Women marching

Posted 1.25.17

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | The participation rate in the "women's march" in Washington, the day following the inauguration of Donald Trump, certainly upstaged the official celebration. It is not difficult to grasp why so many women -- and men -- came out for this protest; the response of Mr. Trump's press secretary to a question about the size of the women's march demonstrated in the clearest way why they were making a statement with their presence: "there were more people at Mr. Trump's inauguration than had ever come out -- but the press covered it up" or something to that effect. A bold-faced lie, which he later retreated from. Too many lieswas one element being protested.

Very few of the protestors would deny that Trump won the electoral college vote. They were protesting his ethical right to assume the highest office in the land, in the world. His legitimacy in moral and leadership terms, not in the vote count, was under question.

Several readers of the Post have written to the editor claiming we all should ease off the new president, and "give Trump a chance."

A chance to do what? To prove he will do what he has promised to do? Listen to the women: this man has admitted to assaulting women, does he need to prove that power attracts? He has promised to deport thousands; don't we believe him? Does he need time to prove he can witch-hunt, à la Joe McCarthy, against Muslims, liberals, gay people, environmentalists, pipeline protesters, and free-traders?

Time for him to end all pretexts of universal health care, public education, environmental protection, green energy, labour laws, and climate change mitigation? This is his agenda, clearly. So, why does he need our blessing (or uncritical assent)?

The women's march is an appropriate response to Trump's election. First, it makes clear the extent of Trump's disconnect with all Americans. It makes clear the concern (and disgust) felt by so very many Americans for Trump's simplistic ambitions and his retrograde views on women's rights, parenting, and abortion, not to mention public schools and clean energy.

The march puts the Trump parade on notice that they are not going to have an easy ride as they attempt to re-design America back to the 1920s.

Had the mid-century Germans acted so promptly and clearly against their dictator-to-be, that dictator and his world disaster might have been, if not prevented, perhaps moderated. This march puts the Trump machine in a legal limelight: every shady deal, every failure to divest, every payment and profit-taking, all these legal niceties will be carefully monitored by legal experts. Trump's lawyers will be busy.

The march, finally, is a bold-faced reminder that had all these people (and all the complainers at home) actually gone out and voted, the march would have had another vocation entirely. Haven't they learned that voting usually requires two actions, marking the ballot -- and holding one's nose? That's a lesson for all of us.


Copyright © 2017 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/1.17