The Rostow Report by Ann Rostow


Personally, I don’t adhere to the “lesser of two evils” idea. I support Hillary Clinton with enthusiasm, having watched her devote herself to public service for my entire adult life… But whether you like her or not, I beg you to vote for her. We all share our gay pride and have fought together for civil rights. Now we have to fight together for our country.


A couple of non sequiturs before we start to frolic in the nitty gritty of LGBT news. First, why is my favorite cable news channel force feeding me hours of “news” about a train crash that killed one person (sorry for that of course) rather than serving up the addictive political blather than provides me with so much pleasure?

Yes I know I’m not obliged to watch it, and to be honest I have the sound off while I wait for something else to show up on the small screen. But my point remains valid. It was an accident! I bet there’s a fatal car wreck within fifty miles of my house right now—a sad probability but not something that warrants endless television coverage. With Brian Williams no less! He of the theatrically grave and solemn voice.


I got so heated up over this that I forgot my second pet peeve. It will come to me, I’m sure. For now, let’s get to work, shall we? It’s our last month before the election, Dear Readers, our last opportunity to put our shoulders to the wheel and give our last measure of strength to help defeat this hateful bulbous menace. He is not a joke. This is not a chance to “turn things upside down” for the fun of it or because you’re tired of the status quo. He is as dangerous as Hitler, a man who was also seen as a ludicrous clown, until he wasn’t.

As for being tired of the “status quo,” have people not noticed that much has changed, for better and for worse? Plenty of bad things have happened. But good things too. Crime has plummeted. Unemployment is back below 5 percent. Last year was the sharpest upswing in the incomes of the American poor and middle class in years. Look at the dramatic change in our energy use. Look at the technological development of the last decade. We’re not exactly treading water here, so why the bitching about “change.” We don’t have to worry about change itself, we have to worry about its direction.

This is to say that you cannot vote for Gary Johnson, a man who can’t name a single foreign leader, who can’t remember the name of the former Mexican president he claimed to admire, a man who had not heard of Aleppo, the iconic Syrian city that had been in the news for weeks. And worse—a clown with crazy ideas who sticks out his tongue and mugs for the camera and giggles like a school girl. Also, for those Millennials who still pick Johnson over Clinton, do you realize that he thinks we should take no action to combat global warming because it’s not the role of government? Do you care? Hey, I’m not going to be around to watch Miami Beach turn into a lagoon. But you are.

Finally, are you one of those citizens who bemoans the fact that we “only have two parties?” Well, you’re wrong. We have several parties within each of the two main ones. Do you really think Donald Trump and Mitt Romney represent the same party? What about Sanders and Clinton? They had quite the primary battle. Where do the Christian conservatives fit in? How about the tea party?

Our system allows the many interest groups to coalesce into a majority. If you’ve noticed, other countries with several parties wind up in majority coalitions just as we do. If the Libertarians or the Green parties could generate partners and policies, they could commandeer their place in one of the two main groups. The fact that they cannot muster that kind of support tells you something.


So, as September came to an end, not one but two federal judges issued rulings in favor of transgendered public school students, one in Ohio and another in Wisconsin.  Earlier, an anti-trans federal judge in Texas had ruled against the U.S. government in a related case. On the other hand, as we’ve mentioned, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled for Gavin Grimm, a Virginia trans-teen trying to use the facilities at his high school back in March.

The situation seems clear. The law is on our side when it comes to the question of whether or not transgender discrimination should be considered a subset of sex discrimination in federal statutes. We will eventually win; even as a few conservative judges rule against us here and there, our side will prevail.

Further, our victory is (possibly) close at hand. The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to hear the case of the Virginia student. They have just returned to work, still short handed, so keep an eye out for whether or not they take the case. If they don’t, they will leave in place a strong victory for transgender rights. They will also face new appeals on the same subject coming up through the court system.

If they do take the case, and it requires four justices to accept review, a four-four split would confirm the victory without producing a stronger precedent. Obviously, a Clinton justice would likely provide a supportive majority for trans plaintiffs, which would create binding law throughout the country. But at this rate, it looks as if the Court will remain tied throughout most of this session’s oral arguments.

It doesn’t look as if Clinton will keep Merrick Garland as her nominee, so we will likely see the confirmation process continuing into next Spring regardless of who wins the election.


I just have to point out that the train crash is back, this time under the “Breaking News” banner even though it has been going on for hours and hours and hours. That said, it looks as if we are settling back into regular election drivel. At last!

Hey. Did all of you watch that debate? I know Howard Dean got into trouble for his “unfounded” suggestion that Mr. Trump was on coke, but hell, after watching the spectacle for about five minutes Mel and I both wished we could pay a quick visit to Trump’s pre-debate green room. Seems like it might have been party time back there!

Seriously, the empty inhalations? Those weren’t the type of “sniffles” you have with a cold. They were symptoms of having recently snuffed up a line of powdery somethin’ somethin’. The rapid speech patterns that over time slowed down into incoherent weirdness? We’ve all been there and done that. Just not in the middle of running for president, and of course, not recently.

I know I should dig up a little more LGBT dirt, but I’m stuck in election mode. Please everyone. I know none of us really matter as voters, you in all-blue California and me in all-red Texas. But we do matter of course. That’s the magic—almost Tinker Bell-esque—of the electorate. If I vote, so do a thousand others like me around the country. If you vote, so do a thousand like you. It’s how polls work. It’s how elections work. If for some reason, nothing in the last 18 months has inspired you enough to send you to the ballot box, well there’s a cohort of people just like you who stay home as well.

Personally, I don’t adhere to the “lesser of two evils” idea. I support Hillary Clinton with enthusiasm, having watched her devote herself to public service for my entire adult life. When people claim she hides a money grubbing or criminal soul, I have to wonder why she chose to work her ass off for decades rather than pursue her dark goals? Perhaps it was a clever scheme to disguise her true self-serving nature by serving others. Nefarious indeed!

But whether you like her or not, I beg you to vote for her. We all share our gay pride and have fought together for civil rights. Now we have to fight together for our country.