The panorama of pink can be seen stretching for miles in Washington DC, New York City and beyond as massive crowds continue to spill across America and beyond on Saturday. The sight is impressive to behold and network coverage is jostling, sometimes dominating coverage of Donald Trump’s post inaugural weekend activities–something that will surely peeve the thin-skinned newly sworn in president–who is obsessed with crowd size, “dishonest media” and constant favorable attention.
Trump’s new presidency, which is a mere one day old, is being overshadowed by this powerful energy of “sisterhood,” which is a force to be reckoned with but just as this awakened sense of civic duty is invigorating, it has also pushed some to ask a few fascinating questions. Where was this potent, passionate, infectious solidarity for Hillary Clinton? Why was the election of Donald Trump more of a catalyst to fight for women’s rights than electing the first female president?
Many news outlets are reporting that simultaneous protest crowds in several states, including the main women’s march on Washington, far overwhelmed Trump’s inauguration numbers. Undeniably, there are strong currents moving many to take a stand; to express their dissatisfaction and announce their vigilance. And women aren’t the only ones braving the cold, hundreds of men are marching along their womenfolk. New York City’s Fifth Ave, not far from Trump Tower, is busting at the seams with huge crowds stretching all the way to bustling 42 St. Law enforcement has shut off parts of the street as security for the president’s residence but as darkness engulfs the city, the estimated 200,000 crowd is showing no signs of abating.
A parade of celebrities are shouting their messages from the podium in Washington and the highly-energized crowd is responding in kind. This concentration of passion is echoed across the U.S.—from metropolitan cities like NYC, Los Angles and Washington DC to smaller ones, shouts of “we’re not going away”, could be heard loud and clear. Women in 7 countries around the globe are also protesting in solidarity. The masses have awakened and are vowing they have many miles to go before they sleep.
Back to election of Hillary Clinton. Where was this kind of collective motivation to put the first woman in the White House? After the shock of her loss had worn off, finger-pointing for that loss ran amok. Some have laid the blame squarely at the feet of women—namely white women but some have pushed back on that narrative, calling it misleading. Other critics have thrown the Democratic leadership under the bus, while some point to the “Bernie or bust” loyalists for derailing the party win. Others have said the Obama coalition didn’t turn up for Clinton as they did for him and even President Obama himself threw his hat into the blame game– once alluding to Democratic victory if he had run.
Though none of this party infighting will solve the problem: one thing is certain and that is– it has shone a spotlight on the Democratic party’s frailties and deficiencies. The fascinating thing is, going into the 2016 election, the Republican party was the one seen as being in deep disarray but at the end of the campaign, the most unlikely candidacy of Donald Trump had turned into the presidency of Donald Trump and the Democratic party as the one who is surprisingly off kilter and scrambling to catch its bearings. And they will have to come back stronger than ever if they have any hope of winning the white house or control of Congress again.
So where will this day of passionate protests lead? Will this force grow into an enduring unstoppable movement, acting as the thorn in Trump’s side as the TParty was to Obama? Who will emerge the leader of the party—Bernie Sanders’ far left, progressives socialists or the old guard of liberals?
So many questions, so little answers but something tells me time will answer them soon enough.
(Below, Washington March).