Please Prove Me Wrong

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I would like to be wrong.

I spent Saturday obsessively watching television and social media, amazed by the tide of pink protesting the misogyny, racism and bigotry that people fear the new president will bring.

I watched despite my hearty agreement with the sentiments because, as I said in my last blog, I have never seen a protest create real change.

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Instead, I signed up for local government committees, I joined a few new organizations, and I gave money to causes likely to be stripped by those in power.

But the march was massive…it was creating a conversation. The new administration tried to lie about the numbers, and the media – and the images – weren’t having the lie.

And now?

Now is where I hope I am wrong.

Now is when the exhilaration of the unified march breaks down into the disparate pet causes, the drudgery of hard work, the glacial pace of social change.

Now is when the dilettantes drop off. All the administration has to do is wait for boredom to creep in. And after boredom, apathy.

Or not.

And here is where I hope I will be humbly begging for forgiveness for underestimating everyone. I might even don a pink knitted pussy hat if I’m proved wrong.

Please – prove me wrong.

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March On!

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The older I get, the more this rule applies: there has to be a really good reason to put myself in the position of too few bathroom facilities. PortaPotties count, but barely. A corollary to that is that there has to be a really good reason to be friggin’ cold, even though the cold certainly makes the PortaPotties less odorous.

So, you might think those are the reasons I’m not joining the Women’s March on Washington.

And you would be partly right.

But as one who joined the Million Mom March against gun violence only to see gun deaths increase with the years, I am done with marches.

If someone could prove that I could save a life by marching, I’d be on it.

But I worked in D.C. and I put in my time with Congressmen. I was a press secretary for two Congressmen and I may sound jaded, but I can tell you, marches count for nada. They are good optics but they don’t change policy. I can’t name one politician who saw a big march, hit his or her forehead, and said, “Eureka! I’ve been blind, but now I see!”

The Tea Party had great optics – mostly white people in patriot costumes with flags urging the government not to tread on them. They co-opted, and some would say perverted, patriotism and they made for great TV. But it wasn’t until the little worm Ted Cruz stopped government in its tracks with a filibuster that included a reading of “Green Eggs & Ham,” that anyone realized the Tea Party had a little bit of political heft. When the Tea Partiers marched, they were easily dismissed as crackpots.

Don’t get me wrong: I completely support the cause behind this women’s march. I do not want to see women’s health and women’s rights rolled back to some mythical Leave it to Beaver days. I do not believe that the only love that is valid is that between someone born male and someone born female. And I know that immigrants made this country diverse and strong, not weak.

So, march on, sisters and brothers. I just won’t be there.

Rather than marching, I will be working quietly – and not so quietly – in the background. I’ll be signing up for some political committees because I think change starts local. I’ll be sending money to the organizations likely to be gutted by a Trump presidency.

I will be hanging out in places that are warm and have bathrooms – and I will be inviting any gender to use whichever bathroom works. Because, the Halls of Power? They’re warm and they have bathrooms. And they are where real change happens.

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