Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Gay For Trump?


Before we get into the poor delusional souls who are both gay and Trumpist, let me remind you of something notarially related-- basically that Trump's campaign is a pipsqueak operation that is better suited to win a city council seat than the White House. Jonathan Chait reported for New York that it's an absolute strategic and managerial garbage fire. He thinks we may not have to be as concerned that "Trump’s election as president of the United States would pose an unprecedented threat to the health of American democracy and possibly world stability" because he's running "the most organizationally and strategically inept campaign for a successful major-party nominee in recorded history... [and] Trump has absolutely no idea what he’s doing."
“Trump is reliant on information he garners himself, and can be swayed by the last person he talked to,” Parker and Haberman somewhat delicately put it. His campaign staff is far too small, and yet constantly at war with itself, already having gone through multiple shakeups and coups. In keeping with his general disdain for data, Trump has eschewed any use of analytics to target voters or competitive areas. Indeed, he has fixated bizarrely on plans to compete in New York and California, two states where any Republican faces hopeless odds against an entrenched Democratic electorate. He is currently in North Dakota for reasons nobody fully understands. He attacks fellow Republicans for no apparent reason. The super-pac donors who are supposed to be raising money on his behalf are disorganized and confused about basic questions like which super-pac they’re supposed to donate to.

To the extent that running a competent campaign matters, it will hurt Trump very badly. Yes, he won the Republican primary by relying on a massive imbalance of media coverage and exploiting a divided, extremely large field that failed to coalesce against him. Yes, he tapped into deep strains of anger in the conservative base that fellow Republicans ignored. But he’s not a political savant, and he hasn’t abolished the rules of politics. He's a reality-television performer who tapped into a deep vein of cultural resentment that appeals to a decided minority of the electorate. Fortunately, many of the same qualities that would make Trump epically dangerous in the presidency-- his impulsive ignorance, blustering arrogance, and contempt for data-- also make him unlikely to obtain it.
So what's this got to do with a gay person pulling the lever for the candidate of the angry, white, largely male, largely bigoted and hate-filled working class yahoos-- what we call, with sadness, "life's losers"-- who took the Republican nomination away from Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and all the incompetents in between and gave it to Herr Trumpf? Are there angry, white, bigoted males among gays? You tell me; I haven't been in a gay bar in 2 or 3 decades. Luke Brinker writes that "among the Trump Train's passengers is a fiercely committed corps of gay supporters, enamored of the brash billionaire's anti-establishment message and unimpressed by likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton." Some, like Chris Barron, have been kicking around on the fringes of gay politics and are well known for being borderline psychotic, bigoted and twisted. "Donald Trump is the most pro-gay Republican nominee ever," Barron, the former national political director of the Log Cabin Republicans and a co-founder of the now-defunct group GOProud, insisted. He says the LGBT community shouldn't worry about gay issues-- "we've won the day," he declared-- but should "look at the totality of issues that impact them," (jobs, the economy, foreign policy and terrorism). Barron himself is a hater who detests immigrants and has a similar mindset to Trump's.
That may seem difficult to square with Trump's support from evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr., his avowed opposition to same-sex marriage and his promise to appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of the late archconservative Antonin Scalia. But while early polling shows Clinton a lock to win gay voters, the billionaire's boosters in the community cheer his history of supporting gay rights, his business acumen and his brash, thoroughly unapologetic persona.
After all, Trump went to Elton John's gay wedding and had a gay employee. Barron: "Trump was pro-gay long before it was politically trendy-- unlike Hillary Clinton." Besides, among crazy, usually self-loathing right-wing gays who spend their lives hating (immigrants included) Trump is a dream candidate.
[F]or Trump's gay supporters, his positions on traditional LGBTQ issues are of tertiary interest at best.

Journalist and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos (the crackpot on the right), among Trump's most fervent backers in conservative media, pointed to the candidate's hardline immigration policy-- a stance, Yiannopoulos said, that ultimately bolsters gay rights.

"Think of where most immigrants come from: war-torn, socially conservative countries in the Middle East, or violent South and Central American backwaters," Yiannopoulos said in an email. "Neither environment breeds a culture that's particularly interested in or friendly to gay rights. Much as the left likes to bash it, it's western culture that's done the most for queers."

...Many LGBTQ Americans confront a host of economic challenges-- including workplace discrimination and disproportionate rates of homelessness-- but compared to heterosexuals, gays earn higher median incomes, enjoy higher personal savings and are less likely to be unemployed, according to a 2012 study by Prudential.

More affluent voters are more likely to vote Republican, and should Trump lead a deescalation of the right's culture war on LGBTQ issues, many well-to-do gays-- to say nothing of non-gays turned off by the party's social conservatism-- may give the GOP a second look.

Jimmy LaSalvia, who co-founded GOProud with Barron but bolted from the GOP in 2014, citing its persistent "tolerance of bigotry," isn't convinced.

Even if Trump dials back the party's hardline stance on LGBTQ issues, LaSalvia said in a recent interview, gays will recoil from the candidate's rhetoric targeting immigrants, women and Muslims.

"Gay people have been used as political pawns our entire lives. It's personal to us and everyone who's ever been marginalized for political gain," LaSalvia, who endorsed Clinton in December, said.

But Barron is unswayed by such appeals.

"It's what the left is now relying on to try to keep LGBT voters on the Democratic plantation," he said. "Where were all the Muslim groups when it came to the fight for marriage equality? Forgive me if I'm not totally and completely feeling the kinship there."

There is a natural kinship, Yiannopoulos contended, between gays and the onetime Manhattan playboy, to whom he regularly refers to as "Daddy" in tweets cheering Trump's campaign.

"The man built a gold-plated tower with his name on it!" Yiannopoulos said, referring to Trump's home base on Fifth Avenue. "Gay men have a deep, if sometimes brash, sense of the aesthetic, and Trump's is hard to ignore. It's flashy, it's in-your-face, it's fabulous."

"Then there's Trump himself," Yiannopoulos added. "Raw, masculine energy. He's just so much more exciting than normal presidential candidates with their drab expressions and teleprompter speeches."

It's difficult to evade a sense of campiness in the Trump shtick: The remarks about his opponents' (male and female) physical appearances, the flashiness of his campaign rallies (complete with a playlist featuring the Broadway classic "Music of the Night," from Phantom of the Opera) and the carefully-cultivated histrionics ("I do whine because I want to win and I'm not happy about not winning and I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.")

But Trump may nevertheless confront significant hurdles in winning over LGBTQ voters. A May poll conducted by the firm Whitman Insight Strategies found Trump winning only 16% of the LGBTQ vote to Clinton's 84%. That was worse than the 76% to 22% difference between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012, although the survey featured a small sample of only 338 likely voters nationwide.

"He'll definitely do better," Yiannopoulos predicted. "While I doubt many progressive, Democrat-supporting gays will switch over, he'll bring in a huge number who have never voted before in their lives. He's just that compelling."
Wow... things have changed a lot since gays were in the forefront on expanding the boundaries, not just for themselves, but for everyone-- from the time of the French Revolution, the 1848 uprisings across Europe, the Russian Revolution and, more recently, the punk rock revolution. Self-respecting gays I know are all for Bernie. Low-info gays who gravitate towards pop culture defined by Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Judy Garland... that kind of stuff, tend to support Hillary. Are you gay? It doesn't matter, as long as you're #NeverTrump:
Goal Thermometer

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