Socially liberal

By Charlotte Clymer


Last night, I was at a Christmas party, and this nice gentleman struck up a conversation with me. Asked what I do. I told him. He said he works in the Trump administration. He then says: “I vote Republican, but I’m socially liberal.” Let’s discuss this for a second.

I get that there are folks in D.C. who work in the Trump administration who don’t support Trump but want to serve our country capably. I recognize that nuance. I also get there are some conservatives who don’t support Trump at all and walk the walk on social equality.

But this gentleman put to me that a) he’s a republican, b) works in the administration, and c) regrettably votes for the GOP, BUT… wants me to know that he’s on my side. That is a summary of the first 90 seconds of our conversation.

And I got the sense he wanted me, a trans woman, to absolve him. I didn’t percolate this subject. I didn’t initiate a conversation with him. He drove this thing and then launched into the apologetics around voting for the GOP.

So, I’m just going to put this out there to other folks who feel guilty about supporting the Republican Party but call themselves “socially liberal”. Because you folks really need to hear this.

If you support a party that is anti-LGBTQ and anti-woman and xenophobic and white supremacist because you think your taxes are too high, you are not “socially liberal”.

If you support a party led by a coward who defends kidnapping children away from their parents and locking them in oversized dog kennels, you are not “socially liberal”.

If you have a friend or relative who is LGBTQ, whom you love and with whom you get along, but you support a party that openly and viciously calls for discrimination against LGBTQ people, you are not “socially liberal”.

If you love watching Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race, but you support a party that says trans people should be banned from the military and LGBTQ children should suffer the abuse of “conversion therapy”, you are not “socially liberal”.

If you “have a black friend” but support a party that blatantly defends the harassment, assault, and murder of people of color in this country by our law enforcement and disenfranchises them at the polls and mocks their advocacy, you are not “socially liberal”.

If you need three dozen women to come forward about their encounters of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by an elected official -let alone a “president”- before you’ll consider that even one woman is telling the truth, you are not “socially liberal”.

If you support fiscal policies that have drastic sociopolitical consequences for the most vulnerable people in our country -regardless of background- you are not “socially liberal”.

And if you’re like the gentleman last night who copped out with “Well, I’m actually a libertarian” because that is somehow meant to encapsulate sympathy for my plight without bearing responsibility for complicity in the machinations that create it, you are an enormous asshole.

I did not start this conversation last night. I tried to steer clear of politics. I gave him several ways out, but there is little as enraging as someone who votes for the Republican Party but claims to care about my rights and that of others.

And to engage in this weird request-for-absolution/pseudo-therapy with a stranger (whom the GOP is oppressing) at a party- where if I get angry, I’ll come across as making a scene but if I say nothing, I’ll hate myself for it later- is beyond shitty.

“I’m Republican, but I don’t support Trump.”

Stop saying this. Everything is on fire, and if you vote for the Republican Party, you are voting for violent hatred and discrimination. You are complicit. You are supporting white supremacy. You are voting for my oppression. /thread


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