Central PA's LGBT News Source

It's the economy stupid!

Yup - I'm looking forward to 2020


President Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016. Results of the Nov. 6, 2018 general elections beg the question "Can Trump hold the Keystone State in 2020?"

The answer depends on your vote. I didn’t just write The answer depends on your voting for the same candidates I might. If that’s what you read, get an eye exam. If that’s what you concluded, fine. But have the backbone to own it.  No fake news here.

Estimates are that 20% to 25% of cis-gendered, gay and lesbian individuals who vote cast their ballots for Trump. Pollster geeks think that group may also be the same group who, after same-sex marriage was achieved, dropped their contributions to national queer organizations. Their actions foreshadowed the premise of Martin Duberman’s latest book Has the gay movement failed? He posits that heteronormative issues – namely marriage and military service – have headlined the movement to the detriment of less well-heeled gays, trans and bisexual people, i.e., and those who rely on the services of organizations to whom others stopped writing checks. In short, most of the queer community.

What is normative is that poor is poor – gay or straight. No health care insurance challenges anyone without it. Everyday folks face everyday joys and sorrows. There is an ‘economics’ to every circumstance, including ‘the gay’. Which brings me to these facts as determined by both public and private efforts and reported by media of all political stripes.

  • A recent tech slump drained $127 billion from that market after a two days decline
  • Global sticks are trading at their lowest valuation in two years
  • Capital One and Discover are tightening their lending standards
  • Americans are holding onto smartphones for longer than ever before
  • Short-tern interest rates are rising again

I list these phenomena because President Trump just made his mid-term election spiel about immigration, nationalism, and the fear and loathing of others. He’s smart. Had the James Carville phrase “It’s the economy stupid” taken hold, Democrats may also have taken the US Senate, not only the US House.

It has been asked from the bottom up in earlier times of severe upheaval: What is to be done?

In a conversation with Brynn Tannehill, a naval aviator, parent, military analyst, and author of the upcoming book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trans* (*but Were Afraid to Ask), advised that the queer community take what she called the ‘transactional’ approach. In other words, drop the purist posture.

She told me “I’m going to give you the Washington, DC answer: Everything is ‘transactional’. That means we need to be strategic, focused, and understand how it all works. We need to be politically pragmatic.”

Like the Rolling Stones sang – "You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes you get what you need." What we need is a transactional approach that creates change on many fronts – but accept that all those changes on those fronts will not happen at our appointed hour. They will happen incrementally.

What if we make 2020 about the economy for all of us? Not just the billionaires.