Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Few Thoughts on the March

            I’ve had a number of people say to me, “Man, aren’t those who marched in the Women’s March sore losers. What do they even want? Why would they protest? Why won’t they tell us what they want?”
            Well, first off, check out their website. Also, read this, this, this and this, just to get a sense of why individuals marched. For that matter, if you’re still confused, take a look at a few of their signs to get a sense of why they used their first amendment rights.

The Hats say it all
            They’re wearing pink cat hats, reminding America that we elected this guy:
            Again, we elected this guy. Our choice was between the first woman president and a guy who brags about sexually assaulting women… and that guy is now president. If you can’t understand why that is distressing to a whole bunch of people, especially to women, then you are being willfully blind.
            Remember what a difference having a Black President made for young people of color, that the Obama era raised the ceiling on their aspirations. Well, I can only imagine what glass ceilings the Trump era will construct over the heads our young girls.

Abortion and Planned Parenthood
            Trump is a transactional guy—he isn’t above the carrot and the stick—and he promised Evangelicals the repeal of Roe V. Wade if they elected him. As we saw yesterday his VP was the highest official ever to attend the annual anti-abortion rally. It is reasonable for women to make their voices known, letting the country know that they want safe access to abortion and they don’t want to be held hostage by their body in a way men never can be.
            On top of that, the president keeps demonizing Planned Parenthood, an organization that most women have received medical care from at one time or another. They are saying with a loud voice: “I was screened for Ovarian Cancer there, I get my contraception there, they diagnosed the STD my ex-fiancé gave me, and when I was raped they helped me through hell.”

Immigrants and Refugees
            They marched to affirm that America, at its best, welcomes those seeking a better life and those running for their life. One of the saddest stories in our history is our shameless refusal to grant German Jews asylum from the horrors of Nazi Germany. Bluntly put, the choice the President made regarding refugees from Syria and other Muslim countries means many innocent people will be sent back to their home countries and killed. Their blood is on our hands. Surely raising your voice in lament of this choice is justified.

            You’ll notice among those signs at the march quite a few involved Putin and Trump, and Trump’s tax returns. It is disturbing that Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns, initially he said he’d do so after the campaign, now he’s announced he will never release them. If we can’t see if he is in hock to the Russian Government—which most people in the know suggest he is—we can’t assess if he’s making decisions to benefit America or those to whom he is indebted. This is worth protesting about.

            I could go on, talk about BLM and the ACA and pipelines, arrest of journalists, and so on, but at this point it should be pretty obvious, this is more than sour grapes. The protestors have real concerns. They are being at least as patriotic as those who do not march—more so even, I would say, they are continuing to engage in the democratic process, which has always involved more than simply a vote every few years.

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