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And Days to go Before we Vote

Nov. 1, 2016
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Finally, after all the incessant never-a-dull-moment electioneering, we’re at the point of no return. Still, it’s not over until the disgusting, ugly, nasty fat lady sings as Donald Trump might say. On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9 we’ll wake up to a new president. I hope my LGBT brothers and sisters as well as all our allies are voting for Hillary Clinton. According to a recent Pew Research Center “feeling thermometer” poll, around 90% of LGBs (they don’t include Ts for some reason) rate Trump “coldly” while about 60% view Clinton “warmly.” And while, also according to Pew, we represent only 5% of American voters, size does matter in the current contest in which 72% of us support Clinton, 13% Trump, and 7% Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Based on political opinions, vitriol and smug politically smarter-than-thou pontifications of local LGBTs expressed on social media, I presume those numbers probably hold true for Milwaukee voters as well. But, speaking of that 13%, I’m not quite sure how things stand among our local 1%er gay Trump supporters who attended that infamous fundraiser. I’m sure there was a bit of consternation among them after that famous hot mic incident that occurred just after the party. One argument for their generous giving was the hope and expectation that a President Trump would implement the Ryan budget. But, now that the mogul has thrown Paul Ryan and his budget under the bus, some might be experiencing buyer’s remorse. I can hear my mother saying that famous old adage, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Anyway, some came from the fundraising fete clutching a selfie with Trump Jr. that might be a worth a few bucks on eBay someday or can be passed off as a gag gift stocking stuffer. 

Going down ballot, there’s the Russ Feingold/Ron Johnson race. That’s a close call according to the polls. Again, LGBT people really don’t have a choice. Johnson opposes marriage equality and the Employment Non-discrimination Act. He wasn’t happy about the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell either. Feingold has a long history of supporting LGBT issues and has achieved high ratings by the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU and NAACP.

So now, the real issue is getting out the vote. The LGBT Community Center held a one-day voter registration in October as well as a “Voting While Trans” event organized by FORGE. But I’m not aware of a full-fledged community wide effort. That’s surprising. Wisconsin’s Republican machine is adamantly engaged in voter suppression, enacting some of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country. They target voters are those likely to vote for Democrats: Latinos, African Americans, seniors and students. Lawsuits against these laws notwithstanding, if nothing else, the tactic has succeeded in sowing confusion among some voters and intimidating others. Democrats support LGBT rights and less Democrats casting ballots is a risk for us all. As a result, every LGBT vote for Clinton and Feingold counts. 

After the 2014 gubernatorial election, a local gay personality boasted on social media that he hadn’t voted, adding, “Don’t hate me. LOL.” This time around it’s not a laughing matter.

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