I’ve read a myriad of articles concerning Trump’s decision to stay silent regarding pride month. One which caught my attention was an article published in The Independent, which ended with the horrifically ominous line “the fact that Trump did not even recognize Pride Month is an omen about what’s to come, and we need to mobilize now.” Before Che and his goons get their pitchforks, I think we should look at this soberly. The hysteric and sensationalist response from people like the the author of said article really miss the deeper point here.
Trump’s response (or lack thereof) to pride month was not an expression of homophobia, nor was it an attempt to invalidate individuals who feel that such a month is beneficial to their self-respect. In reality, it was a calculated political move. In this article I will take an approach that focuses on the political implications, not the moral ones.
The real question is, was it a bad decision? I think the answer to this question is surely no, and here’s why.
- He decided to not legitimize those who regard him as nothing less than an enemy.
I think we can reasonably assume that Trump sending out a celebratory pride tweet was not going to win him any favour in the social justice camp. (Here I presuppose that pride supporters also align themselves with the social justice doctrine) As I mentioned, Trump is already a homophobe to the vast majority of people on the left. Gay pride marches often doubly served as platforms for anti-Trump rhetoric; there is a nearly endless swath of pictures on the internet of people opting to carry signs slandering Trump a rally. And indeed, Trump is one of those presidents who people on the left have an assortment of derogatory adjectives always ready for; one of them primarily being homophobe.
Secondly, people who are morally obsessed with the wellbeing of LGBT people are very likely as concerned with the wellbeing of all the other groups belonging to the left’s victim narrative. Trump is not just a homophobe to these people, but he hates Mexicans, blacks, muslims, and is probably a white supremacist. Indeed, this rhetoric can also be witnessed at pride month.
The hatred of Trump expressed at pride month goes beyond the issue of LGBT. Trump has rebelled against the victim culture established by the left, and in doing so he has stepped on all the groups that willingly placed themselves beneath his feet.
I’ll put it plainly; the outrage expressed in response to Trump’s non-recognition runs far deeper than just pride month, and everybody knows this. Let’s not pretend that this is a single issue problem here. If you were to ask people at pride month why they do not like Trump, they would not stop at “he refuses to recognize me as a LGBT member”. Rather, they would continue listing their criticisms, likely site his bigotry, and conclude with a statement condemning the totality of Trump’s social policy.
All this is to say that Trump is not winning over any social justice types by recognizing pride month. It’s not going to help his ratings, it’s not going to get him sympathy, and it’s not going to suddenly make him appear like a benevolent and tolerant leader to people that already regard him as a manifestation of evil. And this is because the issue of pride month is embedded within a much larger victim narrative, and it is the rejection of this where the resentment of Trump originates.
2. The silence appeals to his base and almost all social conservatives.
This is probably the more significant reason Trump neglected Pride Month. One of Trump’s most beloved characteristics is his willingness to go against political correctness.
If Trump were to recognize pride month, it would mean he is buying into the premise of institutional LGBT discrimination. By refusing to comment, he refuses to meet them on that particular battlefield. In that sense, he is ‘speaking’ for all those who go against political correctness, as in today’s age it’s a sign of bigotry to not flamboyantly wear rainbow colours or change your profile picture to accommodate pride month. This is what Trump’s supporters love about him. He doesn’t even buy into the left’s games.
If you choose to regard Trump’s inaction as a sign of intolerable bigotry then your willfully blind to how the other half of the country feels, and such blindness is not good for anyone including yourself. The reality, as it appears to a significant amount of people, is that a) the social justice left has established a narrative that they want everyone to buy into, b) if you refuse to play along with the narrative then it is exclusively because you are a bigot, and c) political correctness and public shaming will bully you into accepting this premise or at least keep you from voicing your genuine opinion.
This is what it is important for social justice types to understand. When Trump refuses to acknowledge pride month, it is not a knock against gays, but a knock against political correctness. This refusal to play along with political correctness is what his supporters most love about him and what his ‘enemies’ most hate about him. The sooner they understand this, and the sooner they abandon their proclivity to use any excuse to call someone a name, the better; for you, for me, for the country, and for democracy as a whole.
Thus, it was a good political decision, as it appeals to his base and all those who go against political correctness, and it puts the battle elsewhere instead of the battleground predetermined by Trump’s detractors.