, which I believe is education and undestanting. (Love is exaggeration here.)

          • Maybe YOU have that privilege, but I do not. I have to live in FEAR and know my life is in DANGER because of these people. You feel free to hold their hands, make them feel better about what shitty people they are, and love and nurture them. I’m worried about staying ALIVE.

          • Alex, my family are Jews that came from Russia and Poland. My dad refuses to discuss what happened to his family there. The “vicious circle” comment disgusts me to no end. Anti-Semitism started in your country and in the land that would become your country way earlier than the 1930s. Killing my people is entirely on the Poles. Am I allowed to say “fuck you” on Autostraddle? Let’s try it: fuck you and your vicitm-blaming bullshit.

          • Yes, why bother to change anything? I will never believe hate is good reaction. It’s understandable but not good.
            Abby, where I am victm-blaming? And while anti-semitism unfortunately has a long history in Poland and they were killing Jews (Jedwabne), you do realize that actually Germans are responsible for Holocaust? That many Polish people were saving Jews?

          • Fine. YOU can sing kumbaya while your people get killed, Alex. Fuck that shit. We are ALREADY living in a country where people DIE for being different. It just got worse. Your solution is to love and placate the murderers and the people complicit in the hate and murder. So yeah, I’m with Abby, fuck you.

          • So what exactly is the best solution in you opinion? We should fight racism but I think by education, not yelling at each other.

          • I am sick and tired of telling people how they’re hurting me and hurting others only to be told I’m “offending them” and infringing on their “religious right” to persecute people. No more. I’m not going to tolerate it. I’m not going to be demonized and threatened by these people and then blame for them voting for hate.


          • Alex, if we’re considering parallels to fascism in the 30s, it’s worth noting that none of those parties came to power because working class Germans/Italians etc were sick of being called racist/antisemitic by an evil ‘PC’ mob. Jews, sexual minorities, people with disabilities, the Roma etc could not have halted the Nazis by showing them love.

            I also really want to believe that education can make a difference, which is why I invest in careful conversations with family and anyone I think might listen. But I would invite you to consider the example of President Obama, who spent 8 years facing incredibly vicious racist attacks with the diplomacy of a saint. His kindness and patience did nothing to stop the racist juggernaut unleashed by the right wing media and eaten up by white people all over. Same goes for the patient diplomacy of Muslim Americans, Latino community leaders and so on.

          • Alex, Donna’s exceedingly patient response to you says it all and it’s why Abby and I said you’re victim-blaming. The hate is not our fault and it’s reprehensible to lay the blame at our feet.

          • Joanna, where did I say hate is your fault? I’m not saying you should love and thank every person on the street who offends you. In casual conversations with friends, family etc. it’s important not to attack them, just explain things to them. I mean you don’t extinguish fire with more fire, right? I’m not blaming victims for responding with hate. I can perfectly undestand that from my own experience. I’m saying this is not good and it’ll not lead to anything good. History showed this us many times.

            Donna, I didn’t mean to draw a parallel, it was more a loose thought. This is right and that’s why I called it a vicious circle (or maybe wrong circle, I think my English failed here).
            I’m not from US, I don’t know every Obama’s speech, I’m not familiar with how he responded to racist attacks, would you tell me something about it? Without that knowledge I can only quess that people didn’t listen to him anymore [I don’t mean KKK, extreme racists, because I think this is not majority of Trump voters – or at least I wanna believe that. Of course these people exist and probably will always hate. But I honestly don’t hate them. I (sometimes trying very hard) feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for hateful people, so why would I want hate in myself? But that’s just me personally]. Did he acknowledge these people (I mean, from rural areas like in Wong’s article)? Did he do something to help them? (I didn’t mean it to sound mocking or stmh, I’m just curious).
            Why some people of color voted for him too? People who voted for Obama and now for Trump suddenly became rasists? Only 42% Trump voters strongly supported him (and I think we can say from observation that these white, racist, so happy after his victory boys aren’t very critical about him, so they are not most of his supporters). People whose financial situation improved from 2015 voted mostly for Clinton. These whose financial situation is worse today – for Trump. And this happened with Obama as a president. If someone failed you, you won’t listen to him anymore. Of course race was a very important factor and we shouldn’t ignore it but the key is economy.

