Like many of you, watching the election returns Tuesday night was a shock to the system. It did not turn out the way many of us had hoped it would. Some in our community will blame those who didn’t do enough. Others will say the strategies of the Human Rights Campaign, Victory Fund or Gill Foundation set us on the wrong path.
Stop right there. This is not the time for a blame game or to point fingers. It’s time to plan the future and do it with the little information we have.
Whatever you believe, there is something that cannot be denied: Donald Trump tapped into something in the electorate, and he knew how to sell it. Here’s what I find to be an amazing point: Except in areas like Indiana and North Carolina, the LGBT community really wasn’t an issue in this race. Or were we?
We didn’t come up very much and while Hillary Clinton made it a point to speak to our community, Trump tried to voice some form of support in his own strange way. His statement that he’d allow Caitlyn Jenner to use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower certainly was eye-opening.
Our community’s issues are like almost every other community’s: We really do not know what Trump stands for and how he will deal with our concerns. The point is that someone from this community has to reach out to what will be the next presidential administration.
That should be the Log Cabin Republicans, or other LGBT Republicans who have those connections. They should do it quickly and we should not condemn them for doing so. If we do, we are as bad as the Republicans who said after Barack Obama was elected that their first political point was to make him a one-term president. No. It put them in a position with their base, which created a position that no Republican could “compromise with Democrats.” That led to the stagnation that Washington became. Do we want that again?
The point is, we may not like it, but Donald Trump has been elected. We get another chance in four years. We can start to put the pieces together for that battle, but in the meantime there is a country, and a community — many of them — with needs. To paraphrase President Obama, “Don’t just get angry, get active.”
The fight for equality goes on, maybe even stronger.