Yesterday, women and men of the world held the greatest mass demonstration ever witnessed on this planet. No one predicted this scale turnout. The photos of demonstrations, not just in Washington, but in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, in major cities throughout the world, in state capitols, and in vigil groups, show a mass uprising. My wife, brother-in-law, and I played our little part We were thankful for the opportunity to register our disdain for Donald Trump and the tainted election. At stake is the network that protects our poor, our sick, and our elderly, and that as of this date provides the civil rights necessary to a free society.
It bears repeating that Trump and the right-wing coup to which we are now subject is determined to unravel it all. They are openly hostile not only to universal health care, but to Public Education, Medicare, Social Security, reproductive rights, voting rights, minority rights, protection of the environment, rights to the free practice of religion, and rights to free speech and to a free press. Yesterday’s non-press conference and Trump’s verbal assaults on CNN and the CIA are indicative of the tone. They stand only for the right to freely deny science and heat up the globe, the right to own and carry guns, including assault weapons of choice (based on a long discredited reading of the Second Amendment), the right to Gerrymander political districts at will, the right of the rich to buy both elections and political influence from those that they elect, the right of the rich to avoid taxation, and the rights of neo-fascist state governments to defy federal guarantees. Trump takes as his mantra “America First”, deliberately invoking the isolationism and neo-fascism of an American movement in the 1930s and signaling his tribalistic view that others just don’t matter. In response, the people of both the United States and the world have rung in with a resounding “NO!”
How I wish that were enough. The evil we are fighting is real, entrenched, and uncowed. Mr. Trump learned from his mentor, Joe McCarthy attorney Roy Cohn, that, when under attack, you double down and counter attack twice as hard. Mr. Trump now has access to the bully pulpit, the ability to drive the news cycle, and the ability to threaten and chill the opposition media. In like circumstance, Adolf Hitler showed how nothing demands patriotism and uncritical support like concocting an external threat. Do we really think Trump is any better? Trump’s bully brown-shirts have already shown their willingness to threaten and intimidate at Trump rallies. Most of us who speak out on the internet have experienced the piling on of rude, insulting Trump Trolls – threatening both in their coarseness and their ignorance.
The demonstrations yesterday were more than a ray of hope in a dark time. They showed, without doubt, that we have a majority, that none of us are alone. Right is on our side. There was power in those crowds; the good people of this earth will not go quietly into the night. But we are at war with an evil incarnate in a struggle for our nation’s soul. The demonstrations give us the chance to force acknowledgment of our demands and response from Congress. But the momentum conveyed by the uprising, its energy and power, must be seized now. We must mobilize. We must ensure that our opposition leaders are of like mind and willing to fight for us. We must identify new candidates and make our political system work for us. We must, in short, follow up. Most importantly, because Trump will be seeking to consolidate power and purge any opposition, we must demand a timely investigation of Trump misdeeds, and impeach. Already he violates the most fundamental rules against conflict of interest. He makes common cause with a Russian leader who aided in his election victory. There is no reason to wait. The future of the world is in peril.