As I’m sure you did, I watched with interest the protests and marches the weekend after Donald Trump was sworn in as 45th president of the United States.
The protests the day of the inauguration are the easiest to figure out. These are the same folks who want to go out and “protest” because it’s what they do. President Trump is simply the reason for them this time around. In the recent past these same people have used Wall Street, the police, court decisions and many other reasons as an excuse to become violent and destroy property.
Does it bother me they normally blame Republicans, conservatives and founding principles (many that have been corrected) of this nation? Sure, a little. Does it bother me more they’re actually attacking citizens, property owners and the government in venting not their frustration — but rather negotiating their violence ending in exchange for getting their way? You bet.
These people would do well to remember that while some of our nation’s ills were solved through violence, most were solved through peaceful means. Yes, we had a revolution and the Civil War. And it should be recognized Americans are willing to fight and die for their fellow citizens’ freedom to this day. But we’ve also had a mostly peaceful Civil Rights movement, women’s suffrage and the ERA and constant peaceful changes at all levels of government by simply exercising our right of redress. These “protesters” should also note the same government they want to change things is the main reason many of these ills existed in the first place.
Which brings us to the second protest/march of the weekend.
I keep hearing this march was about rights for all. And the list gets longer and longer as to just what each individual person was marching for the more it’s discussed. I’ll try to get this out of the way in spite of how it will probably be ignored. But please note that I, and most Americans, support your right to do this. I also support your right to use the unique platform of America’s freedom of speech to reach out for the same rights for people around the world. I’m avoiding saying this march was for and about only people who think a certain way, even though I’ve heard differently, because I’m trying to give participants the benefit of the doubt that we should all have the same, equal, unalienable rights.
In the hope my sentiments above were heard and accepted (and even if they weren’t) I’ll press in a little further into the march. So with that in mind, I’ll go down a list someone (Michele at Globehoppers.us)
came up with of some specific rights being marched for that was linked by a few of my friends. “This march was for women’s rights, and human rights, and gun regulations, and clean water, and reproductive choices, and health care, and immigration reform, and safety in schools and on college campuses, and LGBT equality and SO MUCH MORE.”
Okey dokey. Let’s hit those one by one. Women’s rights? We’ve got equal rights here in the USA. Human rights? Absolutely. It’s my wish all the people on the planet have the opportunity to live under the unalienable rights guaranteed in our Constitution. Gun regulations? Tougher one, but the right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed — mainly to protect us from an over-reaching government. Think about how many more people would be free and safe from oppression if they could own a way to protect themselves. Clean water? Really, there’s an argument here from ANYONE? Reproductive choices? The women in this nation have more of them than anywhere on the planet. But I’m all for looking at how women are oppressed, raped legally, mutilated, sold off, forced into childbearing or told to abort because more than one child is illegal and giving those women the rights we all enjoy here if you are. Immigration reform? Happy to help, but I’d start by enforcing our immigration laws and getting back to what we used to do that helped make this nation great while handling those here illegally on a case-by-case basis, but I doubt I’d get much support or rational conversation. Safety in schools and college campuses? Well, yeah. Especially if you agree to protect all ideas, thoughts and individuals equally. And we have to keep our youth safe. LGBT equality? As I’ve said a million times, I believe in equal rights for all. And so much more? Oh yes, I have my list as you all well know.
“So why didn’t you march with us, Craig?” you ask. My first reason is simple: I believe Americans already have these rights as individuals and they’re unalienable. I also question your timing, as I witnessed many rights violations under Obama. But that’s for another column.
My second reason has more to do with some of the messengers than the message. Their rhetoric was more vile and vulgar than even I expected. That’s why while I respect many of the individual marchers, I want nothing to do with some its leaders who spoke in Washington, D.C. or the people who spouted hate and profanity in their version of “marching.” People like that should never be in a position of dictating “rights.”
And if you don’t agree on that, it puts all in danger.