*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Over the weekend there was an event that demonstrated a rare feature inherent in the American population that is so foreign to most conservatives they will likely never understand it. In fact, it turns out that the “rarity” that was exposed by millions of Americans is actually a feature of people from around the world.
Of course the record-setting “Women’s Protest” was phenomenal, and it was a powerful “pussy grabbing back” message to the Trump. But it was also a beautiful thing because the millions of people involved were all working in concert for the benefit of all Americans, and not just women. It was something that occurred by design of the women who organized the protest and decent Americans delivered the goods.
It has to be stated that, although it appeared the millions of people around the world were protesting Trump, and that certainly was the case, they were also protesting the monsters supporting Trump. It was a protest against Republicans in Congress who will pass legislation targeting every demographic in America save the filthy rich and fanatically religious. White supremacist people may think they are exempt from the Republican atrocity about to befall the nation, but unless they are extremely rich religious white folk, they are going to be hurt with the same Republican intent as decent Americans.
What was an amazing sight at the protests was the inclusion and participation of every possible demographic and interest group being targeted for rape by a conservative government with a Trump rubber stamp. Yes, there were plenty of women advocating for equality and the right to be free of religious men controlling their bodies, but there were also good Americans representing immigrants, the elderly, veterans, the poor, youth, Muslims, the disabled, environmentalists, men of all ages, educators, students and all manner of non-white people. What happened on Saturday was a demonstration of humanity working together as one body to protest the inhumanity inherent in the conservative movement and exposed by Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric.
It is unclear how many of the “protest” attendees were aware there was actually a platform released by the movement’s organizers, but they did all seem to get the message intuitively; likely because they are good human beings and not cruel conservatives. The platform demands “a broad range of reforms” to address much more than gender inequity and that was glaringly apparent to anyone at any protest location. Just as importantly, and because it was created by decent human beings (women), it demands addressing racial and economic inequality and everything that entails including protecting the environment.
The platform calls for and supports, among other things, “paid family leave; anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans; access to affordable reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion; an end to the use of military-style weapons and tactics by the police in minority communities; a living minimum wage; immigration reform, with a path to citizenship; and protection of the environment and public lands.”
It is noteworthy that all of those demands target Republicans in Congress and not just corrupt Trump. Remember, Trump is nothing if not a typical conservative barbarian and a fine representation of cruel Republicans in Congress. Now and throughout the presidential campaign, Trump just said out loud what every Republican in Congress and the states believes in their icy-cold hearts.
The protest’s organizers, as well as the attendees, are aware that no president is capable of enacting all of the atrocities about to come out of Washington without a congressional majority passing legislation attacking the mass of American citizens. It is worth reiterating ad nauseam that this protest was not solely against Trump, and that the demands and easily achievable goals are not radical in any sense because they are founded on basic humanity, equality and civil rights; all ensconced within the U.S. Constitution. Those goals may be radical to conservatives and their bloviate leader Trump, but they are goals decent human beings have been calling for in America and worldwide since the Christian Jesus advocated them in Christian mythology.
As noted in a New York Times (NYT) editorial board commentary, nearly all of the “Women’s Protest” goals appeared as recently as July in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) platform. In fact, they are considered to be “mainstream proposals” in a free and equal nation including protecting constitutional rights for all Americans, promote economic equality through “broad-based prosperity” for all Americans, and improving safety net programs so no American ever falls through the cracks. It is a sad state of affairs that in the richest, and allegedly most equal nation on Earth, these basic goals have to be the “subjects of a protest manifesto” and not achievements that were exceeded generations ago.
It is a horribly pathetic indication of how far afield America has drifted from its own Constitution and a humanitarian society that millions of diverse Americans have to protest for their fellow Americans’ basic human rights because a group of Republican savages serve the rich, the racist and the religious; and now they control the entire government.
There is a meme that makes the rounds on social media from time to time that was apparent in the diversity of groups participating in the so-called “Women’s Protest.” There are a few variants, but the meme goes something like:
“A conservative says, ‘if it hasn’t happened to me, I don’t care.’ A liberal says, ‘This should never happen to anyone, and that’s why I care.’”
Whether everyone among the millions of Americans participating in Saturday’s protests were liberals is unknowable. However, what was glaringly apparent was that everyone was protesting in predominately inclement weather and demanding that what is about to happen to any American at the hands of Trump Republicans “should never happen to anyone;” whether they are immigrants, the elderly, veterans, youth, disabled, Muslims, the poor, environmentalists, men of all ages, educators, students and all manner of non-white people.
What the protests revealed about America is that there are still Americans who consider their fellow citizens their actual fellow humans worthy of equal, civil, constitutional and basic human rights. It was a protest for humanity and it was a beautiful thing in an increasingly ugly nation, and of course it was organized by women. Although the likes of Trump, his Republican facilitators, or their religious and rich backers will never comprehend what that beautiful protest revealed about the “real” America, it sent a powerful message to the world and Republicans. Decent Americans are not going to sit quietly or idly and allow “them” barbaric conservatives to intimidate or injure any of “us” humanitarian Americans without a ferocious fight; it was a beautiful thing to behold and gave many demoralized Americans a reason to be proud to be an American now that Barack Obama is not here to protect us.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.