The Women’s March and Holding Government Accountable

Let me start out saying that this is mostly an opinion piece about the Women’s March in Washington DC, Los Angles, New York, and all over the United States as well as across the world. Personally I think that the idea of the Women’s March is a great idea and one that I hope happens every time we elect a new President, but that some of the implementation and the specifics kind of flopped. Now if you are living under a rock or avoided the news all week due to the Presidential Inauguration, you might have missed that the day after the 45th President was Inaugurated, women (and men) flocked to the streets of major US cities like Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles. There were also other women’s marches all over the world to show solidarity with the women marching in the United States. All the major news outlets are claiming that more people attended the Women’s March than the 45th President’s Inauguration although the White House Press Secretary denies that. Even though there’s no way to estimate exactly how many people across the globe marched on January 21st, but it was definitely a large number of people.

Now the exact details of the event and the reasoning behind it is where I feel like people tend to pick a side (if there is a side to pick). Some people (especially supporters of our new President) have tried to play this off as people who are sore losers over the election and “need to get over it,” while others see this as a way to fight back against the new President and some of his controversial stances when it comes to women and women’s rights. The problem with trying to look at the women’s march with a “you vs. them” mentality is that these women’s marches weren’t for one single purpose. A lot of different people took to the streets for a lot of different reasons. Some protested to show their support for Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice institutions while some protested for pro-life causes. Others protested for the LBGT+ community and others protested for women’s healthcare and to show support for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). A lot protested to show the 45th President of the United States that people are paying attention, that we’re going to hold government accountable, and that a large percentage of the voting base is ready to act if necessary.

This last point is why I fully support the women’s march and I hope that these marches continue on for every President we elect till the dawn of time. Here in the US we are a Democratic-Republic and ultimately, the power comes from the people. These marches across the US should show the President, Congress, and anyone else watching that Americans are engaged in the political system and we are not afraid to use the power we’re given to create change if we need to. We are not afraid to use the first amendment and call out government officials for being corrupt or using their power to hinder the rights of the people. That’s why we have the Bill of Rights. My only issue is that more people should be supporting these marches and demonstrations as long as they don’t become violent. Peaceful protest is good for America and can enact real change. (A list of times marches worked to enact change in US history).

The reason I want this is to happen every time we elect a new President no matter his or her party identification is because all government officials need a reminder from time to time that America is a country run by the people, not by corporations or lobbyists or anyone else. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents need to support these demonstrations because they help hammer home this point. And I hope that in an alternative timeline where Hillary Clinton became President, that there was a million man march in Washington DC that was fully supported by the media (I can hope). To me this march shows that the American people are willing to fight for something even if I might not agree with the cause they are taking up. I hope this continues with issues I support and issues I don’t. If a President tries to restrict 1st Amendment rights, I hope people take to the streets. If a President tries to restrict 2nd Amendment rights, I hope people take to the the streets. If a President tries to restrict any rights, I hope people take to the streets. Sometimes that’s the only way to get things done. Unfortunately, I fear that as soon as we have a new President (especially a Democrat), the media will stop caring and celebrities will no longer try to organize and attend marches like this one. It’s unfortunate that people seem to care more about ideology or party than the injustice. We didn’t see million people marches when Obama was using drone strikes in several Middle Eastern Countries during the 8 years he was President, but I’m sure when the 45th President uses drone strikes, the anti-war Democrats will show up again on Twitter and everywhere else. Although I guess that discussion is large enough it could be its own post.

In the end I’m glad the Women’s March happened and that people are willing to take to the streets and defend a cause even if I don’t agree with them. I think it’s a shame that some people are turning this into a “you vs. them” situation when I think we need to look at it as people are waking up and realizing that they have the power over their government and that the President needs to listen to women and men alike.

-Allen_The_Writer

Reminder: Keep all discussion civil and on topic. I do not want to shut down free speech but I will if the speech is hateful and/or not-constructive. Thank you.

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