When it had become clear that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, the new Ptresident-elect resolved in his victory speech to be a “president for all Americans.”
And while those words were possibly uttered to diffuse some of the spontaneous anti-Trump protests that had engulfed every major American city since the results were announced, his detractors took some comfort in this mellowed approach — a far cry from the aggressive and divisive rhetoric that Donald Trump so readily banked on during the election campaign.
Three weeks later, however, the composition of Trump’s cabinet suggests a clear departure from that promise of being a president for all Americans. Contrary to his repeated assurances to rural working-class Americans, Donald Trump already seems to have stuffed his administration with Washington insiders and Wall street honchos. His expected appointment of financier Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs employee with investments in Hollywood, as the treasury’s secretary is just another betrayal to his professed commitment to the cause of the common people.
So much for a populist candidate who had centered his campaign around an anti-establishment narrative!
But that is not the only promise that Trump has backed out of. In a year which saw the deadliest incident of violence against members of the LGBT community, Donald Trump has decided to pick cabinet members who have a proven history of standing against the rights of LGBT people. At a time when the LGBT community appears to be reeling for its identity once again, the President of America must stand for them. Instead, Trump appears to have deserted them altogether.
This stance is certainly at odds with his claim that he would do more for the community than any other president in the past. Speaking at the Republican National Convention days after the Orlando massacre which saw gunman Omar Mateen killing 49 people and injuring 53 other at a gay bar, Trump had claimed himself to be the champion of the LGBT community, as reported by Pink News.
“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted LGBTQ community.
No good. And we’re going to stop it.
As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me.”
In the weeks to follow, Donald Trump repeatedly flip-flopped on his promises, by first pledging to appoint justices who would repeal equal marriage, and then by coming out in favor of anti-transgender laws.
This is not even to mention the bile that his proposed cabinet spews out against members of the LGBT community on a regular basis. Not even a single member of Donald Trump’s administration so far has stood for the rights of the community, but instead, all of them have a shared hatred for LGBT people that is as dangerous as it must be offensive to the community.
Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence is a proven homophobe, who has advocated “gay cure” therapies to “treat gay people,” while also signing a law as Indiana governor that gave businesses a right to discriminate against gay people by citing religious beliefs. One need not even elaborate on the hateful attitude that Pence has for gay people, and if that is not frightening prospect in the next vice-president of the country, I do not know what is.
Jeff Sessions, the Alabama senator that is set to be nominated as Attorney General once Trump assumes power, is infamous for proposing an amendment to ban gay marriages across the nation during the George Bush administration. Holding a zero percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard on LGBT rights, Sessions is perhaps the most anti-LGBT member of the Congress. The prospect of him being the Attorney General of the U.S. is no less frightening than Pence being the Vice-President.
Donald Trump’s other cabinet members, including National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, have all been long-term critics of LGBT rights. While Flynn has repeatedly spoken about the induction of gay people in the military, Preibus has the dubious accolade of helping pass the Republican Party’s most homophobic policy platform in decades.
So when Donald Trump said that he would be a “president for all Americans,” he was obviously kidding. His choice of cabinet members betrays a deep-rooted hatred, and perhaps even fear, of the LGBT community.
Members of the community must now steel themselves into facing the most regressive time in modern America’s history, and should it come to that, even be ready to overthrow the Trump administration for single-handedly taking America into the dark ages.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]