Our family participated in the Women’s March on January 21 2017.
As a writer, I think words matter. Especially words spoken by people who call themselves leaders. Saying ugly things about innocent people is despicable.
When I learned that a person of despicable character had been elected as the U.S. president, it was like getting the news that a loved one had died. The loved one was the ideal of American democracy. How could a government by the people elect a person of low moral standards: a liar, a cheater, one who demeans the helpless, one who insults instead of conversing, one who flies into a senseless rage at the slightest challenge to his ego, one who seeks to aggrandize himself at any cost?
The day after the election was one of the saddest days in my life. How could anyone vote for a sleazebag who treats women as objects? How could they care so little about the people this creep demeans: A whole religion? A neighbor nation? An entire gender?
To me, the election of this sad walking spectacle of human failings seemed to mean that the majority of voters couldn’t care less about the things that make life more than just breathing. It seemed that for whatever reason, they didn’t place a high enough value on character, generosity, compassion, decency, pride. Yeah, pride. It allows you to feel good about who you are, without feeling the need to fear and destroy others.
But the brighter news is that the majority of Americans did not vote for this poisonous, greed-crazed charlatan. He may insist on pretending that he is admired, but that’s just another lie. That’s why many of us who are usually pretty quiet felt a need to stand up and be visible, at least for a day, and show we won’t accept empty promises of prosperity at the price of normalizing belligerence, cruelty and outright stupidity.
I didn’t march because I thought it would cure some pitiful narcissist’s deeply ingrained personality disorder. I didn’t even do it because I thought it would change anything. I did it simply to be seen and heard for a moment.
I stood up to express my conviction that the words and actions of a few ill-mannered bigots don’t stand for the values of equality, justice, compassion, intelligence, acceptance and teamwork that my family, our friends, our neighbors, and millions of Americans (yes, the vast majority) care deeply about. And the world stood up with us!
America’s democracy is founded on the peaceful inclusion of all. It promises liberty and justice to all races, all genders, all lifestyles, all beliefs. It learns from skeptics and dissenters, instead of silencing them. It’s founded on the ideals of helping each other, providing equal opportunities, welcoming those in need, and taking care of each other, even when personal beliefs differ, and especially when personal resources differ.
Inclusiveness and peaceful cooperation are American values. And I’m willing to stand up for them.
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