Guest columnist Mariel E. Addis: Terrified about what Trump win would mean

MARIEL E. ADDIS

MARIEL E. ADDIS

By MARIEL E. ADDIS

Published: 02-08-2024 9:17 PM

It was 2016, the last year of the Obama administration. It was an election year with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the presidential ballot. I don’t have to remind you who won.

Most of us, at least here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, had every reason to think that Clinton would win the election, but as they say, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

I was in my first year of my transition from male to female. I had turned 51 that May, kind of late in life to start such a journey, but whatever. The “word on the street” in the transgender community highly recommended getting all one’s legal transition issues taken care of as it was a big question mark what might happen to our rights in a Trump administration.

These legal transition issues included: legal name and gender changes, new passports with new legal name and identified gender, and having new birth certificates issued reflecting the new legal name and identified gender on the document. Further still, what might happen to our access to gender-affirming care such as hormones or surgeries?

Luckily though, even as there were hoops to jump through, Massachusetts law made all the legal work relatively easy. To be safe, I eagerly went about my business to ensure I had my bases covered.

The Trump years, in my humble opinion, were the lowest point in American politics in my lifetime, and I was alive when Richard Nixon was president. At least Nixon was presidential, and while I cannot excuse what he did, it does not hold a candle to the exploits of Donald Trump during his administration and in the years following it.

Just the same, as a transgender woman, I came out of those four years generally unscathed. This is not the case with trans folks in the military, or immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, Asians, or anyone that dared contradict Trump for the good of the country, allegiance to our Constitution, or to the American public. Many people were in Trump’s cross-hairs, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Jeff Sessions and James Comey.

Loyal VP Mike Pence was lucky to have escaped with his life for doing his constitutionally mandated job. Personally, I think I’d feel safer in Tony Soprano’s orbit than in Donald Trump’s.

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As odd is this may seem, and as hard as it is to say this given all the people who lost loved ones during the pandemic: I think the pandemic may have saved us from the worst of Trump’s fury during his presidency. The administration was so busy fighting the COVID crisis that Trump had little time to focus his full attention on some of his campaign promises, concerning issues that go against the grain of our Constitution and who we are as a nation.

If Trump is elected this November, I don’t think we will be as lucky as we were the first time around; he will be laser-focused on vengeance, something he has promised on the campaign trail — and I believe him.

Trump is ready to punish everyone who he feels did him wrong. Of course, all the indictments, all the ongoing court cases, and all the negative news stories are directly due to actions and poor choices he made. He brought all this on himself. Certainly, I know if I had a national security clearance and stacked up boxes of top secret information in my bathroom, I’d expect I might get in a little trouble. We know Trump doesn’t like or understand consequences when those relate to him. Everyone else, watch out.

Now, for many people reading this, I am not uncovering any new ground. I think the Jan. 6 committee did an amazing job documenting what led up to that day, what happened that day, and the aftermath of events that day. I hope we will have similar documentation of some of the other things that happened during and just after the Trump administration.

For now though, shockingly, it seems that Trump has a real possibility of again ascending to the presidency of the United States and I, like many people, am terrified.

I am terrified what a second Trump administration might mean for the LGBTQ+ community, for women, for Muslims, for Blacks, for Asians, for immigrants, for our standing in the world. I am terrified for what it might mean for hard-working civil servants who provide the governmental services we require.

I am worried about the environment, public safety, and our entire legal system. Every passing day, I worry more and more about what a second Trump presidency could mean for this country.

Maybe I am getting anxious over events that won’t happen, but currently, the very real possibility of Trump in command once again is getting a bit close for comfort.

Mariel Addis is a native of Florence. She left the area for 16 years but returned in 2013.