America kills me with its contrasts. In just these last few days, we had Trump's Inaugural Address, and we had the Women's Marches
I kept the promise that I made to myself not to watch Trump's inauguration. (I did read the text later. More on that.) But I did watch a lot of the Women's March from Washington, D.C., on C-SPAN. I would have been at the Los Angeles march except for the TG's whooping cough and houseguests with knee problems.
Trump's address – just from reading the text – was dark, harsh, and unforgiving. His vision of our country -- "this American carnage" ... "rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape" ... "the wealth of our middle class ripped from their homes" ... "young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge" ... "the sad depletion of our military" ... "mothers and children trapped in poverty" ... "America's infrastructure fallen into disrepair and decay" – sounded bleak and negative.
Certainly things are bad for the shrinking middle class in this country, and they've always been bad for the poor and most oppressed minorities, but to call it "carnage" helps no one. Especially if you're the leader who is supposed to lead us to better times and "make America great again."
What jumped out at me immediately were the words – "AMERICA FIRST." If that phrase, a clear link to pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic Charles Lindbergh's America First movement of the 1930s, wasn't clear sign of encouragement to today's neo-Nazi/Alt-Right/White Supremecist nuts, I don't know what is. Although the Trump camp at first said that Donald wrote the speech, it was later admitted that the speech was the work of Steve Bannon. The "America First" reference made that obvious.
I think that his addess was filled with "alternative facts."
Trump said that he was going to "bring back our jobs." Manufacturing jobs have been on the decline for decades, but we've experienced 75 straight months of job growth since the Great Recession, and unemployment rate is at a very low rate. (The equity of income distribution is another issue, but I don't think Trump is talking about that. Not with a choice for Secretary of Labor who is against the minimum wage.)
Trump said, "We've defended other nation's borders while refusing to defend our own." The U.S. Border Patrol budget has tripled since 2001, and Southwest border apprehensions are down 75% from their peak in 2000.
Trump said, "We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American." Then why were the majority of inauguration souvenirs (hats, etc.) branded "Made in China?" And why is Trump filing for H-2B immigration wavers to hire 64 foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago this winter?
As Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "Sometimes we don't agree with the facts."
Bad things have already started to happen. Within hours of the inaugural address where he promised to fight for the little guy, Trump signed an order eliminating a reduction in mortgage insurance fees that will make it more expensive for low-income homebuyers to get mortgages.
Soon after that, Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, which was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, prohibiting giving U.S. funding to nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion ― even if U.S. dollars are not specifically used for abortion-related services. That could jeopardize the almost $600 million that the United States spends on international assistance for family planning and reproductive health programs, affecting more than 27 million women and families worldwide.
Trump signed the order with no women standing in the room: just seven white men.
To counter all this negativity ...
... there were the Women's Marches. More than 500 marches, and more than three and a half million people.
In Stanley, Idaho (population 63), almost half the town's residents (30 people) came out to march.
There was so much positive energy at the marches. Here are some of my favorite signs:
MAKE AMERICA KIND AGAIN
WHAT MERYL SAID
MELANIA – BLINK TWICE FOR HELP
THINK OUTSIDE MY BOX
LITERALLY EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS SO AWFUL THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO EVEN START
WHAT DO WE WANT? ... EVIDENCE BASED SCIENCE
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? ... AFTER PEER REVIEW
SO BAD, EVEN INTROVERTS ARE HERE
NOT USUALLY A PROTESTER, BUT GEEZ ...
TWEET WOMEN WITH RESPECT
I'VE SEEN BETTER CABINETS AT IKEA!
MY ARMS ARE TIRED FROM HOLDING THIS SIGN SINCE THE 1960's
SUPER – CALLOUS – FASCIST – RACIST – EXTRA – BRAGGA – DOCIOUS
MY BITCH FACE NEVER RESTS
I HAVE A BRAIN AND A UTERUS – I USE BOTH
PISS ON TRUMP
NOT GAY AS IN HAPPY, GAY AS IN FUCK PENCE
TWEET OTHERS HOW U WANT 2 B TWEETED
YOU'RE SO VAIN YOU PROBABLY THINK THIS MARCH IS ABOUT YOU
YES, WE CUNT
REPEAL AND REPLACE TRUMP
I HAD A BETTER SIGN BUT MELANIA STOLE IT
ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE, FUCK THE PATRIARCHY
ORANGE IS THE NEW WACK
IF THE FETUS YOU SAVE IS GAY, WILL YOU CONTINUE TO PROTECT ITS RIGHTS?
STRAIGHT OUTTA VAGINA
THERE CAN BE NO HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS
UGH – WHERE DO I EVEN START?
MAKE AMERICA THINK AGAIN
SHUT THE FUCK UP, DONNY, YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT
I'M WITH HER – AND HER – AND HER – AND HER (with arrows)
LOVE TRUMPS HATE
WE SHALL OVERCOMB
TRUMP MEANS FART IN BRITAIN
Signs are all well and good. Marches are good, too.
But where will these people be on November 6, 2018, when the midterm elections happen?
I think the best solution might be --
SWING LEFT --
This organization focuses on the 52 swing districts where the election was won by 15% or less. The Dems need to win 80% of those races to take back the House.
Find the swing district nearest you and get to work.
It's hard to get Democrats to vote.
Let's see if Trump can make Democrats get off their couches on Election Day.
For Ashley Judd
THE JUDDS – GRANDPA (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)