Marches of hope

opinions

January 23, 2017 - 12:00 AM

More than 3,000 demonstrations were held all across the world Saturday — London, Paris, Antarctica, New York, Washington, D.C., Topeka, Kansas City — in salute to women’s rights.
Why the amazing turnouts?
Because women — and men — are feeling the rights they have worked so hard to secure over many generations are suddenly in jeopardy.
As never before, the right to vote, to marry, to worship, to have a say over your reproductive rights, to advance the fight against global warming, feel threatened with the recent election of Donald Trump and the right-wing direction of other democracies.
The marches were not sour grapes that Trump is president; but rather expressions of hope that despite his election the progress of so many movements will not lose ground to ultra-right movements that promote bigotry, racism, nationalism and violence.
And unlike Trump’s isolationist and combative character, these diverse groups have come together to voice their solidarity.
Their fears are not ungrounded.
Trump’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, has said he views Islam — a religion, remember  — as nothing more than a terrorist organization. As such, Trump has suggested Muslims in the United States be registered, much like sex offenders.
Trump’s promise to rein in international trade policies should have every farmer quaking in his boots. Were it not for international markets, our surplus crops would be left to rot.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counselor, announced Sunday that his office would use “alternative facts” — such as the size of the inauguration crowd and by how much he won the election — instead of the truth.
Trump’s terms? He won by a landslide (not) and Friday’s crowds were “the biggest ever, (also not.)
His lack of experience in government — this is his first election to anything — or military (five deferments) — should give way to humility.
Instead, our celebrity-obsessed country has allowed Trump to confuse adulation with respect and that due to those who have earned it.
And his pledge to dismantle the Affordable Care Act by making it a privilege for only those with financial means through health savings accounts will put the health of hundreds of thousands at risk.

SATURDAY’S marches were about hope.
Hope that we can hold onto the progress we have made in the fights for equal rights, equal pay and equal chances.
By all evidence, the marches will need to continue on a routine basis.

— Susan Lynn

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