Trump tries to out-hate DeSantis
Trump starts off his 2024 run with an anti-trans tirade, and a terrifying policy proposal
Donald Trump launched his 2024 presidential bid with a hateful tirade against trans people, detailing how he would curtail their rights, should he be re-elected. He unveiled his terrifying plans to gut trans rights in a video shared on the right-wing platform Rumble. His remarks showcase that anti-trans rhetoric and policies have become part of the core of the Republican platform. Importamt context that was often left out in “mainstream” reporting is that days before the video was shared, Trump met with anti-trans activist Chaya Raichik who runs the hate-account “Libs of Tiktok” on Twitter.
The account has unleashed a barrage of hateful smear-campaigns against trans people, their parents and friends, as well as the medical staff and doctors who care for them, leading to hospitals, doctors and activists facing bomb threats, abuse, stalking and threats of violence.
In the video, Trump echoed Raichik’s and the right-wing media’s framing of best-practice gender affirming care as “child abuse” and “mutilation”:
“The left wing’s gender insanity being pushed on our children is an act of child abuse. Very simple. Here’s my plan to stop the chemical, physical and emotional mutilation of our youth. On day one, I will revoke Joe Biden’s cruel policies on so-called gender affirming care. Ridiculous. A preposterous test that includes giving kids puberty blockers, mutating their physical appearance, and ultimately performing surgery on minor children.”
Trump announced that he would outlaw gender affirming care, and cut all federal funding and programs who support not just trans youth - but trans people in general. Experts and activists for trans rights have long warned the public that the Right’s moral panic about trans people is not, as they claim, rooted in a desire to “protect the kids”, but to stop trans people from existing - as Trump proved with his remarks:
“Can you believe this? I will sign a new executive order instructing every federal agency to cease all programs that promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age. I will then ask Congress to permanently stop federal taxpayer dollars from being used to promote or pay for these procedures and pass a law prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states.”
This would mean that no federal funding would reach a hospital that delivers life-saving gender affirming care - to trans people of any age! - and would be kicked out of Medicaid and Medicare:
It will go very quickly. I will declare that any hospital or healthcare provider that participates in the chemical or physical mutilation of minor youth will no longer meet federal health and safety standards for Medicaid and Medicare and will be terminated from the program immediately.
Trump would also make it easier to sue doctors who administer gender affirming care - all while peddling the conspiracy theory that “big Pharma” is essentially trying to turn everybody trans, and spreads lies about medical transitions:
“Furthermore, I will support the creation of a private right of action for victims to sue doctors who have unforgivably performed these procedures on minor children. The Department of Justice will investigate Big Pharma and the big hospital network to determine whether they have deliberately covered up horrific long term side effects of sex transitions in order to get rich at the expense of vulnerable patients. In this case, very vulnerable. We will also investigate whether Big Pharma or others have illegally marketed hormones and puberty blockers which are in no way licensed or approved for this use.”
This would all be horrifying enough, as it would very likely result in the deaths of trans people who could be saved, if they were to receive the proper medical care (which would then be outlawed). Trump also made sure to threaten teachers and schools, taking a page out of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s playbook:
“My Department of Education will inform states and school districts that if any teacher or school official suggests to a child that they could be trapped in the wrong body, they will be faced with severe consequences, including potential civil rights violations for sex discrimination and the elimination of federal funding.”
Trump had previously mentioned a new “credentials” system for teachers that he would introduce, to honor those who teach “patriotic values” - so to those who chose to echo right-wing propaganda, spread the founding myths of White Christian nationalism in the classroom, and white-wash American history. In this speech, he went further, claiming that his administration would promote “the nuclear family” - meaning a heterosexual, cis, patriarchal family structure as promoted by White evangelical elites for decades (it is worth mentioning that the Evangelical reverence for “family values”, “godly marriage counseling” and the “traditional family” has strong historical ties to eugenics):
“As part of our new credentialing body for teachers, we will promote positive education about the nuclear family, the roles of mothers and fathers, and celebrating rather than erasing the things that make men and women different and unique.”
Trump also announced he would essentially outlaw anything outside of the gender binary to be recognized by the federal government, while also packing in a jab at trans women competing as who they are - women:
“I will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth. The bill will also make clear that Title IX prohibits men from participating in women’s sports. And we will protect the rights of parents from being forced to allow their minor child to assume a gender which is new and an identity without the parent’s consent.”
The only reason why a school might not inform parents of their child’s decision to change their name or pronouns is because it would not be safe for the child’s parents to know. Policies like the one proposed by Trump rely on fear-mongering, and present trans people as predators who target children, and trans identity as a “social contagion” (the parallels of right-wing rhetoric against homosexuality are evident here are glaringly obvious). It will not only endanger the mental health of trans people, who will be forced to de-transition against their will or be denied care, it will also endanger children in anti-trans households.
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To close it off, Trump ended with a barrage of lies about the alleged “novelty” of trans people - which is, historically, absolute horse shit, excuse my language.
“The identity will not be new, and it will not be without parental consent. No serious country should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender, a concept that was never heard of in all of human history. Nobody’s ever heard of this. What’s happening today? It was all when the radical left invented it just a few years ago. Under my leadership this madness will end.
Trumps remarks also seem to indicate that he feels the pressure coming from Ron DeSantis’ popularity amongst Republican primary voters. DeSantis has earned their support by enacting draconian, anti-LGBTQ and specifically anti-trans legislation in Florida, making the state one of the, if not the most dangerous place for trans people to live in the current US. In order to keep up with his possible opponent for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Trump has decided he must one-up DeSantis when it comes to hatred against trans people - a feat that will be difficult to accomplish.
The unveiling of his hateful policy proposals shows three things: 1. the situation for trans people in the US is likely to get more dire, while they are also under attack from GOP-led legislatures across the country, 2. the importance of the right-wing media ecosystem when it comes to spreading hate and influence anti-trans policies and 3. Trump’s weakness feels palpable - and observers are not the only ones noticing.
So is he.