Hate Democracy and Yourself? Vote Republican.

If you’ve been driving around Western Pennsylvania lately you might have heard some crazy radio advertisements spouting misinformation and hate about trans kids and gender-affirming care. It’s all a lie, but it’s one that is gaining traction across the country.

It’s confusing and extreme to use transgender people as a scare tactic to get folks to vote against their own best interests. It’s frankly reprehensible and no one who does so should be taken seriously.

Alas, we live in the United States, which managed to elect disgraced former president Donald Trump. Voter behavior is weird. Fear is a very good motivator.

But are transgender people an actual threat? Should the average voter choose their fear of the completely fake “the left wants to make all of your kids trans” over the completely real “Republicans can’t fucking wait to throw women in prison for having abortions and banning birth control is next” scenarios?

So why are Republicans across the country up and down the ticket — screaming from the rooftops that we should all be scared of an already vulnerable and marginalized group of people who are just trying to live their lives?

Because Republicans have no plan to do anything for you. Nothing. Nada. At all. They have to invent fake things to fear because they’re not doing shit about scary things that are very real. And guess what? Child sexual abuse is a very real scary thing that absolutely happens. But for some reason Republicans don’t seem to be very concerned with protecting actual children from actual abuse. Or gun violence. Or suicide. Or climate change. Or poverty. Or homelessness.

To address these things, Republicans would first have to acknowledge that the government has a role to play in protecting us from harm. Which would require them to acknowledge that government can actually work to benefit people. That’s very off-brand for Republicans. For them, the only purpose of government is tax breaks for the rich and to punish minorities and women.

Republicans aren’t even doing anything about the things they claim are the biggest problems facing this country, like inflation and crime. Inflation is a worldwide issue and oil companies are making BANK right now. It’s a complex problem with no easy solution, and Republicans are lying to you when they say otherwise.

As for crime, crime rates are actually down across the country. Is crime a problem? Sure. But are you really going to take the assurances of a party that tried to overturn a legal election that they’re the real crime stoppers?

You want to see what lawlessness looks like? It’s an armed mob attacking the Capitol at the behest of a morally bankrupt con man and an entire political party pretending the whole thing was no big deal.

I don’t think most people realize how high the stakes are in this election. When I hear reports that Republicans have a good chance of taking the U.S. House and/or Senate, I feel sick.

Voting for Republicans is reckless and stupid. And yet millions of people will go ahead and do it. Some because they really do want bad things to happen, and others because they really don’t know what bad things will happen but they do know that gas prices suck.

Fascism is a hell of a price to pay for savings at the pump. And, spoiler alert, it won’t even work.

The decision about when and if and how to start a family or carry a pregnancy should be a personal decision made between a person and their doctor, not “local political leaders”. Period.

The 2016 election made it very clear how much this country hates women. A country that respects and values women doesn’t elect a man who is credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women and who is openly and gleefully sexist and misogynistic.

Will the overturning of Roe v. Wade be the galvanizing force for voters in 2022? I sure hope so. Whether or not you can get pregnant, LGBTQ+ rights are closely tied to reproductive rights. Voting has consequences. It would be nice if that consequence was a wave of Republicans losing their jobs across the country.

D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living life with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter.