Why I March

I am not a political person. I never have been, though I was partner in crime (mostly postal) to my grandfather, who trained me to knock on doors and hand out fliers and to vote Democrat no matter what. He drove me from house to house and waited in the car while I gamely canvassed the neighborhoods, knocking on doors, my shy self hoping beyond hope that no one would answer and I wouldn’t have to speak to a neighbor, or worse, a stranger. A few times, when the driver’s seat was obscured by an obliging holly tree or overgrown shrub, I would stuff the flier in the mailbox, despite Granddaddy’s stern admonitions, and beat a hasty retreat, claiming the family wasn’t home and praying that no one saw me commit a felony.

Years passed, and so did my grandfather. I voted in almost every election, even midterms, in his honor. But sometimes I didn’t vote a straight Democratic ticket because I actually knew something about the issues. Sometimes, I determined, an Independent, or Granddaddy forbid, a Republican, would serve better. But I avoided politics whenever I could – at family gatherings, church. Occasionally, I would indulge in some online stuff, but I was always left without hope. Why, I reasoned, should I commit so much energy and outrage to something I have absolutely no control over. If I can’t control it at all, I avoid it.

Last week, I couldn’t stop crying. I have a chronic liver condition, and it had been triggered. I’m drinking close to a gallon of water a day now, so toxins get flushed by my kidneys when my liver has better things to do, and physically I have stayed healthy. But the psych symptoms are terrible. Anxiety, depression, and mood swings are often the result. So I blamed my liver for my tears and just drank a bit of extra water to compensate for the water lost through my leaking eyes.

When I suddenly burst into uncontrollable tears last Saturday morning, I finally had to admit that there was an actual reason for my tears. Its name is the GOP. I had watched for a couple of days as Congress began its process to dismantle the Affordable Care Act like a toddler with a hammer. And it was a partisan move. They did it gleefully because they could, to erase the legacy of the most decent President in recent memory. It was the glee that got me. Why are they so hell-bent on removing health care from millions of Americans? And what is going to happen to me? Rare, preexisting conditions for both myself and the Padawan. Can I afford to continue a job where I make a difference, or do I have to take something that pays better so we don’t go bankrupt?

I screamed and sobbed, and I told my husband “I have to DO something. I need to know that I am not alone, that there are other people out there who are not just as outraged, but are also willing to DO something about it.” I made an off-hand remark that I needed to “go to the women’s march or something.” And so it began.

why women march on Washington

Credit: Jessica Sabogal

I took steps. I announced my intention on social media for accountability because depression can turn me inside out and leave me immobilized. I checked on transportation. I cried all day at work, and I planned. If I could find a friendly driveway in Virginia, I could sleep in my car. An offer of a driveway appeared. And then a dear, dear friend said, “I want to go, too. Let’s go together.” And suddenly I WASN’T alone. And within 2 hours, a ride appeared. And a hotel. And then the hotel evaporated as the offer of a house was made. And people I have never met have stepped up to make me hats to wear. And suddenly, this trip that I had recklessly committed myself to became a reality, and an affordable one. $10 for the Metro ticket. And I’m going.

  • I march because I protest a President-elect who appoints people with a lot of money but best case, no relevant experience. Worst case, a conflict of interest.
  • I march because I object to a President who feels he is above any law and refuses to release any tax returns.
  • I march because I object to a President who admitted to assaulting women. And then when those women step forward and say “Yes, he did that,” he threatens to sue anyone who comes forward. Because he knows HE has the money to fight it and they don’t.
  • I march because I cannot live with a President who is so ungodly. I am a devout Christian, and I object to a man who calls himself Christian but breaks the 10 Commandments publicly. He believes it is just fine for him to lie. And then he lies about lying, even though there is clear evidence. He is either so lazy or stupid that he doesn’t delete his old tweets, or he doesn’t think it matters.
  • I march because I object to a President who takes so many financial risks that he has filed for bankruptcy four times. I am a fiscal conservative. A President is a steward of our country’s resources. He is already a bad one.
  • I march because I cannot abide a President who insists on spending public money to have Trump Tower as a second home for part of each week. Secret service, outfitting for security, etc? That’s on our dime, folks.
  • I march because I cannot tolerate a President who doesn’t understand the meaning of public service. This is a lark. He’s taking off for the weekend. Presidenting is a 9-5 job, I guess.
  • I march because I am angry that the American people elected a man who is cruel, who insults national heroes, who is racist, who is so full of hate. I do not respect him, and so I march.
  • I march because I have no respect for a President who despises those of other religions. America is a great country because of its diversity, not despite it.
  • I march because I am scared of a President who wants to control the media. Freedom of speech gets ground under his heel.
  • I march because our President-elect is endorsed by 20 white supremacy groups. Scared? I am.
  • I march because I need to have hope that if even I, who hates crowds so much that I get Christmas shopping done early so I don’t have to go to a mall in December, am stepping out of my comfort zone to THE Mall with hundreds of thousands of others, that maybe there are others who will be jolted out, as well. That maybe we CAN work together and bring about real and lasting change.