          • Alex, I think people’s frustration comes from the notion that it was other people calling out racism, rather than actual racism itself, that won Trump the election. I agree that certain depictions of Trump supporters exploited them for laughs and a smug sense of superiority. I have also read think pieces condemning liberals for that smugness, but I think that factor has been incredibly exaggerated, as has the entire ‘this PC culture has gone too far’ discourse. (Funny how many of those people are less offended by violent attacks on POC than by people calling them privileged) The outcome didn’t come down to people voting for Trump to punish people who called them racist. That is an oversimplification.

            As for Obama’s responses to racism (the birther controversy, the Jeremiah Wright controversy etc), the defining feature was restraint. He was incredibly hesitant to even call racist statements racist. He talked about healing, and unfortunate misunderstanding and was anything but confrontational.

            I think I know what you mean by approaching people without hatred and trying to have dialogue with people. I also think that dialogue should be pursued whenever possible. But I also know that there is a branch of the pro-dialogue group that places ALL of the onus on people of colour, women, GLBTQ people etc, to come to the table with an open mind and empathy. And many of us have followed that route, with little to show for it.

          • Alex, I don’t HAVE family to talk to because they’d rather I be dead and in Hell! I don’t have toxic friends either.

            YOU can feel sorry for the KKK and the people who tolerate them all you want, but they LITERALLY want me DEAD. They are a TERRORIST organization!

            NEVER AGAIN.

          • THIS. Of course it’s not the most important but we should recognize this and not ignore it. We probably cannot win racists who attack people etc. But we can win working class, we can win people who are simply afraid of the future, who are desperate for help and change. That would be enough for Trump to lose next time. I hope so.
            I don’t know if I have anything else to add? Thank you for the discussion, it was very nice to talk to you. Have a nice day!

          • (1) “If you seperate yourself from these people, hate them you’re only making it worse”. That is victim blaming. Because really? Jews v. Poland? No.
            (2) Poles had a pretty great record of oppressing and killing Jews before the Germans stepped in. Don’t blame Germany for your country’s history.
            (3) Anyone who acts like calling out racism is as bad or even almost as bad as actually being racist probably doesn’t understand much about racism.
            (4) Black people did not gain rights in this country by waiting for Southern White people to love them. Act Up did not get healthcare for people with HIV by waiting for people to love them. If you can wait for love to work, you must not have much to lose.

          • 1. No, that is stating a simple fact. You can interpret it as you want.
            2. I realize that, seriously. What the fuck, I just said that not Poland wasn’t responsible for Holocaust. Germany was. It’s not defending my country, it’s historical fact. It doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge Poland’s history with anti-semitism.
            3. Stop putting words into my mouth. Saying calling out racism is not good is not equal saying that it’s as bad as racism. And we’re talking about specific situation here.
            4. Once again – I’m not saying we should do nothing. I’m saying hate is not solution. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” – Martin Luther King. It’s all I mean.

          • Alex, I say this from a well-meaning, non-judgmental place: in the future, it would be a good idea to avoid quoting Martin Luther King Jr when advocating for kindness towards racists. I believe that you are arguing from a place of good faith, and I appreciate that many people all around the world do find MLK Jr. to be very inspiring, but there has been a trend in recent years, in which white people quote him as they are condemning Black Lives Matter or other anti-racist activists. At this point a lot of people get annoyed to see white people quoting him, because it’s almost always done in service of maintaining the status quo and his larger message is taken out of context.

            I also genuinely believe that you recognize the crimes of Poles toward Jews, but some of the statements you’ve made comparing Trump supporters to supporters of 30s/40s fascism are especially confusing given that, as I stated before, fascists in that era were not driven by a lack of love from the victims.

            Thank you for dialoguing with me with openness and respect.

          • And where is Dr. King now? Dead. That man had as much long-suffering, loving-kindness as humanly possible and he was murdered for it. Maybe if people stopped demonizing Malcolm X they’d realize he had some good points too. :P

            I’m not going to just love people to my death!

