Donald Trump's presidential campaign wasn't exactly understated. The president-elect made many divisive remarks on the road to the White House — and on Thursday, GLAAD announced that it will be gathering his comments about marginalized groups going forward as part of the Trump Accountability Project (TAP). The project will keep note not only of anti-LGBTQ comments made by Trump's administration, but also of those that discriminate against other groups, including women, Muslims, and immigrants. One of the first lines of defense for those being discriminated against is to document everything — and the TAP project will do this on a nationwide scale.
Based on GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project, which was launched in 2012 to "educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of over three dozen activists who are often given a platform to speak in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives," according to a press release, TAP is intended as a resource for journalists during Trump's upcoming time in office. "All too often, journalists on deadline don’t have the time or resources to fully uncover the detestable history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and voting records of many people in Trump’s circle," said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a press release provided to Bustle. "This project will put this critical information into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts, and reporters so that they may better report on and challenge the hateful actions and statements of those they are covering." To that end, the project will also point out misinformation referenced by the Trump administration.
So far, the TAP has profiled Trump himself, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Chief Strategist and "alt right" icon Steve Bannon, and about a dozen other nominated or potential members of the administration.
Each profile contains direct quotes from the public figure, along with links to the video, statements, or audio where they originated. Trump's profile is the most extensive by far, with his comments organized by headings like "on LGBTQ equality" and "a history of attacking women." (In this case "attack" is used to mean verbal attacks, like the now-infamous "blood coming out of her wherever" comment made about Megyn Kelly in 2015.) Pence's profile lists the numerous ways he has campaigned against the LGBTQ community, such as his warning that "societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family," referring to marriage equality.
Trump's selections for his cabinet have been carefully watched since his election to office. The president-elect is infamously unpredictable, but as Politico points out, the people with whom he chooses to surround himself are perhaps the best indication of what's to come in the next four years. TAP points out that domestic policy adviser Ken Blackwell, for instance, described homosexuality as "a compulsion that can be contained, repressed, or changed" while speaking on Sirius' The Michelangelo Signorile Show in 2009. Bannon, whose appointment as chief strategist has been heavily criticized, once described liberal women as "a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters Schools up in New England" in an interview with Political Vindication Radio in 2011. Trump has also promised to appoint a strictly pro-life judge to the Supreme Court after he takes office in January.
In an op-ed for NBC News explaining the creation of the TAP, Ellis stresses the danger of normalizing the Trump administration's conservative values. "As a nation, we have set a new precedent for what we consider acceptable in a leader," she writes. "Now it's up to all of us, but especially those in the media, to keep tabs on our leaders and the decisions they make for all our futures."
The TAP paints a scary picture, but doing the political equivalent of sticking our fingers in our ears and humming certainly won't accomplish anything. Head over to the TAP website for more information.