You can say this about change-of-party elections: they get people involved in the political process. Adherents of the party in power* tend to become complacent, and to stay that way even as it fades, while fans of the party on the outs are more motivated, more likely to show up. The cyclic nature of recent elections reflects this, at least in part.
So this time 'round, it's Mr. Trump and the supposed existential threat he poses to a lot of the traditional Democrat constituencies; minorities (as defined) are to Dems what gun-owners are to the GOP: taken for granted and often fobbed off with cheap promises. Mr. Trump is at least a good a scarecrow in that garden as Mr. Obama was to the NRA, and the undetermined nature of whatever actual threat a Trump Administration might pose to specific groups is all the better for the purpose of rabble-rousing.
The rabble du jour (or is is de jure? There does seem to be rather a lot of rushing to judgement going around) is the Women's March On Washington. Formerly the "Million Woman March," except A) it had already been done B) by African-American women, leaving the paler organizers of the present March all Culturally Appropriative and thus in a renaming frame of mind, and C) there ain't exactly a million women going to be there; the hopes are for a hundred thousand, an (engineering!) order of magnitude less. But whatever, 100K wimmenfolk, even 10K, that'd show up on the ol' D. C. radar, right? --Except they'll be doing this at Mr. Trump's Inauguration, where the signal-to-other-signal ratio may be just a little bit...unfavorable. In fact, between celebrators and protesters, they are likely to be less than ten percent of the crowd† -- and nowhere near the TV cameras.
Still, even if they're crowded off screens by the Chief Justice's ceremonial reading of predictions in the entrails of a slaughtered duck,‡ they are involved; they're doin' the American thing of making noise, waving signs, dressing up funny and dumping tea in the harbor, attempting to levitate the Pentagon, Corresponding in Committee, living free and Bohemian in their parents basement -- and wearing hats.
Remarkably unfortunate hats, pink hats that kind of have "cat ears" and look like a knit version of an old military side cap or garrison cap (yes, with that nickname) worn sideways. Worn, as well, entirely without irony.
I keep telling myself, "politics is rarely pretty." More like rarely sensible; but hey, they're out there doing their thing and not at home posting goofy, bitter Internet memes, and that's something. --But, still--
Hooray, dissent is suddenly patriotic again! It's going to be an interesting four years.
* I question the extent to which officeholders of the two are all that distinguishable other than their posturing on a small number of key issues; what they actually do in office is more alike than different: work for re-election or an even higher office, while spending money the country doesn't have.
† For comparison, Mr. Obama's first inauguration had a live audience of some 1.8 million and his second is said to have gathered "at least a million." That puts the Marchers 20 dB down at best.
‡ Oh, I know what an "augury" is, and I can well picture the metonymy involved in referring to the outgoing President as a "lame duck." They're not fooling me a bit! I'm surprised, though -- you'd think they'd just use one of the turkeys ritually granted a Presidential pardon each November.
1 week ago