Democrats or Republicans. Who would be best to serve our interests? As I write this, we are less than a handful of days away from the 2016 election, and not much has made me feel that either candidate really care about the needs of our community.
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Why is it important that transgenders be extra vigilant about politics?
America is in the middle of a social revolution. We are undergoing change at a faster rate than ever before. The idea that some of the most basic assumptions about a person's identity are only generalities and not absolutes spook many people - especially in the hinterlands.
The more removed people are from the mainstream, the less able they are able to cope with the changes in our society. When one lives in a town whose sole reason for being (a factory, a mill, or another kind of business) shuts down, many people are unable to leave. They blame outsiders for their troubles, when the problem is systemic in nature. They see people in the GLBT community as being part of the problem, as our existence threatens the concepts they use to interpret the world. Instead of changing their interpretation of facts to fit the evidence around them, they try to eliminate the evidence that threatens that interpretation.
In a society which provides for elected representation, these people have political power. In a business where keeping a job means pandering to biased people, politicians have to pander to the delusions of their constituents. So things get worse and worse for all, as nothing of value is accomplished in government.
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What can we do about this?
How many of us remember the show "All in the family?" As bigoted that the Archie Bunker character was, his wife, Edith, was open minded. It might be wise to open up our media to allow politically incorrect language, and use subtle cues to show that bigotry is stupid. We could do much worse than to resurrect this series, and broadcast it on a major network. Bigots must be made fun of. They must be made the butt of jokes. But we must never stop thinking of them as human beings.
It is sad that political correctness gets in the way of expressing important ideas. As much as I hate saying this, I can understand why people fear us. If we don't find ways to help people break through their fears, we only have ourselves to blame. We can rant and rage about people's stupidity all we want. If we don't find a way into people's hearts, then we are the ones who will suffer in the long term.