Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I Didn't March Yesterday

A lot of people have asked why I didn't march yesterday because I have been so politically active, and I've been a speaker at marches in the past.  When people asked if I was joining the local march, I said "sure," but when it came down to it, I just couldn't go.  Even I didn't understand why I didn't march until today.

I didn't march yesterday because for years I have been trying to get people to be politically involved, and have heard over and over "I don't follow politics" or "I don't follow local politics." Trump didn't happen overnight or this year. He started with Newt Gingrich's Contract With America. He started with the No Child Left Behind Act. He started with Reagan repealing the Fairness Doctrine. He started with big money being poured into judicial races. He started with low voter turnout and voter apathy. He started with people preferring to follow celebrity news over actual journalism. He started with more people knowing the names of every Kardashian but not the names of their elected representatives.  

So no, I didn't join you yesterday. Of course Trump outrages me, but I HAVE BEEN MARCHING AGAINST HIM FOR YEARS and if the outrage yesterday turns into ANY sort of constructive action, THEN I will be with there. But everyone else need to be there as well.

I don't mean to take anything away from those who did march--I was honestly glad to see it and glad to see the humungous turnout.  But unless there is follow up and political engagement, it will just be a footnote in history--not the changing of the future.


Ellen D. said...

I did march yesterday in Chicago. I appreciate your work in the past and believe you are exactly right. A woman asked me on the train home after the march "what next?" and I said that we need to get involved, volunteer. I personally need to watch each election and do research on every candidate that is running for each office from the local ones on up. That is where political people often get their start - in the small local elections. So I know I have to do a better job of paying attention, doing research, supporting the candidates that reflect my views. So I can be an intelligent voter and an active citizen. Like you, I hope this isn't just empty talk - I plan to follow through. It is a beginning - long overdue. Thank you.

Toni said...

Ellen, you made my entire day!!!!!!!! I wish I understood Google's circles well enough to send you a message directly, but I was tremendously excited to read your post--YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!