          • Donna, thank you for that and I apologize. I’ll remember that. About Jews – I didn’t mean to compare, it was more of my personal associaton, I didn’t think much about it, I realize it may have sounded that way though.
            S.M – I’m glad.

        • I just wanted to say that I found this very insightful and thank you for posting it, because it helped me better understand the crazy things that are happening in my country:

          “When you’re white cis hetero man and you work hard or maybe you’re unemployed, you can’t afford college for your children, you’re struggling to provide for your family and you hear from rich people in media (or even celebrities, which is even worse I think) that you’re the most privileged group, I can only imagine that you look around and ask “where is that privilege?” And we ignore them, we are like “but POC have it worse, stop whining” and of course it pisses them off. It’s the same when you’re sad because of whatever and friend tells you to think about children in Africa and appreciate life. Are you suddenly happy, don’t care anymore about your issues and feel sorry for those children? No, you are angry because you feel they underestimate your problems. That’s the same mechanism.”

        • I object to white male whinging. White men in the middle of the income distribution have CONSISTENTLY voted against policies benefiting the middle class and instead voted FOR tax cuts for the rich. Let them try to unionize, let them write letters to representatives / senators about their declining finances or difficulty in paying for college education, let them put together a protest / lobby day. All of the other groups participate in the political process – why should middle-income white men whinge that their wages and salaries haven’t budged or that they have been fired and now have to work pink-collar jobs, when they put no effort into demanding that their politicians pay attention to them.

          The root of the matter is that white men expect preferred treatment as their birthright, and resent having to compete with “lesser beings” such as women, non-whites, LGBT,etc.

          • Nancy, this is an interesting point, I didn’t think of it that way.
            In my opinion they’re just not used to it. Not that many people are interested in politics, politically involved etc. They don’t think about it that much, maybe they don’t have time for it. When you’re woman, LGBTQ+, non-white, I think you’re from the very young age aware that you’re in one of the “worse”, opressed groups and if you wish to change your situation, you have to fight for it. They are of course not.
            We should encourage them to participate in political process, of course. As I think of it I don’t actually recall protests about financial situation lately, I don’t know?

            And off the topic – it makes me just sad that we have to demand that politicians pay attention to us, while it’s their primary duty.

  8. “Give him a chance!”

    *puts Mike Pence in charge of transition team*

    “Well, okay. But keep an open mind!”

    *appoints a white supremacist as chief strategist*

    “Err. At least he’s not as hawkish as HRC?”

    *rumored to be appointing John Bolton to Secretary of State*


  9. “Just give him a chance”.

    NO. Why?! What has he done to EARN it? He is openly hateful of ALL minorities and lower classes. He mocks and derides the armed forces even and the so-called Conservatives don’t care. They don’t care if he’s in bed with Russia. All their so-called important issues are phony.

    You do not give a PROVEN, LYING man who ADMITS to REPEATED SEXUAL ASSAULT anything remotely related to a FAIR CHANCE!

    What fucking madness have we fallen into that people are already trying to normalize it?!

    • I think that it might be the madness born of desperation and denial. Other than that, I’ve no idea. It seems to me that the writing is on the wall.

      • We didn’t take it seriously enough in the beginning. And I think Americans enjoyed the show. They were entertained and that was above what was important. Also, people don’t want to admit that they are shitty, we all are very bad people, and so they make excuses when someone does something they’ve secretly wanted to do or say. They make excuses because they want to justify their urges to be bigoted and freely act on what ever sick primal urge they have.

        Also, I am sure if people spent more time learning about other cultures and just open some books and spend less time at church or reading extremely biased material, this would not have happened.

        They voted for a man that literally said he would default on our debt…… HE WOULD DEFAULT ON DEFAULT RISK FREE NOTES! America needs to learn some goddamn economics.

  10. Heather, thank you for continuing to sift through all of this bullshit to provide us with real information.

  11. “There is nothing normal about him or about the administration that will surround him.”

