Immediately following the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President, most residents of the United States were very depressed and alarmed. One day later, an estimated 3.1 million people marched in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington.
Within 24 hours the mood of the nation changed from a feeling of powerlessness into a new inspired, invigorated sense of community. Folks who had never marched before joined hundreds of thousands of their neighbors in a powerful and peaceful expression of unity.
This pink tide swept the nation in numbers which caught conservatives and corporate media pundits off guard. Original predictions were that 200, 000 would come to Washington, DC — an underestimation by 300,000! Local media had predicted that 15,000 would attend the women’s march in Seattle. In reality, some estimate 175,000 people joined the protest.
How could they get it so wrong?
This is further evidence of an extreme disconnect between the media and what’s really happening in the country. Do I need to remind readers that the vast majority of political consultants and corporate news organizations claimed that Hillary Clinton would win the election?
Even march organizers were shocked by the enormous turnout for the January 21st events. According to the website US Uncut, Los Angeles organizers had anticipated 80,000 marchers. They were astounded when 750,000 participated!
Let’s be honest, the power structure in the US never expected to see such a large unified movement against the draconian policies of the Trump administration. This is an unprecedented moment in history that should not be underestimated. In fact, this mass convergence may actually be the beginning of a new peaceful social revolution.
Here are some of the estimates on the numbers of people who marched and rallied:
Washington DC 500,000
New York City 250,000
Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman have complied information on the estimates in this document:
Some clear facts need to be stated in the wake of this incredible show of support for women, the reality of climate change, and the need for the protection of our civil rights.
Although many of the participants were not involved in the election voting process, it’s clear that a new awareness has spread across the nation. People are ready for authentic political engagement. The unfortunate apathy which has plagued the country, leading to embarrassingly low voter turnout, vanished overnight with the reality that Trump and his supporters are now in charge of governing the USA.
What people want is “real” politics, as opposed to the “fake” politics and self-serving media hype that we have seen over the last few decades. Let’s face it — the US media monopolies helped to elect Trump by giving him an inordinate amount of exclusive air time.
If US residents want change, they are going to have to support independent and alternative media sources. Progressive audiences must put their money where their mouth is and donate not only to progressive politicians, but to progressive media that will tell their story and give them a fair platform to speak out. I have witnessed first hand how these kinds of news and opinion organizations have suffered greatly due to lack of funding and support. Some of the best of them have simply closed up shop and gone off the air.
Corporate interests will not fund this kind of authentic media. It is now up to individuals and non-profit organizations to provide the funding in the same way that they fueled the Obama and Sanders campaigns.
It’s a simple equation: Without progressive media there will be no successful progressive candidates.
But whatever the reason, reality has finally hit home for most Americans after the inauguration of Donald Trump. The majority of the people oppose his crass personal ethics and his radical plans for the country.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, this enormous amount of energy must be focused into a new political and cultural renaissance that will rebuild the progressive movements and transform the nation into a more rational and compassionate society. The legacies of FDR and MLK must be reclaimed in 2017.
Authentic working class candidates will need to step up to represent the majority. Folks will have to get serious about real politics! We will have to rebuild our sense of community which has been nearly destroyed through racist policies and conservative big money politics. We must reach out to disenfranchised groups who have given up on participating in the political and electoral system.
I am referring to door to door, person to person politics by people who actually give a damn about the health and welfare of their neighbors and who are willing to directly confront economic and environmental policies which threaten the future of our planet. It must start in our own local communities through personal interactions and it will need to build from there to reflect our values in city, county and state governments.
Eventually this type of authentic mass movement will result in the election of progressive political representatives at every level of the nation. And, if past historical trends are any indication, it will lead to the election of new representatives in Congress, and to the election of a new progressive US President.
One thing is certain: The international women’s marches have turned the tide of history to a more respectful and empowering attitude towards women.
Women are leading the way!
They have given birth to a new revolution in US politics...