Friday, January 20, 2017

Don't Waste Your Activism!

As I write this, Donald Trump is still a couple of hours away from being sworn in as President of the United States.  While I disagree with a vast majority of the things he seems to stand for, I must say that he is indeed going to be the president of the United States.  He will be the president of ANYONE who is a citizen of the United States, whether you like it or not. That is not my opinion; it is a simple fact.

However, I applaud those who feel compelled to stand up for issues that they believe in.  The March for Women is relevant today because the threat that many people feel from Mr. Trump in the area of women's rights and dignity.  These type of demonstrations, rallies, and protests are as much a part of this country's make-up as the inauguration and the peaceful transfer of power.

I do have to say that if your protest is centered on "Trump is not my president," I believe you are in error. Here is why. For eight years, we had similar reactions from the right.  We had people pushing forward the idea that Barack Obama was not a legitimate president.  It did great damage when a cluster of Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, was meeting at this time eight years ago saying that their number one concern was to make Obama a one-term president.  It was outrageous then, and guess what; it is outrageous now.
Remember this?  Don't sink to this level.
You demonstrate against the legitimacy of the Trump presidency for what purpose?  To send a message?  To who?  Trump doesn't care.  He and his supporters just do their version of the chant student sections at basketball games do in response to criticism of the other side:  "Scoreboard!  Scoreboard!"  That indicates that you can whine or mock all you want to, but it doesn't affect the score of the game.  So I ask those who challenge the legitimacy of the Trump presidency, to what end?

Let me encourage you instead to do this:  Keep fighting, but fight for the right things!  Fight against prejudice.  Fight against social and financial injustice.  Fight for policies that benefit ALL Americans. BUT PLEASE, don't fight against our constitutional system.  Don't be the voice of obstruction no matter the issue.  We had obstructionism far too long and it will never stop if progressives don't take the higher road.

It is now imperative that good Americans not wash our hands of the constitutional system that we have lived under since 1787.  It is our job to hold our politicians' feet to the fire and make sure they work for us - whether that is Donald Trump or the congressman in most remote district in the country. Don't copy the GOP and be the party of "No."  Instead, be the party of "Let's Go!"