    This is massively important to keep in mind, especially when we’re hearing so many normalizing messages to the contrary.

  12. I was going to write a transcript of the phone conversation I just had with my dad, where he used his experience in government defense contracting to normalize the Trump administration. Instead I’ll just say that I’m not going home for Thanksgiving because I’m not out to him and I don’t have the energy to spend next weekend trying to communicate how dangerous Trump, Pence, and crew are to me and my chosen family. I just can’t be in a house with him for three or four days of that in exchange for seeing my parents’ dogs and eating a lobster dinner. Nope nope nope nope nope.

    • This is the first time I’ve read someone deciding not to be with their terrible family members and I think it’s great and more people need to take this approach.

      • I don’t know that I would describe my dad as terrible, but there’s a mismatch in perspectives that makes conversations like the one I mentioned above difficult. Especially with his well-intentioned advice that infantilizes me like I know nothing about politics and public administration when I just completed a Masters degree in it. I guess that is kind of terrible.

        I’m just so thankful I have friends in and around Brooklyn who “get” me in ways I struggle to connect with my parents, including my friend Erilia who has agreed to have dinner with me Thanksgiving night even if it’s just pizza and whiskey.

  13. Thank you for this, Heather. Just moments before seeing this article I realized how vigilant we must be to keep major disasters from sneaking in past the “Everything will be fine!”s and the “It won’t be that bad!”s.

    We will not be complacent and take anyone at their word, we must know what we have to do to fight back.

    I spent all week feeling helpless and lost and more depressed than I have been in years, but now I’m mad, and I’m done, and I’m ready to make sure these absolute wastes of human existence will not do the irreparable damage to our country and our communities that I’m sure they’re hoping for.

  14. I tried to explain in a public post on FB last night why we are living in fear in a long post that touched on the road we took to get here, and that gay rights were not as enshrined as all of our straight friends thought, that they are very new and at risk. One of the first commenters, a DJT supporter, completely missed the point of the post and railed about how we got to where we are by standing on the backs of the religious liberties of the right. I’m done convincing anyone on the right that protesting isn’t whining, and we are entitled to our fear. I will work within and seek support from my community to protect our rights and push forward.

    • Exactly. This is not the time to hold the hands of bigots and try to politely make them feel better while our LIVES are in danger. We should NOT be held accountable to make our abusers feel better about their bigotry and ignorance!

      • And that means white, cis (and especially hetero), and able-bodied have a responsibility to call shit out, stand up and protect others, not fucking make this hate normal or make people feel better for their bigoted fears!

  15. So the screaming carrot demon wants his kids to have top secret clearance and is refusing to put his business in a blind trust.

  16. In many ways I think the most terrifying thing about Trump is that he has no idea how to run a government, which will result in him essentially being a talking head/puppet for the rest of the Republican party. If he for whatever reason was impeached or possibly assassinated, we would end up with a Mike Pence president, which is a terrifying thought.

    • I agree, although I sometimes think it would be better if he was a GOP puppet, because at least they know what they are doing. Then the other voice in my heads says “that’s exactly the problem.” Our system is too complex to elect a non-politician and expect anything other than chaos. We may learn to ditch this romantic fantasy the hard way, just like we’re going to be learning/doing a lot of things the hard way. Trump’s team is already fighting, which adds to the mess. The people who supported him won’t get what they wanted, and the rest of us will struggle to avoid damage. Cue the movie “All About Eve,” where Bette Davis says “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

  17. Collusion with foreign government to rig U.S. elections (Russia / Putin)! FBI suppression of Russia investigation and loud promotion of “more Clinton emails” without context or conclusion! Never released his tax returns – we don’t know his debts to foreign powers! Trump University fraud cases! Sexual assault of a minor (not his daughter) case pending! Won’t put his assets in a true blind trust! Long history of lying under oath in civil legal cases! Every response to criticism involves either a threat of lawsuit or threat of violence! Clueless about basic duties of presidency and operations of executive branch!

    It amazes me that otherwise “intelligent” and often “educated” people voted for him because the other candidate has icky female parts.

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