Monday, September 5, 2016

The Advocate misses the point - It is the cynicism that should doom Trump's campaign

Donald Trump
The Advocate correctly notes that Donald Trump has claimed that he is the better candidate for LGBT citizens because the Clinton Foundation has accepted donations from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has criminalized homosexuality and severely punishes its gay citizens. Yet, as The Advocate points out, the New York Daily News reports that Trump has profited by some $10 million in Saudi money. According to The Advocate Trump's case is “unraveling.”

I would argue that Trump's case for LGBT support never “raveled” in the first place. 

In early 2009, Secretary of State Clinton implemented a policy that provided equal benefits and protections to the same-sex partners of foreign service employees. These included diplomatic passports, use of medical facilities at overseas posts, medical and other emergency evacuation and transportation between posts. That was four years prior to the ruling in United States v. Windsor. That was also after the Clinton Foundation accepted that Saudi money. Secretary Clinton has been a consistent friend to LGBT citizens, in word and deed.

What is the connection of the Clinton Foundation accepting Saudi money and Secretary Clinton's policies and positions on LGBT equality? There is none. This was never an intellectually honest argument. It was as cynical as Trump's recent outreach to African-Americans.

Trump has never demonstrated that he is a friend to the LGBT community. Trump's immediate reaction to the first news reports of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was a tweet that LGBT people should support him because he will keep us safer. Ever since that bit of cynical opportunism Trump has been trying to convince us that 2+2=5. In Peter Thiel Trump found a gay supporter who is brilliant but, well …“off.” Thiel (who made a concerted effort to remain closeted) is irrelevant to the difficulties of the LGBT community. And so is Trump.

Trump has proposed the nomination of Supreme Court justices, by name, who are hostile to the LGBT community. Trump does not support marriage equality and he supports North Carolina's HB2 law.  Trump has never proposed any specific policy that would benefit LGBT citizens. His pandering while being a bigot is offensive. Does Trump employ any transgender people? Are there any openly gay employees in senior management? If there are then we have yet to hear from them.

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