We the people

In 1776, anticipating the birth of a new nation, Abigail Adams wrote her famous “Remember the Ladies “ letter to her husband, John Adams, later the second president of the United States:

“…a new code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.”

I first read Abigail’s letter (decades ago) in a college course on gender. At the time I believed women had made tremendous strides towards equality. There’d be no limits moving forward. Alas, my nineteen-year-old self was wrong. As we have learned, despite winning the franchise almost 100 years ago, appearances can be and are deceiving. We still fight to exercise control over our bodies and for essential women’s healthcare. We earn 21% less than our male counterparts notwithstanding that close to a majority of women bear the burden of supporting the nation’s future generations. And let’s not forget the incessant and obsessive pressure to define ourselves and be defined by our looks. While every dog has its day, take it from this woman of a certain age, that day is short lived. Yet, too many of us were, and even now, remain complacent.

America threw some needed cold water onto our somnolent faces on November 8, 2016 when it pronounced that “shrill” Hillary’s pantsuits were simply too unappealing for her to be elected president. Americans preferred the rich, overweight, blowsy, white man who cheated on his wives, grabbed women by their private parts, swindled small contractors, declared multiple bankruptcies, conned thousands of Americans with his so-called Trump University and showed nothing but contempt for the United States Constitution. Now that’s a man, America!

The result? Backed by a transformed Republican Party and a man who can’t wait to get into our pants- each in their own special way- our hard fought for rights are now in jeopardy. They want to control our bodies- no insurance coverage for birth control, but keep that Viagra flowing- they’ve determined God wants all men to “get it up.” And while it might seem trivial, in their latest move to assert their authority over the ladies, they even want to more definitely define and enforce proper female attire in the halls of Congress. Apparently, displaying an uncovered female arm is unseemly. Is it any surprise that women, from all walks of life, sense this burgeoning American Taliban breathing down our necks? None of this, of course, would have shocked our Abigail Adams who understood that men, if left unchecked, “…would be tyrants if they could.”

I believe she would have been proud to see that it has been women leading the grassroots resistance to Trump and his gang through countless actions and organizations cutting across geographic, ethnic, racial and religious lines. I’d like to think this would have put a smile on this founding mother’s face who aptly warned her husband: “If perticuliar [sic] care and attention is not paid to the Laidies [sic] we are determined to foment a Rebelion [sic], and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Ladies, our time has come.

White (Red) America: It’s the Fourth, Declare Your Independence

The New Deal is on life support. The Republicans have been trying to sweep it away for some eighty-four years. Donald Trump’s elevation to the presidency was, unbeknownst to them, their blessing.  Now, with Trump ensconced in the Oval office and the GOP in control of both chambers of Congress, they can practically taste the end of the New Deal and its progeny, progressive America. They’ve waited 84 years for this moment. Over that time they’ve come so close: Nixon, Reagan but they’ve never reached the goalpost. But Trump is different; a master salesman cum grifter, coming to power during a time when White (red) America’s economic woes and fear of an unraveling world order, make Trump him just what the blossoming American oligarchy ordered. Understanding this, the GOP has cast aside any semblance of morality or love of country and Constitution.  “Emoluments Clause?” they ask, “What’s that?” and “Russian interference in our elections. Silly you! The problem is American voter fraud.”

The danger for the majority of us (yes Donald, you lost the popular vote) is that the Trump base, comprised mostly of angry White (red) Americans blame their lost privileges, status and economic opportunities on every other living human being except those bearing the blame: the preening 1% and their political operatives. Going back to Nixon and his “Southern strategy,” punctuated by Ronald Reagan’s “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help“,  White (red) America has been primed for decades to vote for a demagogue like Trump. So here we are, you got your wish. The GOP wants to step away from your lives. They want to yank away the social safety net. They will let your bridges and roads crumble unless they find a way to outsource for the benefit of private  interests. They will  (absolutely) give you your freedom to choose your own doctor, but good luck paying for it. They will give you school choice, but only the children of the rich will get a genuine education and the   true opportunities and choice that that brings. Expect your children to be funneled, early on in life, into “Training” only. No grand future for them. Indeed, get ready for the “pay as you go” society where it’s everyone for themselves and only the children of the rich succeed becasue their parents can afford to pay and pay and …

White (red) America: I know you are angry. It’s hard to find yourselves in a dead end or with no job at all. It’s hard to see your loved ones succumbing to drug addiction brought about by despair, not lack of “personal responsibility” as you all mouthed for years when drug addiction was rampant amongst “others.” Many, many “others” have had little or no opportunities for hundreds of years in this country, but you looked away. As long as you were comfortable and secure it was all ok. But now it’s not all ok and you still think the answer is to blame the “others” or take away their rights. That’s not the answer. It was never the answer. Our solution, yes our collective solution as a united people and a nation, is to strive for and achieve genuine economic and social justice for all. The answer is to see Trump for who he is and his GOP handlers for who they’ve been for generations: rich and privileged white men who don’t give a damn about you even if you are white and red.

Join the resistance and together let’s continue the march for economic and social justice- we welcome you with open arms.