I will see you in DC. I’ll be the one in the hat.

46 thoughts on “Why I March

  1. I am so excited for you. You are going! I hope it brings you some peace to be actually doing something, controlling something, contributing something. I agree with you on all those points so go, go, go Sista! I will look for you on the screen when I watch the news…..the one in the hat. 🙂

  2. You are the unequivocal best. I’ll be marching in Houston with my daughter and over 14,000 of our closest friends. I also have friends marching in DC and Austin and lots of other places. We are all with you.

  3. See? You are strong and clever and making a difference. You are adapting and doing what women do best. They go very still, assess the situation, regroup, find the team, armour up and SURPRISE! Also though, we need to adapt – trouble is coming from many quarters and we need to be prepared, train, get healthier, eat well, feed the beast, rehearse our words, stock up on the medications you or your kids need, fill the pantry, find a farmer, be the best at your job, change the spark plugs in the car. I live in a fearful place down here – everyone is a gloating republican, even my husband who has Rush L, the devil, on loudly while he eats his lunch, his whole family. I bite my lips until they bleed so as not to start an argument because being a foreigner, I will be demolished. But there you are. This is how it is and I will adapt to it and survive. I could not march though – I would be locked out. March for me! c

  4. As I am reading your words, I am also listening to a protest march passing in the street below me. “NOT MY PRESIDENT! NOT MY PRESIDENT!” And similar (I’m assuming?) chants in Spanish.

    You are not alone. Tomorrow begins a very dark chapter for the US, and in our resistance to the impending onslaught against human dignity and principles we must fight just as long and as hard as those who wage it. But our souls need not be made equally dark. *Must* not be made equally dark.

    I am glad that you are marching. I am glad that you have been embraced in that choice. It is in and through our connections that we endure, and resist, and rise up again to resist another day.

  5. I understand just how you feel. We too stupidly elected a government that seems determined to victimise the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable while their big business mates pay no taxes. I recall as the first harsh budget was released seeing photos of two senior ministers laughing and smoking cigars and this made me more angry than anything. I marched too though I never had before. Some may say it is a waste of time but if you say nothing you are condoning cruelty and that is what these people are.

  6. I am spending a lot of time crying. Every day brings something new and terrible and I feel punched in the gut. I’m not well enough to march right now (knee injury) but I have four hats attending.

    I’m so grateful you’re going.

  7. I don’t have as far to travel as you do, so I’ve been delaying Signing Up to march, even though I have every intention of doing so. Just recently saw an LA Weekly (publication) tweet that the Los Angeles march has 92k signed up already. Think I’ll see which “other” town (Pasadena or Beverly Hills) is geographically closer, and sign up as soon as I’m done here.

    I’m also as apolitical as one can be, to the point that I don’t even vote anymore (because my vote doesn’t count and never will – Hillary won my state without my vote). But since the election, I’ve gotten angry and scared and all of those things you’ve listed, and I’ve found myself re-tweeting a LOT of Anti-Cheeto posts. It hasn’t helped my state of mind, so I’ve decided to quit that. I’m only going to re-tweet positive stuff going forward. Be prepared for an onslaught of cute puppies, kittens, bunnies, and baby goats! 😉

    … and I’m fortunate to be relatively healthy, both physically and mentally, and to live in a state where I can GET assistance if needed, From The State. We Californians are actually almost insulated from PEEOTUS’ stupidity. So I need to march in solidarity with the rest of the country. I just don’t have a hat. :/

  8. This was a wonderful post. You summed up so much of what I’ve been feeling. I spent inauguration day lying in bed and eating chocolate while I watched news clips on YouTube. I couldn’t drag myself out of my bedroom. This morning I looked up the DC March and was so inspired by the speakers. I was also immediately awed at the immense turnout. I knew I had to get to a local march. Numbers count. Our voices count.

    I hope you had a great experience and will continue to speak out. We’re all needed now.

  9. One by one, we will do what we can. My hope is together we can accomplish much to protect rights, hold people accountable, and build a better future for EVERYone.Thank you for your bravery. Humankind. Be both.

  10. Pingback: We Marched, Now What? #Resist | Becoming Cliche

  11. Pingback: A Long Time Coming – Sappho's Torque

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