Caitlyn Jenner Not Voting Trump in 2020 Over LGBTQIA Issues Is Four Years Too Late
Did you know that Trump and his administration would be terrible for LGBTQIA issues? Yeah, you probably did. Most people did, actually. For many of their supporters, that was actually a selling point. For detractors, they were part of a long list of interconnected issues that the Trump administration would be terrible at handling. For Caitlyn Jenner, however, this seems to have been one big ol’ surprise.
In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News to promote her upcoming memoir, Caitlyn Jenner discussed the fact that *shocker* Trump and his administration are terrible on LGBTQIA issues. Since this was apparently a total shock to Jenner, she has decided that now, she won’t be supporting a re-election bid from him in 2020.
She says that she never came out and publicly supported Trump in the first place, that the media “did that for her.” “I’m on the Republican/Conservative side,” she explains. “And he wound up being our candidate, and so I certainly was going to vote for him.”
She then goes on to say:
“My loyalties do not lie with Donald Trump. My loyalties do not lie with the Republican Party. My loyalties, and what I’m fighting for is my community. The LGBT community, and particularly the trans issues that are out there, because there are many of them. And so that’s where my fight is. And I thought Trump would be pretty good, but he’s kind of disappointed me in the first 100 days on those issues.”
When Carlson (rightfully, for once) brings up the fact that Hillary Clinton would’ve been a much better choice on LGBTQIA issues, and wonders (like the rest of us) why Jenner didn’t vote for her, Jenner replied:
“Because I’m not a one-issue voter. I believe in limited government. I believe in our Constitution. I would rather convince the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to all LGBT issues than to try to convince the Democrats to lower taxes and lower regulations and let our country thrive financially and economically.”
Listening to Jenner talk about politics, I can feel my brain rotting from the inside out. So … she has “no loyalty” to Trump or the Republican Party, yet when talking about her original vote for him, she says “he wound up being our candidate, and so I certainly was going to vote for him.” She says she’s not a one-issue voter, and yet cites her one issue. Money.
She’s on Tucker Carlson’s show to shill her book. Talking about politics and the “trans issues that are out there” is just her way to do it in a way that’s relevant now that she’s not an athlete anymore. She talks about these “trans issues that are out there” in a way that makes them sound really removed from her … because they are.
Jenner’s story is unique in that she came out as trans having already acquired a life of fame and financial privilege before doing so. Her view of the world, therefore, is that of a person who values that acquisition above all else. Does that sound harsh? Look at what she says above. She’s essentially saying that LGBTQIA issues were issues she was willing to skimp on, so long as she voted for someone she thought would protect her money and keep government away from it.
It’s absolutely within her rights to prioritize money over the lives of the LGBTQIA community, of which she is a part. She can absolutely do that. What she can’t do, however, is do that while claiming to be in any kind of “fight” for her community. She is not. Just because one is trans or queer does not mean they are taking part in the fight. I really wish she would stop pretending.
Her approach seems to be to let Republicans be in power and change things for the LGBTQIA community “from the inside.” She says:
“I think it’s good that I’m on the Republican side because the Republicans know that, and I have an immediate in with them to change their minds. The Republicans need the most work when it comes to our issues … I’m not the type of person who is going to stand on a street corner with a sign and jump up and down. No, I’m going to go have dinner with these people.”
This approach, calling in your people, is a fine approach for friends and individuals. To knowingly elect people that you know are harmful to the community thinking that you’ll somehow change their minds after they already have power in time for it to make any type of difference while they’re in office is absurd.
It’s clear she doesn’t want to be an activist, being that she hates “jumping up and down.” So fine! Don’t be an activist. But don’t pretend that dinner conversations are enough without the political action to back it up. If the Republicans she’s talking to don’t think that they will lose her vote for their policies, don’t think she will actively fight their politics, those conversations are useless.
And now, she’s depriving Trump of her vote, apparently, on a second term. Well, I would hope so, considering he’s been disappointing (to put it mildly) on issues beyond those specific to the LGBTQIA community. I would’ve hoped that this election would’ve taught her that it’s not that anyone’s asking her to be a “one issue voter,” but that they’re asking her to see that all issues are connected.
There is a myth that one can be “fiscally conservative” but “socially liberal,” because people think that all being socially liberal means is “not actively despising” queer people, or women, or trans folks, or the poor, or the disabled, or non-white people. But it’s not about active hatred. It’s about supporting harmful policies in law or economics that disproportionately affect those marginalized communities. You can’t say you support a community if you also support policies that hurt them.
I would never want to invalidate her experience as a trans woman, and I say time and time again that no group is a monolith. I certainly don’t believe that all trans people will, nor necessarily should have the same politics or any politics at all. However, I will call into question those who are actively hurting the communities of which they are a part, and just as I challenge women who support men’s rights activists and say they “don’t need feminism,” because they’re “doing fine” to consider that it’s not all about them for a second, I challenge LGBTQIA folks on the right to consider that it’s not all about them. You might not see the need for all this social justice-ing, but others in your community do. Think about them!
Jenner thinks it’s “hard” being a Republican and bemoans the fact that she’s been catching flack for her political beliefs from the LGBTQIA community. You know what’s hard? Watching someone who has a platform and influence and access that activists would kill for wield their power so irresponsibly.
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