I will be marching in Chicago this Saturday with a group of friends and an estimated 20,000 people to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump. In Washington, two nieces will be marching. In New York, two family members will be marching, and another two family members will be marching in London.
Lots of individuals on social media and in newspapers routinely say things like: “Get over it!” He’s elected, he’s everyone’s president. What’s the point of protesting?
I used to say things I later came to regret too. But there are always game-changers in life. And Donald Trump is one of them.
I personally believe that we have never before had an amoral individual in the Oval Office. Sure, we had Richard Nixon, who came close.
Trump appears to be not only a narcissist, but lives at the far end of the narcissism spectrum called sociopathy. Rules don’t apply to Mr. Trump. Which is why he doesn’t release his tax returns or divest of his company’s holdings. And that’s just the beginning. The norms of the Presidency are to be bent to his will instead of the other way around. There is no humility in this man, no awe with which he regards the power of the Presidency. That in itself should give everyone pause.
But it’s a done deal now. Those who voted for him can take the blame as we will all pay the price.
As for protesting, I believe in going on the record and in the power of solidarity. I believe in stating my case when I feel outraged, as I do now.
It feels important to do it, while I still can. While I still have the right.
Lying seems to have taken center stage in America, and I fear it will become the new normal. From the PEOTUS to everyday interactions, from your leaders to your friendly publisher, cheaters are empowered and fabrication has replaced manufacturing.
How to survive the next four years?
I’m not certain yet but I suspect the lawyers will stay busy.
Once the collective rage begins to abate, I can only hope that art thrives. Living in the liminal place can produce great work. I have yuge expectations that a commitment to truth and ideals will prevail.
More to come.
I’m not naive enough to believe that the first female president will significantly alter the misogyny that infects the lives of women and girls in this country. But what I am beginning to believe is possible is something that is a parallel first step: a sense of empowerment.
I have spent a career in medicine, a lifetime in the operating room. Surgeons are (mostly) men. Nurses are (mostly) women. Anesthesiologists play a role something like Chief Financial Officer in this unique environment, the currency being patient physiology. The OR is special in terms of being a place where we take teamwork to a very high level. But in the corporate boardroom of the organization that runs the group of anesthesiologists and CRNA’s in which I work, we are still a throwback to the corporations of decades past. Our board consists of middle-aged mostly white guys. No woman is represented.
To say that I have lived and worked with misogyny is simply to say what women my age have experienced forever. I am certain that some women have been luckier, and some much more unfortunate. It can take years to understand the ways that discrimination works. If I, as an educated white woman, feel it as acutely as I do, imagine how people of color feel, or those without my privileges.
But for once I am beginning to believe that what matters is not the attitudes of the men around me, the attitude of those with power who want to hold on to it. I am beginning to understand that what matters is a belief in something better for women, for the future, and for our daughters. It is a belief that women, with or without men, will make things better for themselves and for their loved ones. That belief is not something that comes easily. You can’t buy it; it isn’t a slogan. It comes from somewhere deep inside, from watching someone persevere while knowing exactly what that perseverance means. Hillary made that possible for me.
I’m with her.