Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team are moving toward the Oval Office like a speeding freight train. Almost every day brings new revelations of financial misdoings and secret meetings with Russians by people within the Trump circle, now pushing into the inner circle. In totality, it is evident Mueller is moving toward proving a criminal enterprise. No matter how much the Trump White House rails against the description, it is a White House in chaos. A porn star with tales to tell, spur-of-the-moment ill-advised tariffs on steel and aluminum which will ultimately cost us all, the announcement of an off-the cuff meeting with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, only a few months away going where Alexander Pope said in 1711 “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” Russians lurking everywhere past, present and future ready to interfere again in our 2018 midterm elections while Trump fiddles, the White House revolving door and, of course, the next yet unknown crisis du jour.
One gets the feeling the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus didn’t close in May 2017. It just moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
There is a very real sense of anxiety among the American people concerning this President the majority did not elect. It is difficult for most to accept the idea, now heading toward fact, that Trump may not be a legitimate president. He is unqualified in temperament and experience to do the job. He will not turn to those qualified to assist him in serving the American people preferring to govern by personal whim. There is a sense that this must end and an uncertainty as to how it will end.
The Republican Congressional leadership, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, appear to only be interested in satisfying the Republican donor class so they stand by their man no matter how dangerous he is and what Mueller’s investigation uncovers. Those of us, still in the majority who oppose Trump and the Republicans, wait for the blue wave of the 2018 midterms to bring us a Democratic Congress that will put an end to the nightmare of Trumpism. We believe an overwhelming turnout will overcome any Russian interference to protect Trump. We learned the hard way in November 2016 not to assume victory. The American people lost that election as well as Hillary Clinton. There were forces at work we didn’t know about at the time. We know now, and we enter the midterms with eyes open.
If a blue midterm tidal wave does lead to the impeachment of Trump, what then? Mostly likely we will have President Pence unless he is too tainted by the results of the Mueller investigation to assume the presidency. Pence will do nothing for the LGBTQ community except ratchet up the nightmare. As the Governor of Indiana, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) on March 26, 2015 which was aimed at the LGBTQ community. He happily stood right behind Trump as Trump signed his Religious Liberty Executive Order on May 4, 2017.
We know one reason McConnell hangs on to the dangerously flawed President Trump is that McConnell is awaiting that next Supreme Court appointment, which will turn the Court over to the retro-Conservatives. That appointment, devastating to the LGBTQ community, will be made if Pence is president. McConnell and Trump are stacking the Federal bench right now with retro-conservative appointments who want to take us back to the 1950s wiping out social gains for women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Attorney Jefferson B. Sessions endures Trump’s Twitter insults, so he can continue to go after these same groups.
In the world of identity politics, we, the LGBTQ community, are being left behind. It is perceived that we won our issue when same-sex marriage became legal in this country with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. We were done, and we lost our seat at the table. The Clinton campaign didn’t pay much attention to us throughout 2016. Rarely are our stories reported in mainstream press even though in 2016 and 2017 hate crimes against us have risen dramatically, with the transgender community suffering the most where homicide is the crime. We won the right to marry by one Supreme Court vote. That fundamental right hangs by a thread for us in a very threatening political landscape. In February 2017 Bermuda’s Governor John Rankin signed a bill into law reversing a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Bermuda showing us it can happen. Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order has faded away as ancient history in the lightening paced news cycle of the Trump Administration, but Sessions writes his rules under that order and it isn’t good for us.
We need to reclaim our voice before that long-awaited vacancy happens on the Supreme Court. We don’t want it filled by President Trump or President Pence. Would the Congressional Democrats in power in Congress after the 2018 midterm blue wave protect us from a Pence appointment? Maybe not if they don’t hear us.