The Women’s March is Inspiring
George Orwell, who died 67 years ago on the day of this writing, famously railed against the use of clichés in writing, and for good reason. But clichés exist for a reason and sometimes utilizing them, especially when nature so perfectly provides one, best captures one’s sentiments. Yesterday, the day of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as America’s 45th president, dawned with gloom — grey clouds promised to unleash the Founders’ tears and mist and fog led me to peer into the unknown. The weather perfectly summarized the day: Misery.
A day later 2.5 million protesters taking part in the global women’s march dominated the streets in 674 locations from the nation’s capital to Antarctica, where women marched among penguins, in the first act of massive resistance to the new administration. Fittingly, Chicago’s weather forewent its typical wintery wretchedness and opted instead for the week’s first day of a sun, which actually provided warmth usually unknown to January’s depths. With the protesters, a beautiful sight of solidarity and political activism, the sun feels warranted. Though there are dark days ahead — the bleak unknown promises challenges and threats to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property — with the renewed engagement of millions (many of whom have yet to be political active), I have faith in The Resistance.
The buoyant energy lifting millions of spirits on this day must not be lost. In the weeks and months ahead, discouragement will be rampant, losses likely abundant, and hope in short supply. We must look back to January 21 and realize the power of the masses, knowing that “We, the People” — the very entity from whom Trump’s claims his authority arises — have a nearly 3 million person advantage (even more when taking into account those who voted third party). Millions may have voted for Trump, but still dislike him and don’t find him qualified to be president. Together, we are the majority of the country and despite what Trump says to the contrary, regardless of the popular support he claims to have and represent, our solidarity and unity against un-American and unconstitutional proposals is a more powerful force.
If we stay motivated and active — if the January 21 marches are a harbinger of things to come — Democrats could have their own Tea Party moment. The ideology will, of course, be quite different, but the principles the same: Incessant and overwhelming activism that reinvigorates the party and pushes, successfully, desired policy outcomes. Let’s turn 2.5 million marches into 2.5 million weekly (or daily) phone calls to representatives and senators across the country, urging investigations into Trump’s alleged Russia connections, his conflicts of interest, and impeachment for Emoluments Clause violations. Imagine thousands of these protesters turning up at town hall and district events, demanding answers from lawmakers. Dream of 2018 when 2.5 million volunteers defend the Democrats’ Senate seats, take Nevada and Arizona, and make inroads across state legislatures and governorships. And then herald 2020, when this activism sweeps Trump out of the Oval Office.
Let this be the beginning. Carry this energy forward, ceaselessly, as best we can. The going will not be easy and demoralization will tempt many. But politics is not a simple game that can be won without putting up one hell of a fight. We’ve shown that we will resist Trump. Let’s make sure our voices continue to be heard, today and in the coming years. March on!