So there’s politics, and then there’s policy, both of which can be easily become lightning rods if infused with the right social issues.
For many in the Republican party, such a calculus has been made about many issues today. They know that for many of their voters, there is either a serious lack of understanding about LGBT issues, or just a blatant attempt to ignore them altogether. They also know that fearful, long disproven stereotypes are still enough to motivate a large part of their base to go and vote. It also allows an “easy way out” of actually having to debate substantive issues, or come up with policy solutions. Basically, inflame the base, keep them scared and they’ll pay attention to the actual job that they’re doing.
Special Session? Did someone say BATHROOM BILL??
Sadly, it is Transgender Texans that continue to be cast as the political scapegoats of the day. Who knows how much state leaders like Governor Abbott or Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick actually believe of all the falsehoods they spout, but it is unlikely that they care about that. As long as their voters stay scared and uninformed, they stay in office.
With all of this in the atmosphere of the Special Session, one brave Texan set out to prove a point at the capitol, with none other than the Governor as her assistant. Here’s more on that from Kylie Madry of the Dallas Morning News…
A transgender San Antonio woman went to Gov. Greg Abbott’s re-election campaign announcement last week with one mission: to pose for a photo with him.
Ashley Smith, 45, accomplished that and then shared the image on social media with the caption: “How will the Potty Police know I’m transgender if the Governor doesn’t?”
Soon, the post, which Smith said was intended to raise awareness about opposition to a proposed “bathroom ban,” took off and went viral.
Smith said she hoped the photo helps educate others about the transgender community. “We’re just regular folks,” she said Monday. “We’re teachers, doctors and police officers in the community.”
Her photo with the governor shows “how ridiculous this legislation is and how it can’t be enforced,” Smith said.
Ridiculous as these Bathroom Bills may be, they can still cause real harm to the Transgender community, and the overall Texas economy. Anyone that has followed similar sagas from other states would know that this is a hugely expensive mistake.
But has that ever stopped Greg Abbott or Dan Patrick in the past? If Texans ever want to end this cycle, there’s one sure fire way to do it.
Let’s hope for no results on this movement. And either way, Democrats need to do all they can to try and make some progress in 2018.