Saturday, January 21, 2017

Million Women Mush or ...Movement?

Listening to coverage of the Million Women March on the radio and watching it on TV, I was discouraged.

Reporters were interviewing marchers and they were saying all sorts of things: they were afraid their daughters would be molested because the President seems to enjoy molesting women; they were worried teachers would be fired; they were angry because Trump is intolerant of Muslims; they were angry for inchoate reasons; they were fearful it would become a crime to be LGBT; they were fearful Trump would bring on a new age of racial division; they were angry because, well just because.

Alicia Keys came on stage and sang, "This Girl's on Fire."

They carried signs saying, "Make America kind again." 

Then Scarlett Johansson spoke and she was more focused: She was worried about government funding being denied to Planned Parenthood and Roe v Wade being reversed. That, at least was a coherent set of issues.

Of course, it's not likely Trump has thought much about this. His first response to the North Carolina bathroom law was a person should be able to use any bathroom he or she chooses. Then somebody talked to him and he reversed that. 

When he was asked whether women who had abortions should be punished, he said sure. Then he thought about it and wasn't so sure.

Michael Moore got up and told the crowd to call their Congressmen and Senators daily and to call their state representatives as well. That was practical advice, although all he was really saying was "Resist." It remains to be seen what needs to be resisted.

I am looking for the speeches by Gloria Steinem and Elizabeth Warren. They are usually coherent. 

Of course, during the 60's these marches were more focused: Stop the war in Vietnam. Pass the Civil Rights Voting Act.  End legal, institutionalized racial discrimination.

But there were always the hangers on who had their own agendas. The problem watching today's marchers is they did not seem to have coalesced around any clear set of demands. They struck me as a crowd throwing a tantrum, not really sure why. 

They are simply offended by Trump for being...well Trump. But Trump is simply Joe Sixpack. Trump is a Zelig, a man who reflects those around him without having a central essence.

A friend told me it wouldn't matter to her if Trump wound up naming a liberal to the Supreme Court, getting a government sponsored infrastructure spending law through, employing all those out of work Rust Belt voters, shut down the coal mines and shifted government spending to windmills and solar, signed a law to make state colleges tuition free, passed meaningful Wall Street reform and strengthened Glass-Steagall, signed a Medicare for All law into effect. She'd still hate and him and vote against him because of his imitation of a disabled journalist.

Just look at this video. I ask you: Who did Mr. Trump damage more, the man he was trying to humiliate or himself?  Could he have been more exposed had his toupee blown off and his own pants fallen down?

What struck me about this Day of Protest was how counterproductive this is.

If I were in control of all this, I would say here is the list of our complaints, our Declaration of Resistance:
1/ If you attempt to make Medicare voucher care, we will fight you.
2/ If you attempt to "privatize" Social Security, we will fight you.
3/ If you appoint a Supreme Court Justice who is committed to reversing Roe v Wade and making abortion a federal offense, we will fight.
4/ If you cut taxes for the rich, we will fight you.
5/ If you attempt to round up every undocumented immigrant, we will shelter them and we will fight you.
6/ If you attempt to place a ban on Muslims visiting the country, we will fight.
7/ If you repeal Obamacare and replace it with some lame excuse for health insurance, voucher care, whatever, we'll fight that, too.

Then there is the current issues of defunding Planned Parenthood. 
I'm not exactly sure how the government funds Planned Parenthood. Is there a direct payment or simply payments for services rendered? 
If it's the former, well, as far as I'm concerned, you can keep your money. We can raise funding without your bloody Tea Party money. If the government refuses to pay for services, well then there's the courts. 
I think Planned Parenthood is too important to be left in the hands of politicians like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Take it into the hands of people who have an ongoing commitment to its mission. I'm not sure, but I wonder if Planned Parenthood wouldn't be better off without government funding.

We'll only know with time whether what we see today is the beginning of something or the dying out with a whimper.


  1. Well you're right Mad Dog-the marchers yesterday turned out for a whole host of different reasons and causes. However, there was one unifying theme-fight Trump and the Right in order to continue the progress made on a variety of these fronts. Your referring to it as a tantrum, mush and counterproductive seems condescending my friend and is inaccurate..

    I do agree that although this has the potential to grow into a substantial force to be reckoned with-it is a movement in search of a leader. Without galvanizing leadership and a game plan it could falter-it would be a shame to have the troops, the energy and the will to mount a fight and have it go nowhere. We'll see. In the meantime, why don't you try and rein in your sense of discouragement towards this renewed women's movement-it might surprise you..

  2. Ms. Maud,
    You're right. The women who took to the streets are spiritually in my camp. Why bash them?
    Thing is, what I heard was they don't like the man. What I wanted to hear was: What are the things he has done or will do which call for action?
    It's almost as if some of these women at least, were complaining about a boyfriend they discovered was a louse. He's a misogynist, a bigot, a narcissist a lewd fondler.
    Okay, I get it. You don't like him.
    But what has he done in his office you oppose?
    Mad Dog