Trump’s aim is to more or less do away with transgenderism. He knows exactly what he is doing. Through his actions he is mobilizing his own voter base, but he is also mobilizing his opponents.
While the United States focuses on racist police violence and the protests against it, President Donald Trump cheerfully continues to divide the nation. He has already moved on to the next minority that is unpopular among his white voters: transgender people. If he had his way, he would do away with them entirely, as documents leaked as early as two years ago show.
His decree from last week, which erases trans people’s protection from discrimination in health care, is only the first step—and a highly symbolic one at that. The Department of Health and Human Services announced the new rule on June 12, which was, of course, the fourth anniversary of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Calling this cynical would still be too nice a description. What is more, this affects trans people in an already vulnerable situation: When they go to hospital, when they are in distress and in need of help, they are discriminated against not only by other individuals, but by the system itself.
Trying to explain why this is unfair and nasty is no use. Trump knows exactly what he is doing. He is polarizing the nation and deepening divisions. This is the strategy he has chosen for his election campaign. His goal is to get more cheers, so he is stirring up prejudices and providing the crowds with short slogans, the simpler, the more memorable, and the better for his campaign. The fact that he is now treating trans people in such a discriminatory manner delivers just what he needs: a person is “male or female and as determined by biology” – so let’s stop all this gender nonsense! No one understands it anyway and it’s expensive at that! Muttering about trans people or gender neutral toilets goes down well in Germany, too, after all.
The U.S. will vote for a new president in November. This election campaign is no longer about convincing your opponent's supporters about your own policies, it is about mobilizing everyone in one’s own camp, so that as many as possible turn out to vote. And provisions must be made in case the election results are close. The Supreme Court has decided an election once before, and it seems well disposed toward deciding in favor of Trump.
However, there is cause for hope. Trump is not only mobilizing his own camp through his actions, he is also mobilizing his opponents. Although left leaning voters may have their doubts about Joe Biden, the more radical Trump’s actions are, the more people will swallow their concerns and vote for Biden.