“No matter who won the election, H.R.C. or Trump, we should be protesting. But especially Trump. His campaign was nothing but hatred and fear. We must reject that, or be complicit in it.”
– Protestor, two weeks before
On January 21, the day after the Inauguration, a massive rally is planned in the nation’s capitol to highlight women’s issues. An estimated 200,000 women are scheduled to attend the “Women’s March On Washington”.
Take note: These are not, by and large, discontented college students and former Bernie Bros pining for their lost candidate. These are intelligent professionals, mothers and housewives. Most have hotel reservations. And they’re taking time away from careers and busy lives to drive, fly, or Amtrak to the nation’s capitol.
But that’s not the only protest planned. Tens of thousands have pledged to show up for a “silent, respectful protest” on the 20th, Inauguration Day, under the #NotMyPresident banner, organizing through social media. ANSWER Coalition is also organizing in several cities — notably in Manhattan, but far more solidly in D.C., with many more marching with them throughout the United States. And the Reverend Al Sharpton will be busing in the customary thousand or two for a protest at the MLK Memorial — which is stone, so it’s not likely to burn.
For those who think that last may be a racist remark, please be assured: It’s intended mainly as an observation of what generally happens after Sharpton leads a protest. The man is a brilliant orator, a marvelous performer, and a powerful motivator, and he’ll have an audience primed for anything other than peaceful acceptance. That there’ll be violence in his wake is almost a foregone conclusion.
Personally, I’m not fond of the idea of riots in the nation’s capitol. There’s a way to cut down on government waste and corruption, and burning the city is not it. As demonstrated under Madison, they’ll just rebuild — bigger and better, but who pays for it but us?
The prospect of anything too horrific seems remote. Some aren’t aware of this, but the Inauguration is at least partly under the command of the military. Major General Bradley Becker, an experienced combat soldier and a skilled administrator, commands the Capitol District, and the power at his command for this is broad and varied. Frankly, if anything too nasty starts, I’d be more worried about the protestors.
Which brings me back to the Women’s March: This could go very poorly. Not for the rally, which is unlikely to be worse than delayed and diverted, but instead for the protestors from the day before. If things go sideways for them, we’re looking at a potential collision between the scruffier social activist radicals on the fringe of the Democratic Party and a lot of their pantsuit-wearing financial supporters. The Democrats who rode in on buses will meet the Democrats who flew first class, and it would be shocking were there no friction.
Bottom line? I’m not a Trump fan, but it would take quite a bit to get me out on the streets of D.C. around Inauguration time. I think I’ll stay home and root for a peaceful transition of power.
But for those of you who are going: If you’re smart, you’ll keep it quiet and respectful. Either way, though, I’m sure you’ll make your opinions known to your elected officials — and what’s more patriotic and American than that?