ESSAY: The Denver Women’s March

By Allen Best

I’ve been to three county fairs, two pig-stickin’s and a goat rope, but I ain’t never seen nothin’ like what I saw Saturday morning in downtown Denver. People, lots of people, 100,000 of us, according to the Denver Post. Trains were so crammed we got there 90 minutes late.

Tall people, skinny people, fat people, people in wheelchairs, ugly old men and pretty young girls, gay couples, both men and women, at least a few veterans, some people of color, but not a lot, and lots and lots of women. It was, after all, the Women’s March.

Pink hats, of course, pink wigs and lots of other pink, too. But what bowled me over were the signs.

These were not mass-manufactured signs, but home-made affairs, so many of them sharp with wit. If I had to pick out one from the hundreds and perhaps thousands of signs that epitomized the tone of the day it was this: an orange-haired figure with a hand on the crotch of the Statue of Liberty.

Yes, there were a lot of signs about women’s reproductive rights and Trump’s boasts of his sexual conquests. None of the terms for female anatomy were new to me, but never had I seen them used so openly in public. “Keep your hands off my cuntry,” said one. There were many allusions to Trump’s friendship with Russia’s Putin and the evidence of Russian manipulation of the election. There were signs about gay rights, many about the need for climate action, and on and on.

We had some fear of violence after the mayhem of the anarchists in D.C. yesterday. There was nothing of the sort. (My greatest long-term fear is of some nut case trying to do harm to Trump or some of his inner circle.) It was a gentle crowd. Many signs spoke of the need for love trumping hate. One spoke about the need for building bridges, not walls.

But how do you build bridges? That’s the paramount question before us. The climate crisis does not get solved without cooperation, without agreements — without bridges. Those bridges must connect to many people who voted for Trump. Perhaps it includes bridges to Trump himself. I say this, but remind myself that I was so angry at this guy yesterday after hearing his inaugural address that I said, yes, I will go downtown and march.

I’m angry now, reading some of the posts of my conservative Facebook “friends” who wish to paint the face of all those who disagree with them as the few anarchists in Washington D.C. yesterday. Do you really think so, fellas?

But anger, while it produces clarity, cannot sustain you. Or me. I gotta get over this.

Many of those who voted for Trump did so believing that they have been ignored, left out. It’s economic, but it’s also cultural. Times of rapid transition create ugliness. So does great income inequality. A writer in the Wall Street Journal today speaks to those great upheavals in history. One of those great upheavals early in the 20th century produced the ugliness of the Ku Klux Klan.

One final thought. The Wall Street Journal today identified those who sat on the Capitol steps yesterday. There were the ex-presidents and their wives, legislative leaders, and assorted others. I saw the name of one person from the private sector in that list: Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate from Las Vegas who gave $76 million or so in the last election to Trump and others of his ilk.

Does anyone really think that Trump is going to give government “back to the people”?

Allen Best, Editor/Publisher at Mountain Town News, graciously shared his opinion essay with the Daily Post.

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