Caitlyn Jenner is a rich woman. Her family and extended family would likely benefit much from further tax cuts for the rich, as championed by the Republican Party and its candidates for office.
But Caitlyn Jenner is transgender. That distinction has won her much derision from some Conservatives who place a lot of emphasis on social issues and "traditional marriage" arguments. One would not think that Caitlyn Jenner would be welcome in Republican circles.
But politics makes strange bedfellows. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a staunch Conservative, is running for his party's nomination to be President. And Lindsey Graham has just bucked that social conservative trend very publicly.
"I’m a pro-life, traditional marriage kind of guy, but I am running to be president of the United States. If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a Republican, she is welcome in my Party," Graham told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview.
Some very vocal Republicans have called for their fellow Conservatives to unite against the "new normal" view of LGBT folks in America, including Caitlyn Jenner. They say their party must stand against this or they will lose voters. Lindsey Graham, however, is distinguishing himself as a man who understands that the President of the United States must be a leader of all people, including Caitlyn Jenner, not just his core party loyalists.
I’m into addition," Graham said, as opposed to exclusion.
"I haven’t walked in her shoes." Graham emphasized the word "her," marking a distinction between himself and others who refuse to acknowledge Jenner's own identification as female.
"I don’t have all the answers to the mysteries of life. I can only imagine the torment that Bruce Jenner went through. I hope he ... ”
Old habits may die hard. But Graham corrected, making it even more clear that he sees respecting someone's own gender identification as important.
“... I hope she has found peace.”
Huge props to @LindseyGrahamSC for going out of his way to use proper pronouns when discussing Caitlyn Jenner
— Kevin Heaney (@kwpheaney) June 7, 2015
Ever the politician, Graham buttoned his comments with a call to action.
“If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be safe and have a prosperous economy, vote for me,” Graham said.
Lindsey Graham seems like a promising candidate.
— nikkifm (@nikkifm) June 7, 2015