Defeating a populist like Trump might require biting our tongues

trump9LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Following the GOP convention last summer, it became apparent to me that keeping Trump from winning the election was far more important than writing about matters of importance to trans people. Not only any gains made during that time would likely be lost if Trump were to win, we were at risk for a huge rollback of existing rights.

Now, with Trump in the White House, I’ve been faced with a conundrum. I don’t relish the idea of having to report on the symptoms of Trump’s presidency for the next 4 years — writing about one curtailed transgender right after another. My time is better spent trying to rid us of the cause — Trump — but historically, articles about political matters in this space tend to be among the least read and/or shared. Readers tire of politics quickly.

Ranting about Trump won’t resolve anything either besides rallying the base. Social media does a great job here, I really don’t need to duplicate that effort in this space.

While I’m still fleshing out ideas, one of my plans to is to write about things we can do win the hearts and minds of the people that voted for Trump. This includes tactics that work, and identifying those that don’t. This will include the tracking of our progress with this task. My eyes are wide open for anything that’ll resolve the circumstances trans people find themselves in today.

In recent weeks, a number of writers have made suggestions how to best rid the nation of it’s election blunder. I am going to start with


“The recipe for populism is universal. Find a wound common to many, find someone to blame for it, and make up a good story to tell. Mix it all together. Tell the wounded you know how they feel. That you found the bad guys. Label them: the minorities, the politicians, the businessmen. Caricature them. As vermin, evil masterminds, haters and losers, you name it. Then paint yourself as the savior. Capture the people’s imagination. Forget about policies and plans, just enrapture them with a tale. One that starts with anger and ends in vengeance. A vengeance they can participate in.”

Sound familiar?

To stay in power, Trump needs us to be the enemy and his supporters, an “injured party.” The things we have been doing to neutralize Trump — the presentation of facts, public scoldings, and other rebukes, won’t work says Rondon. It’s not our message, but the fact that we, the messenger, are the enemy.

The solution? Don’t feed polarization. Disarm it.


“It’s not that Trump supporters are too stupid to see right from wrong, it’s that you’re more valuable to them as an enemy than as a compatriot. Your challenge is to prove that you belong in the same tribe as them — that you are American in exactly the same way they are.”

Rondon says that rather than to reject Trump, we need to point out how badly Trump is hurting the very people he claims to be serving.

In short, by making an effort to break the tribal divide, a populist like Trump will go away by itself.

This, of course, means biting our tongue and holding in our outrage.

Food for thought.

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights

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5 replies

  1. I have been focusing on reposting verified factual reports of actions or inaction by trump, or the GOP in general, rather than the inflammatory, and often ridiculous, personal attacks or false news reports that have become so prevalent. I research everything I post beforehand; if the report is truthful, I repost it with little comment, and often urge the reader to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. I have also began, and I will admit only recently, started to balance my postings with uplifting non political messages or images in recognition of the fact that there is life outside the political arena. I will continue to do so because I believe that it needs to be done in order to fight exactly what you are referring to when you mention becoming “used to trump” ; an overload of hateful rhetoric will only cause apathetic acceptance of an unacceptable situation.

  2. things moved to fast ….we need to step back regroup , make sure nobody gets hurt , then proceed with a plan

  3. Politics is all about tribalism. I refer to it as polarization. Hard to imagine a democrat letting go of that.

  4. I’m not sure that complete subdued complacency is a wise strategy at this time, although I do agree with debating/reporting the stupid people with less fervor. I scream silently inside as I try to use phrases like “he’s a bad person” instead of the real truth “he’s a sexist, misogynistic, racist with legal conditions of self admitted sexual assaults that will likely get us nuked from one of our real enemies”.

    Already his actions in one week has raised demonstrations on a grand scale that cannot be ignored by the major news outlets. He’s ostracized our neighbor until they agree to pay for a wall between us so he can start tossing Latinos en-masse to the other side. That action alone puts at risk existing NAFTA agreements, trade, and other repercussions beyond mere immigration concerns.

    While Trump is trying to fuck us up on an international basis and we helplessly watch from our position of powerlessness with our smug “told you so” look on our faces, we are still constantly defending against our local haters as they use him as a diversion to their own anti-trans bill placements or even use his success as justification to their argument. And we have to be vigilant in not losing traction with our rights we already have or gained recently. We need to continue and bring home the message that we (trans) ARE equal citizens. We may now need to chime up when it comes to using immigration status as a means of attacking a trans in the community. TWOC may even be at a higher risk of attacks now.

    All of our disgust of Trump aside, I don’t see a future of losing right after right and losing, but defending right after right and still winning. For what we’ve accomplished thus far, we can hold our heads high. North Carolina, for example, is regretting their recent decision and it visibly showed in their recent election results…in our loss of the WH, we gained in support! Let’s build on our accomplishments in addition to gaining awareness for our battles.

    Because we also need to remember that when burning witches was popularly accepted, they used the gays of the community as ‘faggots'(sticks in ol’English). Trans were among the first with other Holocaust victims. Gay bashing is on the rise (globally as well?) as a result of Trump winning and ignored by the right wing media. We may not afford to be silent. We are the enemy by our very existence. It’s not like we really have a choice?

    • we need to regroup …we got big targets on our backs ””be careful ….hatefull people feel the law is on their side……its not good right now

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