Like many socially conscious Americans, I participated in the largest protest (international or domestic) of all time. The Women’s March that directly followed the inauguration of Donald Trump extended far beyond the millions gathered in our nation’s capital, rallying women from all across the globe in a glorious, feminist battle cry.
One year later, another Women’s March was held, though with far less impact. The initial outrage and willingness to fight has been somewhat snuffed from the already tired, working-class Americans that after taking blow after blow throughout 2017. Donald Trump has an occult ability to bend time, making his presidency seem never-ending in its first ever year. He (or more accurately, his cabinet) have been clever in pulling no punches because it makes it impossible to zero in on one controversy.
Joking about gay people being hanged? That’s not oka- Wait, he’s banning Muslims from entering the United States? How is he even able to pass tha- What do you mean he wants to get rid of affordable healthcare?
It’s hard to take umbrage with anything he does when you’re taking umbrage with EVERYTHING he does.
This has led to the organization of countless marches throughout the first year of Trump’s presidency. There was A Day Without Women, a protest in which women were supposed to take days off of school and work in order to simulate an America without them. This was a misfire by all accounts due to the fact that – hey! Most women aren’t in the position to miss school or work. Most women, in part due to the patriarchy they attempted to show up, cannot afford it. There was the Tax March, the March For Science, and the People’s Climate March. It doesn’t end there – not by a mile.
While everyone involved in the organization and participation of these protests have the best of intentions, is this really the best way to incite change?
Before the unfortunate rediscovery of our electoral college on November 8, 2016, those who cared about the basic human rights of others were only obligated to do one thing – vote. That was enough. Mistakes aside, we had a leader who could generally be assumed to do what was in the best interest of the people. Now that we’ve been stripped of that luxury, there may a solution we’ve been neglecting to explore – taking a cue from our opponents.
In a population of 323.1 million people, only 5 million of them are members of the National Rifle Association. So how is it that they manage to continue to get gun control blocked?
If you take a look at the NRA website, the first page on their drop-down menu is ‘Politics and Legislation.’ This page is constantly updated with the latest on gun control legislation. It’s a sort of What’s the haps? on the second amendment. There’s even a drop-down menu so the news is specific to your state. It clarifies the exact gun laws where you live and allows you to connect with other NRA members in order to engage in town hall meetings and public forums. Say what you might about those right-wing extremists – perhaps that they’re bigots who Hitler is managing to lead from the grave – but they’re organized.
Those of us who believe that people should be allowed to marry the person they love regardless of sex, change their body in order to become who they identify as, be paid equally for equal work, or not have to protect their own children from cops are just as passionate about our beliefs as anyone wearing a Make America Great Again hat. More so.
What we need to do now is not to protest a man who refuses to listen, but to utilize the very democratic system we hope to protect. One of Trump’s greatest assets right now is his slow adoption of fascist policies. When we go to public forums, call our congresspeople, or vote in the Midterms, we hinder his ability to do more damage.
We’ve done great so far, but now it’s time to put down our pussy posters and pick up the phone. Go get ’em, America.