Caitlyn Jenner Explains Why She’s A Republican, Sort Of

"Im not giving up on this country, Im not giving up on the Constitution. I want this country to thrive. "

Caitlyn Jenner is in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention this week. And while she’s not addressing GOP delegates at Quicken Loans Arena (though she wouldn’t be the worst speaker they’ve had up there) she is attending a panel for LGBT Republicans at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

An emotional Jenner told attendees about her father, who was an Army ranger in WWII who landed at Omaha Beach and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

caitlyn jenner

“If my dad knew what was going on, and he saw what’s happening with our country I think he’d be very disappointed,” she said. “Because of that I think our best hope in getting back to a constitutional government—with 18 enumerated powers—is in the Republican Party.”

Jenner seemed to be agreeing with the conservative line that the Obama Administration and the Supreme Court have overstepped their authority. Of course, such “oversteps” have benefited the LGBT community greatly—with marriage equality and President Obama’s guidelines ordering states to respect the rights of trans youth.

“Im not giving up on this country, Im not giving up on the Constitution. I want this country to thrive,” she added to much applause. “I want this country to be the best place to do business. I want jobs for everybody—I want jobs for the trans community. Hopefully we can all make some positive changes if we all work together.”

Sure, if job creation, help for the trans community and real respect for the Constitution (including the separation of Church and State) were tenets of the GOP, we’d all be voting Republican. But Jenner seems out of touch with the party as it is today.

A party where, just one mile from where she was speaking, Ben Carson told 2,470 delegates that being transgender “doesn’t make any sense.”

A party whose vice presidential candidate, Gov. Mike Pence, happily signed a bill protecting anti-LGBT discrimination into law and said money for HIV/AIDS foundations should be given to ex-gay conversion groups.

A party whose presidential candidate, Donald Trump, hasn’t given any clue what his economic policies are and can’t make up his mind where he stands on LGBT issues. (In his most recent pronouncement, Trump said he supported North Carolina’s odious HB2.)

That party—the real-world Republican Party of here and now—is about as far away from what Caitlyn wants as you can get. Hopefully she’ll realize that sooner rather than later.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery