Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hope and Despair 2017

Where do we go from here? On Friday, January 20, the nation swore in the 45th president of the United States, a serial liar and raging narcissist. To put it in locker room talk (a vernacular the president-elect admittedly understands well), we swore in a real dickhead. 

Washington D.C.
January 21, 2017
A day later, more than half a million people, the majority women, thronged the very same national mall where the inauguration was held, and manifested a profound demonstration of opposition to the new administration. And not only in Washington D.C. People took to the streets in massive displays of principled resistance around the nation - Boston 200,000 people, NYC 250,000, Philadelphia 50,000, L.A. 750,000, Chicago 200,000, Denver 100,000 - and around the world.

History provides plenty of examples of societies slipping into authoritarianism, fascism, or simply devolving into corrupt and/or incompetent oligarchies. It's naive to comfort ourselves with "it can't happen here" smugness. We are not an "exceptional" nation as politicians of all stripes aver. We are as susceptible as any nation state to dissolution, chaos, and violence. 

So it seems quite apt, even necessary, that on the day following the installation of such a crass and unpredictable president, the People gather in the nation's public spaces to remind the new administration that women's rights matter and that we, as a vigilant and passionate body politic, are watching. 

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