The Right’s Lethal Loathing of the LGBTQ Community

I guess plotting to have people of color harmed or killed at the hands of law enforcement didn’t provide enough of a rush for these folks. Now, they think threatening the lives of LGBTQ Americans is one heck of a way to make America great again:

Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who is transgender, said Tuesday she’s been getting a steady stream of death threats and other personal attacks since her candidacy began to draw attention from across the country and the world.

Christine Hallquist, who won Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial primary last week, said most of the threats, which began before she won the nomination, have been coming from outside of Vermont, although during her primary campaign it was not unusual for people to yell insults at her during parades and other public appearances.

‘‘Early on when our team assembled I said ‘the more successful we are, the more vitriol and threats we are going to receive,’’’ Hallquist said Tuesday. ‘‘It’s kind of a natural outcome of our divided country.’’

Hallquist is incorrect; these death threats are the natural outcome of Trumpism. The Donald’s devotees don’t even want Hallquist to use a public bathroom, much less be a public servant. Their loathing is limitless.

Hallquist, who is now running against incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the November election, is the first openly transgender political candidate to have won a major party nomination for governor.

Scott said Tuesday he was saddened to hear Hallquist had been threatened and he would not tolerate hate speech or violence against anyone.

Scott is an obvious liar. Clearly, tolerates hate speech and violence by virtue of his affiliation with the Republican Party, which has been hurling hate speech against members of the LGBTQ community for decades—and which opposes efforts to protect all vulnerable Americans from the scourge of gun violence. If Scott were serious about his opposition to right-wing recklessness, he would pull a Jim Jeffords and leave the GOP.

One wonders what goes through the minds of LGBTQ Republicans when they see a story like this. Do they dismiss such stories as “fake news”? Do they turn a blind eye because it’s happening to a Democrat? Do they assume that it’s some sort of false-flag operation launched by George Soros to generate sympathy for Hallquist? Aren’t they troubled at all by this right-wing hate? They can’t be that hungry for a tax cut, can they?

I still remember the shock in Massachusetts political circles back in 1996, when Boston Magazine outed the late Republican political consultant Arthur J. Finkelstein, who was notorious for his campaign work on behalf of such vehemently anti-LGBTQ politicians as the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). Then as now, people were shocked that Finkelstein could place his ideology above his identity, and align himself with people who believed his life and his marriage didn’t matter.

Don’t LGBTQ Republicans–and any Republican who isn’t a straight white Christian male–realize the profound perfidy of their politics? What values are they fighting for, exactly? What are they trying to conserve? When will they realize–will they ever realize–that they will inevitably be targeted for torment by the same bigots they have aligned themselves with?

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.