July 22, 2016

RNC 2016: Anti Gay Platform At Odds With Gay Friendly Speech

2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio at the Quicken Loans Arena and the closing night red white and blue balloons drop.

The 2016 Republican National Convention wrapped up their proceedings last night reminding us that the GOP is still the party of wealthy old white men. Seven out of nine speakers on Thursday night were millionaires and billionaires, including gay Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.


by Roy Steele

Cleveland, Ohio --- After three days of chaos and disunity in Cleveland, the Republican Party wrapped up their quadrennial gathering last night with an acceptance speech by their nominee for President and the requisite balloon drop. The majority of delegates at the Quicken Loans Arena were ready to cheer, dance and have a party.

There was little talk about Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech, and just a few whispers about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) being booed off the stage, with just a passing mention of the missing host state governor John Kasich (R-OH). The GOP candidate for Vice President, governor Mike Pence (R-IN), was largely a wall ornament during the festive proceedings.

This night is usually reserved for celebratory speeches and the oratory didn’t quite live up to those expectations.

Peter Thiel, an immigrant and Silicon Valley billionaire, made history when he said that he was “proud to be gay.” He was the first speaker at a Republican National Convention to ever make that statement and I applaud him for that. Say what you will about Peter Thiel, and I’ve been critical, but he stood tall in front of a party convention that just adopted a platform that is the most anti-gay in it’s history. I admire his courage and I think it’s fantastic. I’m even going to give Thiel’s political views a pass tonight.
When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares? 
Of course, every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American. 
I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform. But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline.
His next sentence didn’t make sense, and that’s the only criticism I have for what was a well delivered address.
When Donald Trump asks us to Make America Great Again, he’s not suggesting a return to the past. He’s running to lead us back to that bright future. 
Tonight I urge all of my fellow Americans to stand up and vote for Donald Trump.
“He’s not suggesting a return to the past…….he’s running to lead us BACK to that bright future.” Say that again? It sounds like he is returning to the past and a bright future in the past. Just like “Make America Great Again,” it's an empty promise and reference to the past. Who knows what the hell Trump means by it because no one get's the reference. Regardless, congratulations to Peter Thiel for making history with a largely terrific speech.

Ivanka Trump made a good speech introducing her father. Ivanka is poised and articulate which her father is not. What struck me most was the way she pandered to women, promising to act as a firewall to protect women’s rights. How can she be a firewall between a man who says that women should be punished if they have an abortion, and his political party that holds even more extremist views? I don’t buy it and neither should you. She said her father is color blind and gender neutral, and that line made me laugh out loud.

Donald Trump’s coronation is complete which is quite an accomplishment. He accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States, and the improbable nominee delivered a very long and pedantic speech that reflected his narrow worldview.


During Trump’s acceptance speech he painted a picture of a nation in crisis that’s riddled by crime and overrun by lawless immigrants. He claimed that our reckless society is murdering police officers and stated that only his “law and order” would stop the violence. Despite statistics that prove otherwise, the candidate claimed that violent crime is increasing, and he laid the blame at the feet of an overly permissive Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

He falsely claimed that people and corporations in the United States are the most highly taxed in the world, and attacked corporate America and crony capitalism for creating a “rigged system.”

“I will make this country rich again.” How will he do that? He didn't say - so who knows.

Throughout much of the angry-seeming speech I was wondering if we live in the same country.

The United States is the wealthiest nation in the world, with the strongest economy in the world. To hear Trump describe it, you’d think we were in the midst of the Great Depression.

There’s no question that our economy isn’t working for millions of people. Income inequality is increasing and history shows that when we don’t address it, the middle class suffers. Yet Trump offered no substantive proposal to address economic growth except to say that he will cut taxes for everyone.

“We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, keep out the gangs and gang violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.” This wall thing still makes no sense! A wall will NOT stop immigration when most undocumented immigrants enter the United States at an airport. Marauding gangs are NOT crossing our southern border, and a wall will not reduce the black market for narcotics. How will building a wall curb the prescription drug abuse crisis?

Trump said Hillary Clinton is responsible for “death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness” plus fifteen years of wars in the Middle East. Does he know that she hasn't been elected yet? Donald Trump's statements are problematic because they don’t contain one iota of truth.

In the last two days in the United States, there were 58 victims of gun violence, including 46 fatalities. Gun violence is a serious threat to our way of life, and yet there was no mention of gun control except to brag about his National Rifle Association endorsement. Trump said that Hillary Clinton wants to overturn the Second Amendment and that’s NOT true. He'll maintain the status quo related to gun control which is not acceptable, with police officers and civilians both victimized by excessive gun violence.

Trump promised to protect the LGBTQ community from “the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” While that's a noble gay friendly statement, there are LGBTQ people in the United States that could use an advocate in the Republican Party. What about the anti-gay party platform? What about the rhetoric and oppression from his evangelical advisory board (which reads like a who’s who of homophobic hate group leaders). While he may mean well, his overture is not enough to convince LGBT voters to flock to his side. I appreciate the gesture but it's empty and disingenuous.

The acceptance speech lacked soaring language and memorable metaphors, and I didn’t find Trump’s rhetoric to be inspiring or uplifting. He appeared to be shouting throughout the speech and it went on forever.

He ended the speech by proclaiming, “I am your voice! God bless you. I love you and goodnight!” Where was the “God Bless America?” Republican and Democratic party politicians always finish their speeches that way, and Donald Trump proved he is none of those things.

“Nobody knows the system better than me and I’m the only one who can fix it.” If you believe that statement, he’s got a condo on East 63rd Street to sell you. It’s on a high floor with a river view and it’s cheap. And he might throw in a bridge as a gift with purchase.

Buyer beware.


straight talk in a queer world.               Jive in the [415]
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