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Vote as if your life depends on it ‘Pull the emergency brake,’ says HRC’s Chad Griffin By KAREN OCAMB Donald Trump put himself on the ballot this Nov. 6 hoping to crush the Resistance that has rejected his authoritarian presidency since Inauguration Day. Having remade the Republican Party in his own image, Trump, a self-declared “nationalist,” has also put white supremacy, racism, bigotry and the literal fate of the LGBT community on the midterm ballot, as well. Californians are particularly alert. Trump’s closing argument for voting Republican is a hateful anti-immigrant speech and a shocking video reminiscent of the racist 1988 Willie Horton ad for George HW Bush’s and Pete Wilson’s ugly Prop 187 ad that pictured undocumented immigrants running across the Mexican border as if they were cockroaches scampering after the lights were turned on. But Trump has gone darker. He intentionally misrepresents refugees, many women and children fleeing violence in Honduras as a Democratic-sponsored massive caravan of illegal aliens, hordes of criminal gangs and Middle Eastern terrorists diseased with leprosy, small pox, and HIV, threatening to invade America’s Southern border. He has floated ordering up to 15,000 military troops to stop the invasion, though the poor people’s caravan is many many, miles from the US border and poses no threat whatsoever. The latest polls indicate that the “Kavanaugh-effect” – the swing to Republicans after the controversial confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court—has worn off. Undecided voters are apparently swinging more towards the Democrats after Trump’s inappropriate narcissistic response to the murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh by a proud white supremacist who pointed to Trump’s caravan threat as inspiration for his actions. But polls may be unreliable, given the incredibly powerful roller coaster of events and climate of hate fraying nerves and wearing out emotions. Only recently were there two random

Gil Cisneros, with Rep. Mark Takano and HRC’s Chad Griffin Photo courtesy HRC

murders of African Americans after a white supremacist failed to gain entry to a black church. Shortly thereafter, 14 pipe bombs sent by an extremist Trump fan to CNN and top Democrats, including former Presidents Obama and Clinton, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Holder, as well as Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein. Trump never called any of the potential bomb victims to ask how they were doing, but he did fly to Pittsburgh, even though 50,000 people, including the mayor, asked him not to come until he renounced white nationalism, which to many sounds eerily like noises made by Nazis in the 1930s before the Holocaust. Tone deaf, Trump went and then made a 2020 campaign commercial featuring he and wife Melania touring the crime site, soft music and all, with no mention

of the murdered victims or why they were murdered. To many in the LGBT community, this is no hyperbole. Despite Trump’s promises to protect the LGBTQ community, LGBT rights and protections have been rolled back since Day One, not surprising considering Vice President Mike Pence’s long record of anti-LGBT hatred—he was the pointperson on the executive order to ban trans servicemembers from serving openly in the armed forces, for example. Then on Oct. 21, The New York Times made the TrumpPence agenda very clear: “’Transgender’ Could be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration” the headline blared. The California LGBT community has responded by pouring out to help Democrats take back the House, providing

an imperative check of accountability to this imperious president. But it’s still all about turnout. “Vote for Our Lives, Trans-voting=Transcending Bigotry, Hate,” says longtime trans activist and housing/HIV specialist Maria Louise Roman. “This administration does not care about our people. The true power is with the vote. We have marched for Two years—we must take real action by casting our vote.”   “It’s important that our community understands the importance of this election. Please vote! Understand that we must put people into office who understand what needs to be done for us to get to a better place in our society. We need people in Continues on Page 12

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