Last Saturday, in Washington, D.C., well over 300,000 women, possibly as many as half a million, demonstrated in support of women’s rights and against the Trump administration’s positions on those rights, as did hundreds of thousands in scores of cities and towns across the nation – and even in a number of foreign cities. High profile women, primarily in politics and entertainment, spoke and exhorted women and men alike to press to retain and expand women’s rights.
Meanwhile, in thousands of suburbs and small towns across the country, life continued apace, with almost no mention or recognition of the march, except through national media outlets and media sources based primarily in large urban centers. Trump and his administration largely ignored the protestors, except to complain that they were snarling traffic and making it difficult for him and his staff to get to a scheduled meeting at CIA headquarters.
What all those demonstrators may not realize is that their millions still comprise only a few percent of the American people, and it takes more than that to effect political change, or even to keep Trump from rolling back past changes.
The bottom line? Demonstrations, whether by women, black, or other minorities, mean nothing to this president and this administration. By themselves they will change nothing. Trump respects no one and no thing except his own ego and propositions, and nothing will change his mind or his actions except some form of power, whether that power be electoral, legal, regulatory, economic, or military.
This is going to be the reality of the political system so long as Trump is president. Those who disagree will either be ignored or attacked. Civility will avail an opponent of Trump nothing but contempt, and Trump will attempt to meet power with power and crush it. Oh, there will be times of civility and charm, but only when it suits Trump.
I honestly don’t think most current politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, have come in contact with anyone like Trump, and they in for more of a shock than they realize.
As for the Democrats, for the past decade and a half, if not longer, they’ve relied far too heavily on media to make their case and push their policies. They’ve neglected building grass-roots and local and state-level political structures in far too many parts of the country, and they’ve thought that demonstrations would push the way for change – and, for the most part, that hasn’t happened… and it won’t. Right now, such demonstrations will either be ignored or create a backlash of greater polarization. And, if the Democrats don’t get back to basics and hard political, legal, social, and economic grunt-work, they’re going to continue to get steam-rollered.