I completely understand how you felt Friday at around 12:20, after President Donald Trump (shudder) delivered the last of his vapid, sloganeering, frighteningly insipid and angry remarks after he was sworn in. You don’t recognize the country or its values or the office of the presidency or how the constitution fits into his plans and you wonder how anybody who calls themselves a patriotic, thinking American can vote for…that. Perhaps the best we can say is that James Buchanan, William Henry Harrison and Richard Nixon no longer occupy the bottom spot on any of the presidential rankings. It’s Trump’s spot all alone. And he owns it.
But it’s vitally important to understand that reasoned arguments, references to facts, visits and links to mainstream news sites or paper-based articles dogeared, cut out or copied for relatives will not do any good to win arguments in the political present and the near future. Statistics mean nothing. The fight will be won on emotion and righteousness, patience and repetition, repetition, repetition.
The Women’s Marches on Saturday were an excellent start. More people showed up to the one in Washington than attended the inauguration. Add in the number of marchers in other cities in the United States and around the world and you have a supermajority of people who will not stand to go backwards on civil rights for all people. We will need more of these types of mobilizations and actions to show the Republican administration and Congress that they must pay attention to the words and tone they use, and the laws they attempt to pass.
The rest of this is going to be up to our use of language and messaging. As much as Trump is described as unpredictable, he really won’t be. We already know that he’s concerned with winning every battle. He hates to be criticized. He has no coherent policies. The press needs to ask questions repeatedly and not let Trump or Sean Spicer off the hook. Yes, their antics might play well in precincts where Trump won, but even there, the people want action and they want details about what he’s going to do. In short, question and oppose everything and let Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan complain about obstruction. Do not apologize. Do not outwardly cooperate. It seems to be the only strategy that works, but with our country at stake, it’s what we need to do.0